Special pieces for San Francisco

3 August 2006

We packaged our stuff for the San Francisco ACC show, they will pick it up tomorrow and hopefully everything-booth, stock, lighting, packaging, office stuff- will be there when I arrive next Thurs, the 10th. I can set up and be ready to serve you all on Fri., 11 Aug. in booth 505 in the Festival Pavillion (a new building for me).
We make many special pieces, mostly in the larger styles, such as opera shawls, opera shawl and feather sets and wraps. To make these pieces more complex extra shibori dyeings are added before the final arashi shibori process, sometimes capped shibori other times stitched or white shadow shibori.
There are two reasons why I only do this on these larger styles. First I need a large space on the silk to make a bold design that will show after the arashi shibori is done. Littler designs just get lost in the pleats and color varations. Second these are time consuming steps that carry a fair amount of risk. It is quite common for the delicate silk to be damaged in the capping process, and then we have to discard that piece. Anyhow this adds considerable cost to these pieces and only the largest ones can absorb that price increase.
Lets talk about opera shawls. These are large pieces, 6′ x 7.5′ or rug size, to start with, much smaller after it is pleated. It is a large rectangle with an opening about half way down the center lengthwise, giving it a ruana shape.
It is called an opera shawl because an old friend of mine was going to the Santa Fe Opera and liked my shawls but didn’t think they were quite grand enough for the occasion? Could I make her something grand, appropriate for the Santa Fe Opera. Thus the opera shawl was convieved. Spirit of the Earth in Santa Fe still carries quite a few.
There are basically two ways, and a thousand varations, to wear the opera shawl. You can ignore the slit and treat it as a large rectangle to wrap as a shawl. Or you can use the slit to get your head to the center of the rectangle, this way it covers you all the way to the floor, like so.
os back.jpg
There are two classes of opera shawls, opera shawl 1 and 2 (inventive names, I know). The opera shawl 1’s are all just a colorway like our other pieces. The opera shawl 2’s have the extra dyeings and are more costly. Here is a photo, without the distraction of a model, of an opera shawl 2 inspired by the patterns on the wings of a Creole Pearly Eye butterfly. This had stitched, capped and white shadow shibori to create the eyes and lines.
os2.creole pearly eye.jpg
Now finding the right person for these special opera shawls 2 is a bit like arranging a marriage; they can both be willing but the chemistry has to be there. I have more of these special opera shawls than I can take with me to San Francisco, so I thought I’d show you some snapshots of what I’m taking and if you want something different I can tuck some other ones in my suitcase next week.
Here is one with with beautifully placed capped shibori.
The base color is a delicate celdon green, then it was capped and a cyclamen, a rosy coral, was added. You can see the wonderful diffuse edges charateristic of shibori.
The next one has two base colors a steel grey and taupe, then black was added in another step involving bound and capped shibori.
This is the same piece shown in the first photo in this entry. Here are two others, that just have capped borders of the darker color at the bottom. The first is a bright yellow green, we call green tea, with an inky blue. The second is a mid-value water blue called thistle blue (like one thistle flower) with a vibrant cobalt blue.
thistle-cobalt blue.jpg
Now I have more. If you are interested, suggest a color range and I can post pictures and/or take some more with me. Leave a request in the comments or email me.
I’ll do the special sets and wraps in separate entries.
If you have ever looked at a row of televisions in an airplane and noticed how each is a different color you have noted how reliable the color is on your monitor. I have no idea what color you are seeing. One time I recieved a color of the week from Pantone, labelled Moroccan Orange and I was looking at an olive green! You must see these pieces in person to know the color.


2 Responses to “Special pieces for San Francisco”

  1. swanknitter Says:

    Wow. Your work is outstanding and I feel very humble. Gorgeous designs and colours. So impressed to see these techniques in “real life” and not in a book.


  2. Karren Says:

    The blog-readers who come to my booth comment that they are much more interesting in person that in pictures. The way the scarves drape, feel and the color changes are impossible to capture in a photo. So I guess you still have something to aspire to. I’m glad the blog adds another dimension to the work.


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