One of my creative hurdles is that I like to stick to geometric forms. Nothing wrong with that, there is an abundance of ornamental work out there which is enormously creative. Just think of the wood carvings on old Breton furniture. Amazing. But as I see it, part of my journey could be/should be (?) to travel to unknown territories, step into the dark and unknown waters of my mind and find my way to new shores. Which I did this morning and lo and behold, an elefant appeared. It is still the rough shape of an elefant more like the shape you see through the fog (my brain fog concerning representational forms vs ornamental maybe?) but it begins to look like an elefant.
The fabric is rust dyed dish cloth linen. Very soft but still durable.
I wanted to thank you all for the warm welcome. I am overwhelmed. Thank you.
Yesterday evening, I felt the urge to begin something new, some woven boro style thing. I am intrigued by the possibilities of fabric weaving. I like the look very much and how it handles. Most of the fabrics I have are vintage linens and cottons. Bedsheeds (definitely not usable for woven boro), cotton pillow cases and duvet covers, linen dishcloths and towels. Most are not exactly the lightweight stuff Jude recommends but some are still manageable.Especially the old and used dishcloths are so worn out that some of them barely stay together. They make nice weaving material.
The background is an old dishcloth, crush dyed in indigo and I wanted to keep the undyed parts intact.
Another detail I wanted to preserve, the monogram dyed really nice, darker than the rest.
I basted the piece last evening. My stitch is not exactly invisible but I used a dark blue and a white sewing thread. Somehow sewing threads accumulated over the years, so they usually are my default threads.
And this morning, while looking at the first piece, I began with another one.
Plain weave, the background fabric is some vintage damast cotton, indigo dyed and then overdyed in oak bark, which gives it a slightly greyish green hue. The other fabrics are dishcloths and some other vintage damast dyed in indigo, the red is cochenille and the darkish purple is logwood.I love the fraying. Linen threads are really dense and they usually don't dye through. At least not when you're dipping only two or three times to keep it light blue. When you tear them, the fraying sometimes is still lighter or even white. And I think that looks fabulous. Very organic.
The reason all those colours work well together is that they are all natural colours. Somehow you can't go wrong when you combine the most unlikely colours as long as they are all natural dyed.
Producers of synthetic dyes know that, which is why you have colourways (Ashford acid dyes for example come in winter and summer hues - this way the colours of one colourway will always match) and you shouldn't combine different synthetic dyes by different producers. Everyone of them works in a special colourway and combining colourways from different producers can look quite garish.
This is the thing I originally wanted to work on when I began something new last evening.
It is the front of a bag I began many moons ago. When I was still working with synthetic dyes ;o)
The blue part is from an old silk shirt and the white part is some vintage cotton pillow case. The colour parts are reverse appliqued and are vintage cotton dyed with synthetic dyes.
This is the back. Still the same old silk with some stitching. I love spirals.
The inside of the bag is made from an old flanell shirt and its two breast pockets. One can never have too many pockets in a bag ;o)
And here is a detail from the front. Here the thread is some indigo dyed linen thread.
Every journey begins with one step. But usually there are already several steps behind you, some places you come from when you decide to begin your wanderings.
I'm already knee deep in hand sewing. Equipped with a great dislike of machines, I used to hand sew shirts and skirts and even trousers many years ago during my frugal time at university. After some time without much time for texile crafts, I returned to my fibery interests one day in december about a decade ago when I ordered a handspindle and some fibre. I began spinning, dyeing, knitting, weaving the usual stuff and then, I some years ago, I returned to sewing.
I feel content when I stitch.
Several years ago, I dived heads on into natural dyeing and sometime later I realized I'm a natural dyer with a day job. And then I realized, I love dyeing fabrics. So my love for fabrics, for sewing and for natural dyeing intertwined.
I am far from being a master or something like this. I am learning, wandering among fabrics and experimenting with possibilities. And since I seldom have the opportunity to travel, I enjoy online workshops and online classes.
Last weekend, I enrolled in several online classes over at Jude's. Since my other blog is (mostly) German and a hotchpotch of all possible fibre crafts, I wanted to start something new, English only and only about my dyeing and my sewing.Let's see how this works out. As I said, I'm experimenting here.
And since no blog post is complete without pictures, here are some of past and present stitchings:
into the woods, neo tribal art cuff
into the woods 2 - neo tribal art cuff with encouched horse hair
buttoned up - the desert series
A coat I am working on now for several years. It was finished at one point but I didn't like to wear it. During the last two weeks I added some changes it feels better now. Come summer I will see how it actually wears.
Well, this is a small view into my past endevours. I'm working on some new things, I will see what path they will take.
I haven't done much modern boro like weaving and stitching yet. Up until now, I just dived into the online classes and immerged into the texts, videos and whisperings. Just listeining was inspiring and I have some ideas for larger cloths. Maybe another jacket, something different than the above. And then there are some old beginnings I found yesterday while cleaning the bedroom. Really old beginnings. Maybe I will rip them or incorporate them into something new. I don't know yet.