gurdymonkey: (Default)
Since it's not a bad distance away, I drove over to Dharma Trading in San Rafael this morning as I needed some gold paint and some dye for my Twelfth Night projects. My genius idea of using a commercial resist on the silk jacquard isn't going to work because the resists are designed to work with paint-on dyes. No biggie and I'm glad I got to find out about it before I tried it and had it not work.  I may simply "reserve" the roundels on the karaginu in white by using thinned white paint for a subtle, washy effect. I also found out that they're hosting a workshop on indigo dyeing with Yoshiko Wada, Sunday 11/13. If I day-trip Cynagua Mists War, I could do that. (Indigo dyeing is just not gonna happen at the 2065 Club because I do not have the space to do it for real, but I'd be interested to go and maybe ask Ms. Wada to sign my copy of her shibori book.)  EDIT: I just called to register and the lady at Dharma said they may have to change the date, so she's supposed to call me back once she knows. I'll share the info in case anyone else local is interested.

Hit Black Oak Books on my way back south - while not as disorganized as it was when it first opened, it's still not terribly organized (WHAT, I ask you are The Canterbury Tales doing in the Mythology/Folklore section?). That said, I found a nice little hardcover book on Gagaku from the 1970s with lots of photos of costumes, musical instruments and so forth and a lovely poetry anthology from Shambhala Press called Only Companion: Japanese Poems of Love and Longing.  Why yes, I did take the opportunity to mention it on the Tousando. Why no, I did not scan a minimum of 20 pages out of it and gush about it being a must for one's collection. But that's just me. I will, however, repeat the Izumi Shikibu quote here because it's so evocative.

My black hair tangled
As my own tangled thoughts,
I lie here alone,
Dreaming of one who has gone,
Who stroked my hair till it shone.

And then there's this gem by Socho:

Now what can I do?
My writing hand in a cast
Is useless--
Can't manipulate chopsticks,
Can't even wipe my ass!

Now for a bite of lunch, then I should work on my class notes for a bit.
gurdymonkey: (pretties)

The roundels are a bit random as I was experimenting with number of concentric rings of stitching and stitch size. Still not mad about the texture of silk noil, but it worked well enough for an experimental piece.

Just gotta get it pleated onto a waistband now. This is gonna be cute!
gurdymonkey: (Default)
Three rows have been stitched and tied off. I probably made more work for myself doing it the way I did.

I attempted another ombre "dip dye" on the stovetop, which is a pain in the backside, given that I'm working out of a very tall tamale pot. I managed to lift the fabric back out and get it over a plastic bucket quickly, get the fabric on a couple of skirt hangers and run all of it out of the kitchen, through the living room, out the front hallway and onto our wooden backstairs fire escape where it is presently dripping into said bucket.
Now we wait......
gurdymonkey: (Default)
Because [ profile] broider_barones asked.

Photo below shows the first row of half circles stitched along a fold. The bottom edge is folded so the next row can be stitched.

How do I get my half-circles so even? I cheat!  I cut a circle of the desired size out of heavy paper, folded it in half and I hold it on the folded edge of the fabric as I do the outermost line of stitching, then simply work my way in.

I'm also doing it slightly differently than how it is depicted in Wada. shows continuous rows of stitching for each concentric ring. Yes, I'll have more stuff to tie off, but I'm curious to see whether it makes a difference in the final pattern. I want my circles farther apart in each row and that's an awful lot of loose thread to leave hanging to get tangled in.
gurdymonkey: (pissed)
Having received an invitation to a somewhat dressy event in the near future, I went out last night to look at cocktail dresses. Everything I tried on was hideous and/or made me look like a whale - and dammit, I just LOST ten pounds. Black doesn't do anything except make me look OLD.  Bubble hems look retarded on anyone who is not nineteen. And what's up with all this babydoll nonsense? F*** you, Arbiters of Fashion. I found one dress that I didn't hate - but I didn't love it enough to buy it either.

This is me flipping you and your anorexic scarecrows off. Yes, that is my ample backside with hand dyed horizontal stripes blazoned across it.

Then I remembered I'd made a dress awhile back. Silvery gray Chinese brocade with spider chrysanthemums on it. It needs to be taken in along the side seams now (go me!) and maybe I could do something a little different with the neckline, but it's flattering and PRETTY, and I will not look like a hag in it.


Feb. 7th, 2009 07:15 pm
gurdymonkey: (easy)
Remember when I said "Randomness is good?" 

Well, it's random, all right. Despite my best efforts, I had some trouble getting enough tension on the threads in some spots. And that much fabric under that much tension in that many places meant that no matter how much stirring I did, some of the places that were meant to dye evenly didn't.
At least the color is evocative of red plum blossoms. Too bad I don't have any thread in the house that's close to it. Hems and edges will have to wait, so I'm finishing seams and so forth this evening.

It's not a failure, exactly, but - oh, hell, I don't know. Maybe when all the pieces are put together....

Going back downstairs to continue the slog and enjoy the Chinese New Year Parade broadcast. Who doesn't love shitloads of firecrackers and cute little kids dressed as oxen?

EDIT: Ran downstairs and double checked - those "blotches" at the bottom of the first photo appear to be artefacts from the flash and the dye there is fine. However the pale vertical bands above the top stripe are spots where the gathering prevented the dye from saturating as well as it could've. Hopefully it won't be too noticeable when worn.

gurdymonkey: (pretties)

No, that's not a smocked chemise. That's a kosode. Remember this?

The running stitches have been pulled tight and tied off. Water is heating and it's going into a dyebath shortly.

gurdymonkey: (pretties)
From  This is a nice example of mokume-shibori. Those lines of running stitch are drawn tight, the fabric is dyed, and the result is a wood-grain-like pattern.

Some of you may recall that mokume-shibori was the one effect that I got to work successfully on my first attempt. Besides, I think it's darned pretty.

I spent a big chunk of today stitching six inch-wide "stripes" of randomly arranged lines of parallel running stitch 34 inches across. Each stripe has five courses of stitches. 6 x 5 x 34 = 1020 inches. Or more than 28 yards of stitching. By hand. Which is not even close to halfway there.

Layout has been assisted somewhat by putting down strips of masking tape on the silk to delineate the edge of each stripe. I stitched down the edge of the tape strips, then pulled up the tape and began filling in the stripe stitching as shown in the photo below. Randomness is good. Randomness will add to the beauty of the final pattern. (The question is whether I will have generated enough randomness to pop it into a dyepot by next weekend so that I can swan around Estrella in it?)

This should make [ profile] trystan  feel much better.
gurdymonkey: (pretties)
Half naked dancing fertility goddess behind cut )So disgusted with the mounting job that I am saving the study sketches for a do-over sometime in the future.

The textiles entry was my shibori sampler.

Left: Square dots which should have been much smaller ROUND dots.
Center: "Mokume" wood grain effect. (This came out really well and I'm envisioning a kosode with mokume stripes, perhaps for spring....)
Bottom right: The leaky mitsutomoe - you can sorta see the three wave shapes, but this was the tsujigahana section where the capping material failed.

Ballistics entry, a fustibalus or staff sling. It's a stick - with a sling on the end.

Research paper entry topic, emaki (Japanese picture scrolls).

Instrumental performance, "Asahi," an original composition for solo taiko, incorporating phrases from bugaku and traditional folk taiko.

I may eventually load all this stuff onto Wodeford Hall, but it's not happening this week.

gurdymonkey: (easy)
It's dry, the verdict is in.

Despite what the book said, I got better results with cheap polyester/cotton thread than with pure cotton - I tried both, out of curiosity.

The wood-grain effect looks right, if a bit subtle. I'd like to try it with the poly thread.

What I was hoping would be kanoko has resulted in a bunch of square rings, which came out quite nicely, but weren't what I was shooting for. (How the hell do they get such small dots? YEARS of practice.) I tried using a teeny bamboo knitting needle to help pinch points in the fabric (a linen/rayon remnant) and it poked right through. I suspect this would not be an issue if I were doing this with a nice, tight weave habotai, and I might even be able to get smaller dots as a result.

The tsujigahana is murky, probably because I didn't plug/cap it snugly enough. That one of the pieces of tape came off in my hand right out of the dye bath tells me that the dye bath may have been too warm for the adhesive. Maybe tape it and tie it off over the tape just to be sure? 

How I got a rust stain on it, I cannot figure out....

Disappointed? Hell yeah. Skill level 2, ambition level 9.5, baby, all the way. Set that bar high enough to crash into.

Sigh. Well, winter IS coming.

gurdymonkey: (Default)
The shibori sampler is hanging in the shower. I won't know whether it worked or not until it is dry enough to pull out the threads, remove the tape and plugs. I am not encouraged by the fact that one piece of tape fell off on the trip from the kitchen to the bathroom.

Frustrating? YES. Tying knots for kanoko was an exercise all on its own, especially since I'd try to do it the way it is in the book and end up pulling the previous knots out....  I can only wait and see if the method I worked out produces the desired result.

In the meantime, working backwards, I have put together the bibliography/webography and about two double spaced pages so far on the research paper. (I have two books I can't cite simply because they are in Japanese and  one is a museum catalogue with no ISBN number and the other is a museum publication with an ISBN number that I was unable to trace by searching on the internet. The good news is that there's a significant amount of digitized art on the internet that I CAN provide citations for.  And no, I'm still not telling what it's about yet.

EDIT: When is a 14 page paper "less than 10 pages"? When it includes a two page bibliography and a five page appendix of illustrations. Time to put it away for awhile. I'll proof it tomorrow evening. Food would be good about now.....


gurdymonkey: (pretties) shows two of the three techniques I'd like to incorporate in my "sampler."

At this point, I have outlined three mitsu tomoe roundels outlined with running stitch. These will be plugged (with chunks of balsa)  and capped (probably with pieces of plastic and tape) in the technique called tsujigahana,* used for reserving larger sections from dye. Draw the thread like a drawstring, until the shape is snug against the plug, then wrap it in capping material.  I'd also like to outline the roundels with some of the kanoko "dots" - and then maybe try some of the mokume (wood-grain) technique to border each end. 

The wood-grain style simply involves rows of running stitch, almost like you do when you're cartridge pleating, then the stitch lines are pulled tight into an uneven accordion and dyed. It should look like this:

I expect the kanoko to be the biggest pain in the backside, at least until I get the hang of knotting the thread properly..... 

It occurs to me this is like embroidery, embroidery you painstakingly put in and then rip out after it gets dyed. Do I really have the resolve to do this to an entire garment? Let's see if I survive the sampler first.

Hopefully the contractors who are ripping the wooden siding off the house next door will have left me some place close to the house to park so I can pack the truck without having to worry about being hit by a car. I'm off to Fresno tomorrow after work to attend the Celtic Games with the Free Artillerie Company. It'll be good to see Captain Shinn and whoever else makes it down. Nice folks, 17th century firearms, hurdy gurdy duels, it's all good. (Wonder if Lucky's still has block ice. I could swear I saw some last week.)

*Note to [ profile] elmunadi , I found the Tokugawa garment in the back of my shibori book after last week's video post.
gurdymonkey: (pretties)

Tsujigahana, to the uninitiated, is a tie-dye technique that became popular in Japan in the 15th and 16th centuries. Given that I don't speak Japanese, I think the garment shown in the beginning of the video  belonged to Tokugawa Ieyasu, making it late 16th-early 17th century. The plugs inserted inside the reserved areas help keep the dye out of them. In period, the reserved areas would have been capped with bits of bamboo instead of Scotch tape. 

Scroll down here to see a 16th century fragment from a tsujigahana garment which combines large reserved areas as shown in the video, kanoko (fawn spot) shibori, and even detail painting with black ink.


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