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Showing posts from June, 2016

Messing About with Dyes

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In Kenneth Grahame's classic, The Wind in the Willows, the Water Rat says to Mole,
"Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats."
A great quote that applies to dyeing as well, in my view. There is nothing half so much fun as messing about with dyes -- which is what I did yesterday with my two talented friends, Joan Rusitzky and Eve Botelho. We played with Pro MX Fiber Reactive Dyes all morning, mixing colors and cleaning up spots on Joan's basement floor. I was dyeing cotton muslin, using some shibori-resist techniques I learned from the wonderful book, Textile Dyeing: The Step-by-Step Guide and Showcase by Kate Broughton.
My results are pictured above, after taking the pieces home, still bound with string, discharging them in thiox, and then over-dyeing them in indigo. (I'm not a purist, so I mixed chemical and natural dyes as needed.)
Thanks to Joan and Eve for a wonderful day. 
And…

The Textile Museum of Canada: A Totally Arbitrary Look at What's Up

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Detail of "It's Beautiful, It's Crazy," 2011, by Zondlile Zondo, Zulu, South Africa
Last weekend -- Father's Day weekend -- we went to visit our son in Toronto. While Jake and Dad were having barbecue on the beach, I went to one of my favorite places: the Textile Museum of Canada. The current exhibit is "Worlds on a String: Beads, Journeys, Inspirations" featuring beaded works old and new from all over the world. And then, as if that wasn't enough to feast on, the museum also featured "Bliss: Gardens Real and Imagined," highlighting floral-inspired works from the collection.
Here, for your viewing pleasure, is a random look at the exhibits.
Full view of Zondlile Zondo's piece

Yoruba king's crown, Nigeria, 20th century
Child's moccasins with porcupine-quill beads,  Sioux, North American, 1890-1988

Blouse, Philippines, mid-20th century

Aubusson tapestry, mid-18th century, France

Suzani wall hanging, Uzbekistan, 19th century



Embroidered c…