Workshop! Shaped-Resist Dyeing with Ecology in Mind



mill+cross 2 courtesy of Joan Morris

5 Days of shaped-resist and natural dyes in a beautiful island setting

June 10-14, 2019

Sponsored by Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network  and Botanical Colors.

Registration is through Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network.

Member discounts available.

Register and information through this link.

Internationally acclaimed textile artist Joan Morris last visited us in 2017 and we are pleased to welcome her back to teach at the BARN fiber arts studio on Bainbridge Island, a 20-minute ferry ride from Seattle.  The facility is fully equipped for textile dyeing and stitching and the studio is light-filled with ample room to spread out and work.  Joan will be leading the class and Kathy will be the class assistant.  This is a unique opportunity to learn from one of the leaders of shaped resist dyeing who has dedicated the past 35 years to this technique.  Joan shares hundreds of incredible samples to illustrate the breadth of her own work as well as examples from other cultures and her travels.

Shaped-resist dyeing is an elemental textile art that is thousands of years old. In Japan it is known as shibori*, but the techniques have been made worldwide for almost as long as dyes have been applied to textiles. While applying pressure to shaped fabrics before and during dyeing, we can create exquisite patterns of infinite variety on natural fiber textiles. Working with raw plant materials and natural dye extracts allows for the creation of a nuanced and rich color palette. The class will focus on at least 10 patterns generated through hand stitching, wrapping and bundling*. Silk, wool, linen, hemp and cotton samples produced in class will be dyed in baths we make from madder root, and organic extracts of weld, cutch, walnut, and other sustainably raised plants (and cochineal or lac extract for beautiful reds) to create patterns of timeless subtlety. An indigo vat will be on hand to imbue cellulose samples with its sublime shade of blue. We’ll safely coax our colors onto cloth using only potassium aluminum sulfate and Symplocos cochinchinensis (a tropical bio-accumulator of alum) as mordants.  Please note that this is a forum for making samples, experimenting, and making small pieces. It will not be possible to dye large yardages in this setting, but we will provide enough instruction and technique for larger production projects.

Joan will be leading the workshop and guiding participants through the stitched-resist process, resulting in at least 10 techniques sampled.  As samples are stitched and compressed, we will prepare natural dye baths and dye our fabrics.  Kathy will organize the mordant and dyeing activities and provide overview information on each dye and its preparation.  We will also have indigo vats prepared for dipping.

Class includes all materials needed for sampling.  You are welcome to bring additional scoured fabric (instructions will be sent to all registrants) and your favorite needles and scissors.

Class fee is $1320 for non-BARN members and $1020 for BARN members.  We sold out quickly the last time Joan visited, and expect to do so again this year. Please register on the BARN website.

About Joan Morris

Joan Morris began using shaped-resist dyeing in her studio practice in 1983, after many years of working with dyes, paint, and fabric.  That year also marked the beginning of her work as master-dyer for the Theater Department at Dartmouth College, where she has dyed textiles for more than eighty productions.  Her art works have been exhibited and awarded prizes nationally and internationally, and she has received grants for her work from the Asian Cultural Council, the Vermont Arts Council, the Vermont Community Foundation, the Puffin Foundation, Dartmouth College and private foundations.  Her work is in the permanent collections of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum (Smithsonian Institution) in New York, the Museum of Art at RISD, Takeda Kahei Shoten in Arimatsu, Japan, and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut.  Barney’s New York featured her one-of-a-kind shaped-resist dyed shawls and scarves in the fall-winter collections of 1990 and 1991.

In 1996 Morris completed a project for the US Army Corp of Engineers.  The five-year project involved translating four environmentally significant remote-sensed images into resist-dyed imagery using stiched, pole-wrapped, and capped resists, as well as newly invented forms.  An image from this series was selected as the cover for Memory on Cloth: Shibori Now, by Yoshiko I. Wada. In recent years, she has designed and fabricated the shaped-resist textiles for “The Lion King” on Broadway as well as for the Japan, UK-Continental Europe, Canada, South America, Australia, China, Mexico, Los Angeles, and road show productions.

 In 1995 Joan Morris began research on the incorporation of mechanical resist and precious metal application into the shaped-resist process. In 1998 she began a collaboration with fellow artist Michèle Ratté on a washable precious and base metal printing invention for textiles and other substrates. They own the United States patent for their invention. Morris continues to make work that merges dyeing, drawing and printing in her studio practice.

*The Japanese word shibori means “to compress” or “to squeeze.”  Shibori is a 1400-year-old Japanese shaped-resist dyeing process whereby cloth is shaped by stitching, folding, wrapping, or pleating, and bound into those shapes by tying or clamping.  Once dyed, the cloth visually registers the shape it was in before it is returned to flat form.  Many cultures worldwide have developed methods for shaped-resist dyeing.  The earliest extant samples are from the Chavìn culture of the Andes (c. 700-c. 200 BC).