Bali Reminiscing....

Collecting research for a Tropical Holidays collection means looking at photos from our honeymoon in Bali, Indonesia, what great inspiration! Sunrise to sunset on this magical Hindu island.... 

Honeycomb Shibori Tutorial

The Honeycomb shibori pattern is pure magic! It is also quite simple to execute, making it a great beginner pattern. I will walk you through it with photos and step by step instructions, you got this! 

Step one: Collect supplies needed

* 5 gallon bucket and lid from hardware store, or some type of large dye vat capable of holding around 4-5 gallons of liquid, you will also want a lid

*  Natural fiber textiles, meaning cotton, hemp, lenin, silk, bamboo, some rayon fabrics, I recommend Dharma Trading Company or supporting your local fabric store. You may want to wash the fabric first in the washing machine, to remove dust and sizing. 

*  Indigo dye kit from Jacquard which can be purchased on Amazon, Dharma Trading CO,  or sometimes I find them at my local Arts Store, shout out to Artist&Craftsman!   see photo above for a great photo. This kit contains a small starter pack for indigo dyeing designed for a 5 gallon dye vat. 

*  You will also want a great pair of utility or dish gloves that you don't mind turning blue, some scissors, and depending on how many you make, different sizes of cord, rope, whatever you can find! 

Step two: Design Pattern: Determine width of fabric and begin to roll on the cord

* As you can see there are lots of photos documenting this step, but it is easy, especially after trying this a few times. Important things to note:

  1. Make sure the rope is longer than the width of your fabric, I am making really small                   samples, the fabric can be really wide if you have long rope and strength to squash it down. 

2. You can fold the fabric in half either direction, to make a mirrored effect of the pattern. Or you can try rolling the fabric diagonally on the rope. Or you can roll from end to end. The pattern will pretty much always make a blue color gradient with the lightest part of the pattern being on the inside, where you being rolling the fabric, and the darker part being on the outside. 

3. You want to roll the fabric evenly across and you don't want to do it too tight, otherwise the next step can be challenging, especially if you have lots of fabric

Step Three: Squash the Fabric

*  Once the fabric has been rolled all the way up the rope, you will push the fabric on both ends of the rope until it is squashed together.  This squashing/bunching action is what creates the honeycomb pattern on the rope. 

* When the fabric is pushed down tight on both sides (sometimes I have someone help me do this if there is lots of fabric rolled up) You will tie off the rope with a simple double knot, keeping everything in place, and you are ready to dye!

* Note that there will be a little "tail" of the fabric sticking out at the end, this usually isn't too much of a problem because it adds to the ombre gradient created in the piece. If you feel like not enough was tucked in at the end, restart, every time you roll the fabric you will get better!

Step Four: The dyeing process

*  Indigo has a very unique dyeing process, because it is a natural dye, there is a chemical reaction involved with the oxygen in the air, which turns the fabric blue. You obtain darker richer shades of blue by continually dipping the fabric in the vat and letting it oxidize over time and then redipping. There are excellent instructions in the dye kit. Keep in mind that it is possible to dye fabrics over several days, leaving your fabrics out and the dye vat covered. However, the dye will be strongest the first few days. 

* You might want to do this outside, on a patio, or in a local park.  If you do this inside you will want to have lots of plastic sheeting underneath for stray splashes and drips that always happen. Also you might want some type of storage container to rest your piece in as it oxidizes, something to catch all the excess dye. 

* Also it is important to flip your pieces over as they oxidize, you will see they are green/teal where the air is not getting to the fabric. After 20-30 minutes dip again

*  What I tell my students all the time, is the most deceiving thing about this process is how dark blue the fabric looks when you are in the middle of dyeing the fabric, but this is because the fabric hasn't been washed/rinsed and dried. After the fabric dries it will be much lighter than you realize. Therefore, it is important to have patience with this process and dip the fabric as much as you can. (The dips are only 5 minutes, the time in between can be 25+ minutes) Sometimes I set this up and dip fabrics throughout the day or over a few days)

Step Five: The reveal

* Now for the most exciting part! The unraveling! When you are sure you have dipped your fabric enough, you can unwind the fabric from the rope. 

* As you can see in the photos below, the fabric will be that light teal/greenish color that we started out with, this is normal! The oxygen hasn't been able to penetrate this part of the fabric, overtime the whole fabric will oxidize and the piece will change right before your eyes!

* Keep in mind the white will stay white, the teal will turn lighter blue, the already oxidized blue will be the darkest part. 

* Hang your fabric to oxidize and dry, when the whole piece is blue and white you can rinse the fabric in cool water until the water turns clean. Then you can hand wash with mild soap and more dye will come out again, wash and rinse until the water runs clear again, hang to dry and you are ready to wear your new garments or sew a new project!

 

Those Leggings!

They are in stock! Leggings digitally printed with my pattern are available on Society6 check it out and get a pair this weekend, they are having a Labor Day Sale!!!! They are super comfortable with a mosaic/kaleidoscope effect and the hidden yogi poses change direction, so when you are inverted the bottoms of the leggings will be in the right direction. Pretty fun and so unique! These are inspired by Mosaic Studios, here is San Diego, if you live in the area it is a MUST check out yoga spot. They also have a spot in Charlottesville. Have a great holiday weekend!

 

That's a wrap!

I have just returned to San Diego from 9 weeks in northern Michigan where I have been directing a summer art program for children and teaching workshops for adults. It is always a refreshing change to work with kids and hear their funny stories and witness their endless imagination. 

Student work

Showing of the impressive work from my summer workshops for adults, taught at a Chautauqua in northern Michigan, called Bay View. Introduction to printmaking and indigo dyeing were very popular classes this summer and my students were wonderful!  

 Indigo drying on the line  

Indigo drying on the line  

 A students first Monoprint, complete with a rainbow roll and added texture. A big success!  

A students first Monoprint, complete with a rainbow roll and added texture. A big success!  

 This student already sewed a jacket from her indigo fabric.  

This student already sewed a jacket from her indigo fabric.  

 Hand printed greeting cards  

Hand printed greeting cards  

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More monoprints!  

Textile Photo Shoot

Taking advantage of the beautiful summer light, I took photos of some digital and handprinted textiles outside last week. Here are some past and future collections in the works. The digitally printed fabrics were printed through Spoonflower. If you have never heard of them be sure to check them out for all your digital fabric and wallpaper printing needs!

Summer is coming oh so fast!

A little pool inspiration for your post Memorial Day week. The time of sunshine, so much good fruit, swimming, and extra long days-My favorite season!  

 

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After Dark V in Taos New Mexico

Excited to be exhibiting once again in the fifth annual After Dark V in Taos, New Mexico at the Greg Moon Art Gallery. The exhibition will run from June 4th- June 25th with an opening reception June 4th from 5-6pm. If you are in the Taos area stop by and check out this fascinating selection of artwork! Pterodactyl Mosquitos will be hanging, a monoprint made with the screen printing process. While, the colors are vibrant, the subject matter is quite frightening. Enjoy!

New Pants in the works

I little behind the scenes design post for this Tuesday afternoon. Excited to be designing these yoga pants inspired by my yoga studio here in San Diego, Mosaic, aka the best place to practice yoga ever!!! This pattern was made from piecing together many yoga poses and creating a mosaic pattern of asanas that are not noticed at first. Can't wait to see them moving on the body as well! 

Spring art workshops in San Diego

Have you been wanting to be more creative and mix things up? Now is the chance with some spring workshops here in San Diego! 

Introduction to printmaking

at Bravo School of Art in Point Loma           April 17 10-4pm    &   May 2nd 10-3pm

 

Indigo workshops at Bravo School of Art              April 25 from 5-9pm

and The Athenaeum in La Jolla                               May 1st from 10-2pm

Happy Spring

Happy Spring everyone! A new season is invigorating, I think it causes everyone to take a step back and evaluate their surroundings....Calling us to organize and prioritize and as Voltaire said.... "To cultivate our garden" 

For me this means developing a new website!!!! It's in the works and will be launching soon. 

Frozen Fire

New pattern in the works! Playing with hand made marbled papers and photoshop repeats! Can you feel the energy passing through this print.....



Blue on blue

Indigo dyed on petite blue flower printed quilting fabric. Titled "You're my blue eyed girl"

 

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New mono print

Made with a Gelli Plate, this is a West Coast inspired mono print. Even without the pressure of a printing press the Gelli Plate is capable of printing delicate textures and exquisite marks. It is quite easy to make your own gelatin printing plate, however I recommend purchasing a real one if you love mono printing, they are worth the investment! Gelliarts.com

1/1                                                    "Left Coast Lines"                                             Amanda Rouse

Good old fashioned tie dye!

I recently taught a tie dye workshop that was tons of fun! We used the tulip brand dyes and some shibori folding techniques to create unique colorful patterns on cotton, canvas, and silk.  

 

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Beach inspiration

There is nothing like a long walk on the beach to make you feel rejuvenated and inspired. Here is some texture inspiration from La Jolla Shores..... 

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Exploring Oregon!

This MLK weekend we explored some of the northern west coast around the Oregon coast and Portland! What an amazingly beautiful place in this country, like nothing I ever visited before. Green is definitely the color for this region of the US. Since it was January, it was extra wet and rainy. I enjoyed the contrasting weather from the southern west coast here in sunny San Diego. We drove to Cannon Beach, went horseback riding, walked 25+ miles around Portland, and visited across the river in Vancouver, Washington. Portland is an artist and designer's dream land, I have never been to a city with so many local creative stores! Keep up the good work Portland!