5 Days of shaped-resist and natural dyes in a beautiful setting
31 July – 4 August, 2017
Dumas Bay Centre, near Seattle, WA
Internationally acclaimed textile artist Joan Morris last visited us in 2015 and we are pleased to welcome her back to teach at Dumas Bay Centre in Federal Way.
Shaped-resist dyeing is an elemental textile art that is thousands of years old. In Japan it’s known as shibori, but it has 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 coreopsis, madder, weld, and other sustainably raised plants (and cochineal or lac extract for beautiful reds) to create patterns of timeless subtlety. We’ll safely coax our colors onto cloth using only potassium aluminum sulfate and Symplocos racemosa (a tropical bio-accumulator of alum) as mordants. This class is for beginners and beyond. For those with prior experience, feel free to bring images of your work (or actual pieces) if you’d like to engage in dialogue about possible directions your work might take. 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.
How the workshop is organized
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 dyeing activities and provide overview information on each dye and its preparation. We will also have two different indigo vats ready for dipping. As an added bonus, if our crop is ready we will also prepare a fresh-leaf indigo vat for silk.
About Dumas Bay Centre
Dumas Bay Centre is set on 12 acres with beautiful views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains about 9 miles south of SeaTac International Airport. The guest rooms are quiet and comfortable with private baths and shared shower rooms. We meet and dine in the Osprey room, an airy meeting room overlooking the great meadow with patio access. With no telephones or televisions, the rooms are distraction-free and WIFI is provided throughout the building. Meal service is prepared on site, using simple quality ingredients, locally sourced, when possible. Our group will have the Osprey conference room dedicated for both daytime and evening activities, and access to the Art Room during the day. Depending on the weather, which should be glorious, we may also stitch under the massive oak and maple trees, or down by the Puget Sound shore. Breakfast, lunch and most dinners are part of the conference package and wine is included. As a special event, we will carpool to a renowned Seattle restaurant one evening and enjoy regional specialties.
$1495 includes 4 nights lodging (single room, twin-sized beds) with private toilet, shared shower facilities, all meals and daily coffee service. Lunch and dinner will be offered on Monday, and breakfast and lunch will be offered on Friday. Five days of class sessions (Monday-Friday), including optional evening labs (Tuesday-Thursday) and possible excursions, depending on the group’s interest. All class materials, including a linen-bound natural dye journal, are included.
What to bring
We encourage you to bring examples of your work. A short materials list (needle, scissors, tracing pen) will be sent to you after registration.
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 (Kodansha International, 2002). Morris’s paper on the translation project was presented at the International Textile and Science Conference in the Czech Republic. A paper on the diffusion of shaped-resist dye methods was delivered at the 3rd International Textile Symposium in the Republic of Georgia in 2001, and her work in the field of textile modification for theater has been presented internationally. Joan Morris has been a panelist and invited artist at the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th International Shibori Symposia in India, Chile, England, and Japan, and was an invited artist in the Kimono Project at ISS ’92, in Nagoya, Japan. 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).