Saturday, December 26, 2009

ideas in the ethers

after reading a bit about the whole concept of sharing ideas, teaching, attribution, etc, i thought i'd just write a little bit. my last post was all about a dye process that i've been messing around with for over thirty years. but a bit of it is new, and originated in the marvelous work of india flint. india wraps up her dyestuff and textiles into bundles, and steams them, creating ecoprints. what i have borrowed from her in this project is this: using a mixture of dyestuff and mordanting stuff, and reusing, in this case vinegar from the pickles and the found metal bits and the old cloth. but i have been doing this sort of thing all along. my textiles teacher in college, nancy belfer, and other teachers and mentors like trudy van stralen, dorothy miller, mary ann mckeller schwartz, and rita buchanan have also directly taught me dye techniques, and inspired me by their mindful ways of working. i acknowledge their influence on me, as well ideas and instruction from friends or mentors in conversation or workshops: carol blinn, mark mcmurray, shanna leino, aimee lee, chela metzgar. this is the short list! it is my hope that i take what i have learned, assimilate it into my brain, and what emerges is my own "stuff". 

above is a page from my magic lilies artists' book. it includes bits i've learned from: mrs. belfer, trudy, dorothy, mary ann, carol, chela, and sally smith, who taught me to sew books on tapes. carol taught me to dye vellum and she learned it from a colleague. i dyed the silk of the page with a bit of "black raspberry ink" my son ian and his friend nate left for years in my fridge. one tiny book, many influences. my friend darr's recognition that the verdant leaves in my spring garden would die away and in august lilies would appear. he called them magic lilies. he was right.

magic lilies, artists' book: shifu and silk pages, natural and synthetic dyes, natural and dyed vellum, drawing, waxed linen, vellum button. 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 x 5/8 inches


jude said...

short list indeed, i suppose it would take a life time to make the real list of sources.... and what is this balck rapberry in? what a faboulously earthy pink.

Velma said...

the black raspberry was just some berries squashed up, maybe cooked, and seeds removed. the guys had a secret alchemy going, they made the brew and put it in a jam jar that i kept it in the fridge for years, and last summer i took it out and dyed a tiny bit of fiber.

aimee said...

the book is perfection! even tho we can't see the insides.

sandra said...

I think this is really beatutiful!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Velma - your post is so informative, I have Jackie Crook's book, Natural Dyeing, which I just pulled out to read AGAIN. I love playing and experimenting and you've inspired me to do both - AGAIN !!! still want to know what "shifu" is ?? : )
Blessings, Sandra in AZ

Velma said...

shifu: twisted and woven paper

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