The Dyeing Process

 

 

My studio is in the forest by a mountain and sometimes I have seen bobcats play in the snow outside the big windows. Inside there is a wet area where pots of dyes, sinks and puddles of colors mixing randomly on the floor. The silks sit waiting to come alive with color. The silk is pre-sewn with a silk thread hem so it is ready for dyeing. I have on an outfit of old stained clothes, gloves and an apron. There is a sufi saying "Die before you die." And dyeing lends itself to practicing this regularly in an indirect way.

 

Dip Dyeing is a simple technique of dipping the silk in color to produce patterns, blends and ombre effects. Its a very quick way of seeing how colors relate to each other whether they complement or repel. 

I have seen colors appear that have an aura, a charisma and are magnetic. They often sell immediately. Other colors seem ordinary until someone appears and the relation between the person and the color is so striking. One woman in Spain found amongst my silk veils found a periwinkle and when she wrapped it around her she became almost luminous. This kind of magic with color often happens.

 

Dancing with the silks has given me a lot of insight into how the colors move, how the colors are affected by the atmosphere, the colors of the room, the humidity in the room. In the workshops I have seen over 80 people dancing with the silk veils and I see how the weight of the silks change the way people can dance with them.

Often when you travel through cities you don't see that much color, especially in the Northern Hemisphere in winter. The joy of entering a room filled with happy music, flowing silks of vibrant colors and people just moving how they feel is immediate. These impressions influence the color palette I choose when I work with the silks. Bringing in vibrant unusual colors give a lift to the overwhelming presence of grey or black or primary colors. 

All this inspires the intuitive choice of depth and tones and mixes I use. I don't use recipes or measurements as I like to avoid redoing colors. Though I have colors that are always available I have a lot of opportunity to keep experimenting and creating new combinations.