Friday, April 11, 2014

Shibori Workshop with Carol Anne Grotrian

Last Saturday I attended a day-long shibori indigo dyeing workshop taught by indigo master Carol Anne Grotrian at the New England Quilt Museum.  Wow, what a productive and inspiring day, exhausting in that great way when you are learning and absorbing so much with ten or so fellow students and one organized, excellent teacher.  The whole experience was such a treat!

Indigo stew!

Carol Anne's sampler - wow, what inspiration! - You can see a better photo of the sampler on Carol Anne's website here.

Carol Anne taught us the artful and efficient method of creating shibori using "arashi" - pole wrapping:

Into the vats go the poles with the fabric wound and scrunched:

Another method using folded fabric and clamps of various sizes:

Resting in between dips in the indigo vats:

And back for more folding, clamping, wishing and hoping:

This would end up creating that fan-like pattern in the first photo:

To finish off, we unfolded our pieces and boiled them in a soapy bath for about 15 minutes.

Then, voila:

Fellow participants' pieces - just so beautiful - lots of ooos and aaahhhs:

So interesting how the indigo is green in the water, and for a few moments while the fabric is still wet.  It all turns to blue soon enough:

What a great learning experience!

Once my pieces dried at home, I pinned them up (with now indigo hued clothespins!) to survey my results:

This reminds me of a city street in the nighttime after a rain:

Pole wrapping created these:

How cool is this?  I can see cutting out folk arty animal shapes from this:

I love this fan - wish I'd dipped it once more for a deeper indigo:

I have definitely fallen under indigo's spell - and am thinking of the ways I might use fabric with looser weave to create my own indigo dyed pieces for sashiko.  I see an indigo vat in my future...

Linking up here with the Slow Blogger's Linky at Knotted Cotton.  It's a manageable rewarding linky!


Queeniepatch said...

All these pieces are absolutely stunning! It must be such an adventure to open up the folded pieces of fabric to see what pattern has been created.
I love that 'animal' print.

Julie Fukuda said...

When I was at my new sewing circle, two members were putting rubber bands on fabric for shibori dying. It is a going thing these days. I really think you lucked out to get to use that dye. The sample piece is just so wonderful. Now I would like to see a piece with alternate blocks of shibori and sashiko.

Nifty Quilts said...

Wonderful! Very inspiring. Have fun with your fabrics. They look great just hanging on your wall with your indigo clothespins.

Lis Harwood said...

You are now addicted to indigo for sure. Just seeing your pieces made me recall the smell of the vat when I was in Japan. All that preparation and yet the rests are still a surprise and a miracle, such beauty. You have created some lovely pieces, I look forward to seeing what you do with them.

Elizabeth's quarters said...

Beautiful work–there is something so magical, and addictive about indigo. I'm attending my second indigo workshop in a few weeks time, and want to be prepared, so your photos of how to fold and clamp the fabrics are very useful–thank you!

Catherine said...

Oh what fun! Your results are beautiful - I particularly love your second last photo. I guess that's the pole wrapping?

Fran said...

Wow, what fabulous results! Love the pole wrapped print.

Maryse said...

Most definitely interesting and the results are fantastic! Fascinating!

meli B said...

Gorgeous results. I have never tried using indigo but I sometimes do the same thing with my students using food dye and paper towels. The folding and pegs and tying is just the same. The kids have so much fun opening up the paper. Each time, you get new shouts of delight. Have fun cutting into all your beautiful new fabrics.

Pamela said...

I love blue - I want to participate in this workshop!

Sujata Shah said...


I love these indigo fabrics! I am going to have to give it a try. You have inspired me!