Usually when we hear the word shibori, we think of dyeing. Shibori dyeing come from the Japanese term for several methods of resist dyeing using binding or tying, stitching, folding, twisting, compressing it, or capping to create patterns.
|‘Fall Birch Scene’ (detail) by Holly McLean.|
Shibori methods are often used to create a pattern of lines. Inspired by shibori and a photo of trees, fiber artist Holly McLean decided to create a shibori-style design using fabric paint, string, and a corrugated can. In the April/May issue of Quilting Arts Magazine, Holly shows how easy it is to create a foundation fabric for further painting.
“I take my camera on walks and I find myself examining the woods and sky with wonder, always looking for a new detail or color that I did not see before. I use these photos as reference for my fabric and often make quick sketches to capture the essence of a scene,” writes Holly. “When painting fabric, I don’t strive for perfect realism or to recreate my sketches or photographs, but I do try to create depth and texture that is visible in nature.”
Here is a summary of her technique for painting a shibori forest.
1. Cover your work space with painter’s plastic or a drop cloth and assemble all the paint and painting supplies. Iron the fabric to remove any creases. Choose any fabric you feel would make a compelling background for a group of trees.
|Painting the string-wrapped fabric.
(Photo by Holly McLean)
2. Wrap the fabric snugly around the can, pushing it toward the bottom end. Wrap the cotton string around the fabric to hold it in place, leaving bits of fabric visible between the string. (Figure 1) Once you’ve wrapped and pushed all the fabric onto the can, tie the end of the string to hold it in place.
3. Apply the paint to the fabric using a foam brush. Hold the brush lightly in your hand parallel to the folds and apply the paint. Try a variety of techniques to create different shaped trees. Light brush strokes over small tight folds produces thin lines suitable for small or background trees. Painting over small tight folds in the fabric will also produce smaller trees.
4. Remove the fabric from the can and dry it flat overnight. Protect the dried fabric with a pressing cloth and set the paint with a hot iron.
|The fabric after painting.
(Photo by Holly McLean)
At this point you can add more painting and other surface design techniques before stitching.
The April/May 2013 issue of Quilting Arts features more surface design techniques for fiber art, including using tsukineko inks with colored newspaper transfer by Jeannie Palmer Moore, painting with torn paper and stitch by Connie Marie Fahrion, and sketching with watercolor paints by Sue Bleiweiss, plus stitching techniques, interviews, and galleries of inspiration. Instantly download your copy today.
P.S. Would you try shibori style painting? Leave a comment below.