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a new technique

May 1, 2019

May 1st – and Spring has sprung

warm sunny days, the backstrap loom got a workout outside

on the weekend daughter-in-law and I drove 38 miles north to the Cowichan Exhibition Park

a beautiful day, cows in the lush green fields with the mountain in the background

 it was a treat to spend the time together, we stopped for lunch at the Duncan Garage Cafe and Bakery

  an amazing selection of goodies and the food was terrific

I went to take a 3 hour workshop in Japanese woodblock- print dyeing – Joanna visited a friend

workshop sensei was Yuko Yamamoto who studied with Tetsuo Koyama in Japan

the unique style of pattern design was developed by Koyama sensei’s father

as the 3 hours didn’t allow time to carve blocks

Yuko-san brought ones she had carved – we each selected 3 blocks

and then 3 colours to dye with

The “dyes” are liquid pigments mixed with a binder

we designed our individual pattern by cutting out the block shapes in coloured paper

and arranging and gluing them on a sheet of paper – this proved to be a very effective process – and fun

the dye is applied to the block, positioned on the fabric and hammered very firmly

everyone had a different design – flowers were popular

this was the person’s work beside me – love the overlapping colours

and my finished pieces

simple shapes overlapped many times in different ways

I contacted both Maiwa and Opus to see what pigments and binders were available

and had to settle on the textile paints I have used in the past

Pebeo’s Setacolor seems to work well

if you want a coloured background you either have to work on fabric that is dyed a very pale colour

or – apply resist to each pattern area and then dye the entire piece – the Japanese resist is handmade rice paste

depending on the amount of patterning that could take months!

a yukata (summer cotton kimono) anyone?

common sense says starting small would be wise

I’m going to sit in the sun and think about it


10 Comments leave one →
  1. vdbolyard permalink
    May 9, 2019 7:41 pm

    i like the elements one can combine.


    • May 10, 2019 8:07 am

      Velma – of course, to really create interesting patterns I need to carve a few different blocks which means finding smallish pieces of yellow cedar, buying a couple carving chisels and getting on with it.


  2. May 3, 2019 4:25 am

    I worked with silk screen printing on fabric in high school. The result was hideous. This block printing method looks more freeing and definitely more fun. The added advantage is the ability to work out your design on paper. The echoed geometric shapes give dimension and depth to the colors. What fun!


    • May 3, 2019 10:58 am

      Lynda – this is one of the most intensely time consuming techniques I have ever studied – and that includes 6 months of kasuri/ikat at Kawashima in Japan. It would take a lifetime to become proficient, think I’ll have to concentrate on the fun part.


  3. May 2, 2019 3:36 am

    Common sense is over-rated! Go for the kimono!


  4. May 1, 2019 3:52 pm

    I really wish I had access to stuff like this, but there’s nothing on offer around here. I’d probably have to go to Brisbane, and that’s a 2 day drive. a 2 day drive is a bit far to go for a 3 hour class!


    • May 2, 2019 8:22 am

      Kate – we are fortunate that there are several guilds within a reasonable distance and opportunities to study interesting techniques.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. May 1, 2019 2:39 pm

    oh, how wonderful. If you want to start small. I know a Hitty or two that would love a Yukata…


    • May 2, 2019 8:28 am

      Kjerstin – that’s a challenge almost as big as a yukata. Would have to carve some tiny blocks, let me know what width and length fabric you need.

      Liked by 1 person

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