A number of new suminagashi marbled scarves are now available in the shop! Many of these received experimental techniques in their creation, resulting in an unusual array of form and line quality. The scarves are printed on a diaphanous silk/cotton blend, and some have been naturally dyed in subtle base tones. Each is a unique, permanent monoprint created by hand. Find them all here.
I have been hard at work but having a wonderful time creating a new line of marbled scarves. These naturally dyed scarves are marbled using suminagashi techniques - the Japanese art of marbling - to create cloudscapes, sedimentary layers, ice floes, and visual explosions. I love them.
I've drawn up some sashiko embroidery patterns for the workshop I recently taught, and thought I'd make a few available for download here.
sashiko pattern 1 (seven treasures)
sashiko pattern 2 (horned tortoise shell)
sashiko pattern 3 (hemp leaves)
sashiko pattern 4 (ocean wave)
These patterns are based on the traditional Japanese designs of tessellating geometric forms. Each measures 8x8" and can be printed directly onto tear-away stabilizer for embroidering over. This is the perfect size for a little zokin (dust rag), or the pattern can be tiled for a larger piece. I have demonstrated the stitch length and alignment with the dashed lines in portions of each pattern, and once you've gotten the hang of it you can carry on with the correct spacing. The only trick is to keep your stitches even in each line segment, and the intersections clean. These are just a few of the very many beautiful historical sashiko patterns, each with its own story and significance. Enjoy!
I hope everybody has had a few happy holidays and is enjoying the new year since last I wrote! I have some new goods in the studio, including these linen napkins. Of course they are naturally dyed in small batches, with a mix of dahlia, goldenrod, ivy, fennel, and apple bark from last summer's harvest. They are just as I like: big, durable, and soft.
You can find both dinner and cocktail napkins in the shop!
Call me old fashioned - go on, I am - but I can't help liking the idea of a dowry. Not the bribe to catch a husband with, but the type of dowry made of textiles to fill a new home, crafted by a young woman with the skills taught by her mother and local community. I like the idea of setting aside your best handmade pieces to share with somebody.
I've never been to the Marshfield School of Weaving in Vermont, but I would like to. They've got classes in natural dyeing, spinning, and weaving household goods to start with. They also have a weaving intensive devoted to 19th century dowry textiles - how amazing would that be!?
This reminds me to 1) learn how to weave and 2) recommendThe Age of Homespun by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich.
Right: Birch leaves tossed straight into the dye pot. Iron modifier at top, copper modifier center, no modifier at bottom.