Thursday, October 2, 2008

shibori mixed media

For several years now I have been experimenting with mixing my textile design styles and methods in an effort to give the fabric a sense of transparency and depth.

 My training in screen printing and lithography required a high number of runs to get depth and satisfying three dimensionality. Those printmaking processes did not lend themselves easily to surface design work on a textural surface such as linen, wool, silks and other woven fabrics.

Over the years I have experimented with different ordering in the steps of the process
e.g. first dying the base color, then printing or free hand mono screening/open screening , then perhaps another a dye bath, using a shibori technique, often a lift off dye bath and then perhaps a reapplication of screen or surface design. 
If you mix this up it is bound to be a different depth visually and sometimes you gain when you don't lose.

The excitement for me is really being in the moment of the spontaneity that each process can offer. Then with good fortune I just manipulate and cross a few fingers that the next stage will give me more nuance and beguiling surprises.

These methods are all time consuming and as I work often with a 5 meter stretch of fabric, it can be quite costly if I lose images or even the very fiber structure of the cloth in the process. For years I had a crisper yet more one dimensional style. It often gave my work an Asiatic appearance.  I depended strongly on the use of negative space to enhance the simple yet strong forms that came from my  screening and painting styles. I am still encouraged to not loose sight of the importance in maintaining strong negative space and balance in bold abstract imagery. It is taking some time and patience but the process is inspiring and joyful. 

I hope I can meet with some of you and discuss these techniques at either the trunk show in Paris or during my 3 week exhibit at La Loge de la Concierge...


DeusXMachina said...

Dear Ms. Mackey,
I have been following your blog with some interest for the past couple of days. It seems as though you incorporate a great variety of styles and artistic traditions when creating any single piece of artwork. This discussion of "shibori" only being the latest such example. I am impressed.
You mentioned that you will be doing a trunk show in Paris in a few weeks, will you be offering for sale any of your shibori works at that time, or will you just be available to discuss the technique? I would love to see them in person, and add to my growing collection of unique and handcrafted textiles if possible. Are you applying the shibori technique to any of your clothing items (such as scarves)? I sincerely hope so, since wearable art and fashion are both passions of mine.

Jennifer said...

Good morning Deusxmachina,
Terrific to receive your inquiry. Indeed I will be selling scarves and some uncut silk shibori pieces at the Paris trunk show. My apologies for not making this clearer. Are there specific sizes that you prefer to acquire?
I have some very new shibori/mixed technique designs that are in process just now and hope to finish them this week if time allows.
With the stitch resist pieces I usually produce smaller works as it allows more control in my studio environment / stitching capabilities.
I can certainly tell you about any techniques I use when we meet in Paris.
Thank you for getting in touch.