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Alternative Marbling: The Basics

    Experience the “oh wow” moments when the paint attaches to the cloth, freezing exotic imagery that is reminiscent of microscopic views of cells, geological forms, and cosmic observations. This class offers a fresh approach to the age-old tradition of floating paint on water and transferring the image to paper or cloth. This class focuses on the principles of surface tension and how to float color, understanding the relationship between the different surfactants to aid floating color, how to mix color, and many pattern manipulation techniques. Each day we will build on the previous days’ work. You don’t want to miss this engaging, fun, and satisfying experience.

Alternative Marbling II: Building a Personal Methodology and Vocabulary

    Building on Alternative Marbling I: The Basics, this course explores controlling nuances of pattern through water preparation with carrageenan and methyl cellulose, and the rhythmic laying down of the cloth. Each day includes a series of demonstrations and critiques to push personal exploration. Emphasis is placed on working towards a visual vocabulary using sophisticated layering, color combinations, and personal imagery. 

True Blue

    We will explore the beauty of what happens when indigo dye enters cloth. Investigate the wealth of subtle visual details with a monochromatic scheme and this direct and engaging form of dyeing expression.  We will spend time preparing cloth to dye in the indigo vat through a variety of shibori methods. I will bring historic, ethnic, and contemporary examples of work for inspiration. Each person will make their own vat with freeze-dried indigo.  It is a cinch to use: add water, stir, add the cloth, and dye. The color itself evokes many emotions and lots of imagery, all holding potential for the development of a personal language.

Natural Dyes, New Methods

   Use natural dye extracts to dye more than 100 colors on three types of cloth (cotton, linen and silk) while creating a color library, a reference swatch book that will inspire future projects. Polychromatic printing - applying mordants through printing, discharging, and overprinting prior to dyeing - will be introduced. Attain multiple colors in one dye bath while achieving extremely fine detail and controlled placement of color and imagery using this technique. Also learn to make and maintain a quick eco-friendly indigo vat. The approach is based on Michel Garcia’s ongoing research.

Shibori Explored

    Shaped resist techniques such as tying, binding, pleating, stitching, knotting, clamping, and pole wrapping are easy to learn and offer a limitless interaction of pattern and color. Explore the visual and textural cornucopia known as Shibori using the Procion MX fiber reactive dyes to dye cellulose fibers (cotton, rayon, Tencel, linen, and silk). The class will cover selection and preparation of cloth, and historical and contemporary examples. Shibori has been practiced in many cultures for many centuries. Be part of a living tradition.

Subtractions & Additions: Building A Personal Language

   We will explore what happens when color is repeatedly removed and added through sequential shibori techniques. The results produce cloth with luminosity, sophisticated color nuances, and visual complexity. We’ll use the Procion MX fiber reactive dyes, with thiox as the discharge agent, on cellulose fibers (cotton, rayon, Tencel, hemp and linen) as well as silk. We will cover the basics: learn why the different products are used and when to use them. We will also talk about safety, color mixing, fabric selection and preparation. 

Folds For Clamp-Dye Resist

   Itajime shibori, or clamp-resist dyeing, is based on wooden boards held on either side of accordion folded cloth, then dyed. This class is an in depth exploration of how the different folds, and the location, shape, and size of the wood boards, influence the overall pattern. You will leave with dozens of dyed examples and the ability to further explore your personal pattern vocabulary.

Subtracting Color: In the Bath

   In this session we will explore what happens when color is removed through shibori techniques, such as stitching, clamping, and pole wrapping. The cloths produced are charged with luminosity and display visual complexity. The process begins with hand-dyed or commercially dyed cloth, such as cotton, rayon, Tencel, bamboo, hemp and linen, and also on silk, and use thiox as the color removing agent. The course will cover studio basics: studio safety, why the different products are used and when to use them.

Subtracting Color: Print Processes

   In this session we will explore what happens when color is removed through printing techniques, such as hand painting, screen, block and monoprinting. The cloths produced are charged with luminosity and display sophisticated printing nuances. We will make discharge paste and use commercially made paste on hand-dyed or commercially dyed cloth, such as cotton, rayon, Tencel, bamboo, hemp and linen, and also on silk. The course will cover studio basics: studio safety, why the different products are used and when to use them.

Vat Dyes and Colored Discharge: In the Bath

    This hands-on workshop focuses on the magic inherent in a little used class of dyes known as vat dyes. The process begins with laying a ground color on the cloth with reactive dyes - cotton, linen, rayon and/or silk; then work pattern and color through resists on top of the ground color with vat dyes.  The interaction of these two dyes produce the characteristic halo as you strip out one color (the reactive dye) while laying down another color (the vat dye) in its place.  Explore this exciting phenomenon through dye bath applications. Safety issues are addressed, as are color mixing, and fabric selection and preparation.  This is a rare opportunity to work with vat dyes, don’t miss it.

Dyeing to Stitch

    This is a how-to, hands-on thread and yarn dyeing primer using the permanent and versatile Procion MX fiber reactive dyes. Discover a limitless color-mixing palette from a few basic primaries. The result is a basket full of thread and yarn, as you learn methods of dyeing gradations and variegations of color. We will dye, and keep from tangling, various weights of pearl cotton, rayon thread, rayon ribbon floss, silk, and novelty yarns; all appropriate for using on the sewing machine, for hand quilting, embroidery, and knitting. We will cover color mixing, safety concerns, thread and yarn selection and preparation, all through lively and humorous discussions. Don’t miss this unusual opportunity to bring a new dimension to your quilts, garments and knitting projects.


Need: Projector for Powerpoint presentation and light for podium

Elin Noble: A Journey Through Cloth

Elin Noble is a New Bedford, Massachusetts based artist, teacher and author. Born in Munich,

Germany to American parents, she grew up on both the West and East Coasts of the United States,

as well as the Far East, where her initial passion for textiles and travel began. 

Elin has developed an aesthetic language over many years of textile dyeing. Her work is abstract, and

her inspirations and influences come from nature, from observing light and shadows, and how colors

interact. She seeks to establish a contemplative mood in her quilts and large scale installations. Elin

Noble's work is especially based on her research and experiments with itajime, also known as

clamp-resist shibori. 

All content © 2013 Elin Noble

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