Monday, December 08, 2008
I've been working with the shibori'd fabric I made a couple of weeks ago, trying to integrate it with other fabrics and still have it look like my own work. Not easy. Because often the patterning is strong and geometric in a shibori'd fabric, it can take over and become a distraction or unwanted focal point. Or, if you use several of them together it can become a case of not knowing where to look first. See what I mean? So tonight, I took the pieces down, eliminated a couple, substituted others, changed the sizes and shapes of the pieces and took pictures of about 10 different versions. I may not end up with any of them. With shibori, you are dealing not only with composition and content but pattern-within-pattern. I find this is the case with other hand-printed fabrics, too -- sometimes it is hard to figure out how to use them so they work with others we've printed, or with commercial fabrics. This doesn't work either...I'm still moving fabrics around. Somehow, using hand-prints is more of a challenge than using all commercial fabrics, which we can pick out in the store to and buy specifically to work with each other or to work with something we know we already have. Not as easy when you're printing randomly. On the other hand, there is such a thing as printing with intent. Have you ever been in the middle of making something and you just need one or two more fabrics to complete the piece? I have, many times. So I stop and print something I think will be the missing link. Sometimes it is, sometimes, not, and I have to try again. Do you have the same problem? This is the first piece I can remember having made in which I stopped what I was doing to print fabric so I could finish the quilt. My quilt, Journey, started in 2000 in an open studio at QBL. I combined a couple of hand-dyes, Lonni Rossi's original screened fabrics (she didn't have a commercial line then), Indian batiks from Handloom Batik, and images from family photos and documents. But something was missing. If you click on the quilt and go to the lower left, you'll get a close-up of the simple fabric I stamped and made marks on that ended up being just what it needed. It was printed with intent and was the beginning, for me, of creating my own cloth. I would love to hear your stories and see some images of what you've printed with intent - to fill in the blanks or go with something you already had. Or, let's talk about the challenges of making fabrics work together - what is your experience?
at 10:16 PM