Monday, September 18, 2006

Back From Sievers & Washington Island

Spent the weekend at Siever's on Washington Island at the tip of Door County. I took a weekend class with Kathy Sorenson and Judie Yamamoto on dyeing silk and embellishing with beads and embroidery. It was a real learning experience and very freeing! I was encouraged to just jump in and play with color and beads. Judie lives on Washington Island and demonstrates weaving at the Farm Museum on an antique loom she and her husband restored. Kathy runs a home-based company. Island Fibers produces commercial lines of dye-painted silk ribbons, threads, fabrics, and garments, which have been used by fiber artists around the world. I see her threads and silk ribbon for sale in good embroidery shops. The trip up was a little worrisome as I hadn't driven the van since Patrick had the accident with it on the Thursday before and so I wasn't absolutely assured the car would make it to Door County! Well, it drove just fine. (Patrick had a literal fender bender and my front bumper is torn off! Patrick is just fine...) I missed the ferry by two cars and so was half an hour late for class but everyone on the island know how the ferry works so I only missed introductions. I have met Kathy a couple of times before and knew she is very loose herself and wouldn't be mad about me being late.
Anyway we learned to use Dye na Flow silk paint. This paint from Jacquard is very thin, so thin, it's about the consistency of a dye. It's intended for silk painting, either the serti (resist) method using water-soluble resists, or for watercolor techniques. You can intermix it with other similar fabric paints on the same project since they are all heatset with an iron (like Setasilk or Marabu Silk). You can also use salt and other silk painting techniques used with dyes. Dry and iron each area for 3 minutes to make it washfast and drycleanable. It does not stiffen the fabric like thicker paints tend to do. It was really easy to handle and the only heat setting necessary was to let it dry, iron it dry and then wash it to remove the water soluble resist. We did scarves with a resist so that you could draw pictures or shapes and then really plan out a pretty elaborate picture if you like. We then did a completely free form scarf where we just scrumpled up a scarf and cleaned up our little dixie cups of paint with the scarf and you got what you got!
Really freeing and great results I thought!
Then we learned some basic beading technique to embellish the scarves. And this woman from Fish Creek who owns a bead store there was taking the class and she brought a portable shop full of beads to add to our mix! Wonderful fun!
Here are some pictures of what I did:

Well, that didn't work! Blogger seems to be reluctant to publish my photos today!
I will just publsih this and try the photos separately...
I will try again later,
You've achieved success in your field when you don't know whether
what you're doing is work or play.
-- Warren Beatty

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