This year, we are teaching BOTH mandala shibori AND itajime techniques in a three-day course. Mandalas basically being circular patterns which display different magnitudes of symmetry. Itajime shibori is an ancient japanese technique, but I initially approached it for a different reason. For me, the initial attraction was the fact that it is also repeated mandalas, if you look at it that way. And also the fact that Japanese width fabric lends itself so perfectly to such a technique!
Today, I completed this panel which combines both techniques in one work. The central mandala is 6 points in the middle, doubling to 12 points partway thru. Anybody who knows me and my work knows I love and prefer 6 and variables thereof, like 12 and 24. Six is displayed in nature in crystals of ice, and elsewhere, and the 12-point mandala surrounded by six-pointers seen in the itajime pattern (hard to make out clearly with this one, too many colors) is a basic representation of the structure within certain energy flow models. Sacred geometry, baby!
Granted, our first pieces don’t have to go the full nine-yards like this one did. We will learn and practice on both silk and cotton, steadily and repetitively over the three days. You will certainly get the practice needed to retain the technique, so you you can take it with you and make it your own! : ) Everybody should dye mandalas!! It’s too fun!We are still looking for more students, so if you think you are interested, get in touch! : )
There’s the link below.
Tried to make this 12 point out to 24 point mandala work. I had this super thin, super fine fabric which I had wanted to try for a while. Tied up a mandala yesterday and went for it. This is what I got. Kind of not what I had hoped for, a fail , in my eyes. Dye penetration sucks. Yeah, I ain’t gonna throw it away but….
First lesson: sometimes you push too hard and don’t get it exactly right.
One thing I found kinda ironic , though. The part which constitutes the fail, the areas of lighter color throughout the mandala, which radiate out from the center, actually look interesting , in a way, like light shining thru the mandala. Basically, the fail is the success….
Friend came to visit and brought me 4 new bundles of cotton tubeknit fabrics yesterday. He works inthe industry and frequently comes across discarded material…Four new cotton tubeknits!! How am I to be expected to concentrate??! Got an exhibition starting in five days….better concentrate…
This is a test mandala on one of the fabrics–a really thick jersey-like knit, not much stretch….
Dyein’ stuff blue,
Seemed like the thing to do.
An old honeycomb, some bark, fiber from wood,
Heck, I’d dye you blue, too, if only I could….