Shibori is used to dye fabrics to create a deep indigo blue. But that’s just the start, here we show you how we created an artwork from the dyed, patterned fabrics.
The first step is to create your individually dyed pieces of cloth following the “Shortcut to Shibori” tutorial or the instructions in the Kon’ya Indigo Dye kit.
You’ll need at least 3 – 4 variations of technique in order to create a contrast of patterns and colour shades for the artwork.
For the large piece, we were working with a large group of 30 kids, so we had to keep the patterns simple.
We used 3 basic patterns:
- Circles (covering a bead with the fabric and tying with a rubber band)
- Fine lines (wrapping fabric around a plastic industrial tube and tying it on with lots of rubber bands)
- Triangle shapes (folding a rectangular strip of fabric into small triangular shapes and tying it in a small bundle with clasps).
This is the technique to create the circles, by wrapping the beads or stones in rubber bands.
Once the items are dyed, the rubber bands are removed and the fabric unwrapped. This is the pattern created from the triangle folded shapes.
Once you have all your fabrics unwrapped, hang them to dry. You’ll then have your pieces to work with for the artwork.
Now it’s time to build a structure for the artwork. You’ll need panels or pieces of balsa wood. You can buy it in panels which are 10cm wide. To create an easy way to piece it together, use pieces that are based on the 10cm square. We’ve cut 10cm x 10cm squares, 20cm x 10cm and 30cm x 10cm rectangles. Each piece needs to be covered with double-sided tape. Use whatever you number of pieces you prefer, depending upon the size of your frame. Play around with the pieces to fill in the rectangle or square shape.
Cut out your pieces of fabric to fit with the pieces of balsa wood. Some patterns suit the larger pieces, whereas some patterns (for example, the single circle) are comfortable on a small 10cm x 10cm piece.
You may need to re-arrange the pieces or create more panels to fit in the gaps.
After you’ve cut the piece of fabric, lay it down flat, place the balsa wood on top with the double sided tape facing you. Peel off the tape and fold the fabric edges onto it so all the sticky bits are covered with the fabric. You’ll then have a finished covered panel. Continue with all the pieces of balsa.
Assemble all of the pieces to fit inside the parameters set by the size of the frame.
All the pieces need to be stuck on a backing board. Use ‘mounts’ which are about 2-3mm high small pieces of foam a few millimetres wide. Adhesive foam pieces can be cut up into small pieces instead.
The pieces on the board are then ready for framing. Large frames like this can only be found from professional framers. But a smaller version can be done by using a bought frame.
The same technique can be used on a small scale. This piece uses a few small panels mounted on a board, and then framed in a simple box or with a recessed frame. This allows space between the glass and the artwork itself.