Monday, June 13, 2016

Fiber Fun Day

All of the last few weekends have been spent in preparation for Fiber Fun Day. 
We have been talking about doing this for months:  a day where we* all get together and dye fabric with indigo, RIT dye, and Jaquard SolarFast. The fabric could be dish towels, canvas bags, pre fab napkins, or ??? Yesterday was the appointed day and we had a BLAST! if Ah do saysomyself.  
*"We" are friends, co-workers, and everyone of us - graduates of the UArts MFA Book Arts Program in Philadelphia. 

The Prep:
Well, first I wanted new clothes. But since I am not exactly flush at the moment - the new clothes would have to be a DIY situation. And I wanted to do something of my own invention.   
But, well, hmmm... this is not exactly what I had in mind. Parts of it are okay, pocket and stuff, but it just doesn't look, well, flattering.  
I tried again, sleuthing out styles on the interwebs and cobbling my own design between what I saw and patterns (Vogue, McCalls, NewStyle, etc.) I already had. Finally after a lot of ku-fuffle, I actually came up with something I really like. 

 I decided to prepare it for some Fiber Arts Fun. 
I put a running stitch on the front - to be pulled tight for dying so that it will look like this:  
And on the back I did some circular stitching and tied some ginkgo nuts into the fabric:
so that it would look like this:

I also wanted to experiment with the Jacquard Solar Fast to see what would work well with a resist. 
Origami out of wax paper works particularly well! 

As do printed films of sunflowers:
 What to do with one's test pieces? Well, one makes bento bags.
 Jacques, of course, was an excellent Supervisor. He made sure all materials were used appropriately.

The Day of:
We started of slowly, but towards the afternoon momentum picked up. I hope I speak appropriately for all when I say, we weren't sure what to expect? We had all been doing research on techniques, but as the day before the Fiber Fun Day was horrifically hot and sweltering, all good intentions of preparing were pretty much abandoned. It is amazing how much a humid broiling environment can retard one's production. I'm just glad I was mostly prepared for our work day. 

I had already pre-washed all of the dish towels we ordered from Dharma Trading Co.

But should have spent a little more time preparing. I think I made three finished (out of 12) towels. Melanie spent her time Sunday morning doing stitching prep: 
as did Charissa with folding wax paper origami flowers:
We certainly lucked out with the weather! The day before had been that overwhelming heat/humidity that we can only have in Philadelphia. But Sunday was perfect for our Fiber Fun Day, warm and bright sun with a very strong wind all day. The sun made the Jacquard Solar Fast prints very nicely:

The shade was comfortable, and everything dried fast!
I'm not sure which was the bigger hit - indigo dying or the RIT fabric dyes. Everyone had such wonderful results:

My shibori creation looked like this at first:  
And when untied, like the blue piece in the middle. All of the other pieces are friends' creations.  
  A different variation on the same theme: 
We had an honorary guest in our ranks on Sunday as well:
Gryson seemed to have as much fun as we did. He dyed some cloth and some napkins (with Mom's help of course). 
 It was really fun to have him in there. He and Mommy made a fabulous T-shirt, which he apparently wore to school today, much to the envy of others. And wouldn't you be too!?  
What a fabulous shark shirt! 

As if all of this Fiber Fun wasn't enough, Melanie planned a surprise "birthday party" for me! 

I am a December baby with my birthday landing squarely in between the holidays. Celebrating my birthday with friends is a challenge. Not only is everyone worn out from all of the other celebrating, but they are usually with family in the four corners of the world. Melanie said she saw the opportunity to throw me a birthday party and took it! :) Charissa made this delicious pecan-something-yummy-with-strawberries-and-mascarpone-whipped-cream cake. Wow. I was also given some very special gifts including totally awesome erasers, hot sauce, lavender syrup, and a new seam ripper. You have no idea - all of these gifts are things I really love and I was so touched by everyone's thoughtfulness. 

My read on the day is that we all came away satisfied. 
Some of us more so than others, but still, I think we all learned a lot.  Plans for the next Fiber Fun Day are afoot.  

The Supervisor will be consulted:
And plans for beautiful colors will be made:


Gryson said...

Hi Tara
I am Gryson. Thank you for inviting us. We loved fabric dye. I love the pictures.

tara said...

Hi Gryson,
Thank you for your comment! I am so glad you enjoyed the day. We really enjoyed having you with us!