Fibre art

On the Design Wall: Summer

I became a SAQA member!

I recently attended my first meeting of the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA). This large organization is divided into smaller regions and my local is SAQA Central Canada – Ontario and Quebec Artists. Because locals are large and cover so much ground geographically, smaller groups or pods are formed. The pod I attended was in Fergus, Ontario. A very enthusiastic and focused group of artists were in attendance.

small quilt blocks pinned to design wall in Doris Lovadina-Lee's studio

Quilt challenge!

One of the outcomes of our meeting was to work on a challenge. The parameters:

  • size – 12 inches
  • theme – summer
  • due – 2 months

quilt blocks pinned to design board for SAQA theme spring by doris lovadina-lee in progress

I began with some hand dyed fabric and imagined a tall glass of water and ice. How would that look abstracted and constructed using small pieces? The two images are the evolution of my work in progress. I may move a few more pieces around before I begin to stitch. What does summer look like for you?

Indigo studio!

Sunday

Since the snow is gone (yeah!), I began indigo dyeing. It was finally warm enough during the May long weekend to set up an indigo vat. I happily spent much of the weekend dipping: two tablecloths, a dozen or more napkins, cotton/rayon scarves, linen handkerchiefs, and quilting cotton. Not ready to throw out the indigo vat, I stored it under our deck. 

trestles with board holding indigo vat and equipment for hand dyeing fabrics

A couple of weeks went by before I could get back to dyeing. I pulled out the indigo vat on Sunday to see if it was still viable. I tested a piece of pfd cotton and was surprised to find the indigo vat still had some life left! So I set up a makeshift indigo studio in the laneway.

indigo vat with fabrics floating on top in toronto ontario canada

I experimented with some small pieces of wool suiting, pfd cotton, linen/rayon crinkle scarves, cotton voile and double gauze cotton. The last two are new scarves that I am excited to be adding to my shop.
white cotton prepared for dyeing fabric dipped in indigo on fence
This pfd cotton has been dipped a few times and the colour is deeper than I was expecting.

wool suiting dipped in indigo oxidizing on tree toronto canada
One of the wool suitings scrunched and dipped. I didn’t expect the indigo vat to be viable so I didn’t have my drying rack set up. Instead, I used the bushes in our laneway.indigo dyed wool rolled up and tied with string by doris lovadina-lee toronto dyer
Another wool suiting rolled and tied.

yellow wool suiting dip dyed in indigo hanging from clothes hanger on fence post toronto ontario canada
This pale yellow piece of wool has a few moth holes, but I love the yellow and blue together.

metal stand with two pieces of indigo dyed cloth hanging toronto ontario
My neighbour showed up with this rack that she was going to throw out. It is perfect to use for hanging up the indigo dyed pieces. It just needs a little duct tape and will be a good addition to my dyeing supplies.

white cotton indigo dyed fabric and yellow wool fabric dyed in indigo hanging from metal stand

Here are a few of the pieces I’ve dyed during the second round of indigo dyeing drying on my new rack!

Monday

On Sunday, I left a piece of pfd cotton and a nui shibori scarf in the indigo vat overnight. On Monday, I pulled out the scrunched up pfd cotton and was happy to see a rich blue colour. 

cotton fabric dyed with indigo draped on bush

I recently read about an experiment where the dyer left pieces of fabric in an indigo vat overnight and compared those pieces to fabric that had been repeatedly dipped in the indigo. There was no difference in the depth of colour between the two, suggesting that repeated dips in indigo are not needed to dye a fabric, just a longer time in the vat. I haven’t washed these out yet, so I know that the colour will be lighter. I am happy to have had more time experimenting with this fascinating process.

 

Indigo scarves at Artfest on the Esplanade.

I have been waiting very impatiently for warm weather so I could indigo dye. Finally, I was able to spend part of this long weekend indigo dyeing scarves, napkins and some baby onesies too. I will be bringing these hand dyed items along with my snow dyed scarves to Pickering, Ontario for their annual art festival: Artfest being held in Esplanade Park.

arashi shibori cotton rayon scarf draped on green fence by doris lovadina-lee

Generously sized cotton/rayon Arashi Shibori scarf dyed in indigo.

itajime shibori indigo dyed sarong draped on green picket fence toronto ontario canada

Itajime Shibori indigo dyed pareo.

nui shibori indigo scarf draped on green picket fence doris lovadina

Nui shibori cotton/rayon indigo dyed scarf.

indigo dyed baby onsies on hangers

Ombre dyed baby onesies dipped in indigo.

poster for Artfest 2018

The Weather Network is calling for a sunny Saturday with a few clouds and a high of 25. Perfect outdoor weather to explore Artfest On The Esplanade. Hope to see you there!

Shop KOKITO for snow dyed shibori scarves!

I spent a lovely day in Prince Edward County meeting Shelley of KOKITO. This is a charming shop on Main Street in the town of Bloomfield, Ontario where the owners, Shelley Durnin and Jennifer Hadenne curate a beautiful selection of Canadian made and designed items. 

 

lamps, hoodies, bags handmade in canada available in Kokito a shop in southern ontario

Bloomfield is a small town located in the centre of the County. The Main Street is lined with small shops, restaurants and galleries. Everything is within walking distance and the shore of Lake Ontario is close by.

scarves, blankets, pillows and cards on display in back of Kokito store, locally made artisan shopThe shop stocks a great selection and variety of products all made by local artisans. Shelley and Jennifer source all the wares they sell in the shop personally, so every member of the family can find something they love. Kokito’s motto is: “Canadian Design and Lakeside Living” and this certainly describes the aesthetic of the shop.  

Shelves with hand made canadian items in KOKITO shop, Bloomfield Ontario

KOKITO store in Bloomfield ontario gift shop

I am happy to share that Kokito will be carrying my snow dyed shibori scarves as well as indigo napkins and table runners. The stack of hand dyed pieces below will already be out on display in the shop. 

shibori scarves, hand dyed placemats, indigo table runner available at Kokito in Bloomfield ontario shop

Prince Edward County is an area of southern Ontario that I had not visited. It has been described by friends as a beautiful, peaceful, yet vibrant place. I can see why! I hope you have the opportunity to travel to Bloomfield and meander around this pretty little town. When you do, visit Kokito and shop the beautiful locally made artisanal products for yourself or to give as gifts. You won’t be disappointed! 

Snow dyed scarves at the Textile Museum of Canada Gift Shop

I am very pleased to have my Canadian Snow dyed scarves available for purchase at the Textile Museum of Canada’s gift shop. The museum is located at 55 Centre Avenue, Toronto, Ontario.

Entrance to Textile Museum of Canada Gift Shop with shibori scarves

I began using snow to hand dye this past year and love the results of this process. Snow is piled on top of the scarves that have been folded, twisted and tied using traditional shibori techniques. Up to three dye colours are used to create beautiful watercolour effects.

Quilt stand with snow dyed shibori scarves by toronto artist Doris Lovadina-Lee

lndigo scarves are also created using shibori folding techniques. Although not created with snow, they are still Canadian made. All of the scarves are made out of natural fibres like cotton, silk, linen, rayon and wool giving them intense rich colours. They are one-of-a-kind wearable art pieces.

Canadian artist doris lovadina-lee snow dyed shibori scarves on display

The museum has two exhibits currently on display: Artistry in Silk celebrates the work of Itchiku Kubota (1917–2003). The other exhibit is Jane Kidd: Curious  a display of hand-woven tapestries. Both artists use rich saturated colours to represent their environment. The exquisite silk kimonos made by Itchiku Kubota represent the four seasons, the changing landscape, light and feature Mount Fuji.  I love the use of colour in the tapestries by Canadian artist Jane Kidd! Her pieces are hand-woven with bold colours, but upon close inspection, you can see the varied and subtle colour shifts that give her work so much depth.

indigo and snow dyed shibori scarves by doris lovadina-lee doorway to gift shop of Textile Museum of Canada

 

I hope you have an opportunity to visit the Textile Museum. While there, please visit the gift shop to view all the beautiful offerings by local artists. You could take home a piece of Canadian winter!

Artfest on the Esplanade 2018

Join me Saturday May 26, 2018 at the Artfest on the Esplanade from 11-5. This annual event takes place at The Esplanade Park in the City of Pickering. I will have a booth displaying my hand dyed shibori scarves. 
poster for Artfest 2018
I have kept busy this winter creating a line of unique and beautiful snow dyed scarves.

snow dyed crinkle linen rayon scarf hand dyed doris lovadina lee

The Canadian snow collection of hand dyed scarves need to be seen in person to appreciate the subtle changes of colour and pattern. No two scarves are the same and no scarf is identical from one end to the other!

canadian snow dyed crinkle scarf by toronto artisan doris lovadina-lee

The Artfest on the Esplanade has partnered with the Lishman family to provide inspirational art, film and sculptures form the late Bill Lishman.

The photographs above showing images of a couple of scarves is in reality the photograph of one scarf!. The entire scarf can be seen below.

crinkle hand dyed shibori scarf by doris lovadina lee toronto

Hope to see you at this fun event. Come by my booth to say hello! Looking forward to spending some time outdoors after a long winter.

 

When is black – blue, red, green and yellow?

The most recent batch of cotton scarves were snow dyed using a fibre reactive dye in black. I was persuaded by my mother to create some black and grey scarves because “they go with everything”. Itajime shibori scarf snow dyed doris lee

I decided that I would use up some of the last bit of snow from the ice storm and see what would result from using only one dye colour.nui shibori cotton/rayon scarf snow dyed with black dye by doris lovadina-leeRaven Black, Better Black, New Black, Hot Black and Jet Black are the names of a few of the black dyes available. Some are better for hot water dyeing and others are best for low immersion dyeing. But, none of these are single hue dyes, rather they are made up of a mixture of two or more dyes.
snow dyed shibori scarf using black dye by artisan doris lovadina-lee

So I wasn’t surprised that the black scarves were not black at all! After I washed and dried the scarves and could see the variation in the colours, I decided to try an experiment. I took the black dye powder and dissolved it in water and sprinkled it on snow to see what colours would appear.

tsp with black fabric dye dissolved in water

Red, blue, purple are all visible in the teaspoon and table. In this photo, a pinch of dye was sprinkled with water and instantly, you could see the variation in the  colours.

snow with melting black dye showing mulitcoloured pigments

I also sprinkled a small amount of dye powder on the snow and bright spots of vibrant purples, greens, yellows and blues appeared.

shibori black dyed cotton scarf snow dyed by toronto artist doris lovadina-lee

 

The itajime shibori scarf above is predominantly green on one end changing to soft purple and grey on the other end.nui snow dyed cotton/rayon scarf detail by doris lovadina-lee toronto

The nui shibori scarf above has strong stripe effect that is green, while the scarf below is more blue and purple overall with a touch of green as an accent.

nui shibori scarf hand dyed toronto artisan doris lovadina-lee

While the colours showing in the snow and teaspoon included yellow and red, none of these appear on the scarves. It seems that these dyes were not present in sufficient amounts to stand on their own, rather they combined to create the purples and greens that did appear. Even though the scarves are not black and grey, the variations in colour and pattern are very pretty. In order to achieve the colours my mother suggested, I will have to try again using the more traditional low immersion dyeing. 

What has your experience been when dyeing? 

New textile painting in the Fineline series

It’s been a while since I’ve sat down with the intention of creating some artwork. I was able to do so at a quilt retreat I attended recently. I went to the retreat with the intention of playing and trying something new. The result was this small minimal modern textile painting created with Oakshott Fabrics and one of my hand dyed linens.

small textile painting being quilted by doris lovadina-lee

doris lovadina-lee's machine quilted textile painting

fineline textile painting with oakshott cottons

detail oakshott minimal modern fineline series textile art

It was so much fun to sit and create without expectations! The shot cottons have a beautiful sheen as does the linen. The fabrics add a lot of depth and the machine quilting provide texture. This piece doesn’t have a name yet. What would you call it?

Clothing labels

Labels are attached to objects to identify and describe that item. I am happy to have received my woven cloth labels from the Dutch Label Shop. These silky, soft labels are now going to identify my hand dyed scarves long after the package they arrive in is gone. 

snow dyed scarf tied around a handbag with doris lovadina-lee textile arts labelBoth of these snow dyed scarves have my new logo: Doris Lovadina-Lee Textile Arts label attached. The labels are small and soft, so they are unobtrusive when the scarf is being worn. Of course, I won’t mind if you flaunt your designer label!

clothing label doris lovadina-lee textile arts on blue wool shawl with hang tag

Dutch Label Shop is an online shop that specializes in creating small quantities of custom supplies for people who create with fabric, just like us! 

Dutch Label Shop clothing labels and hang tags for doris lovadina-lee textile arts toronto artist

You can design your own label or select images and text from a library of designs. Small quantities as low as 30 pieces up to thousands can be ordered in the design you create. Stock labels indicating clothing sizes and fabric care labels are available. Dutch Label Shop also prints hangtags

Wool arashi shibori shawl on snow by doris lovadina-lee toronto ontario textile artist

Nui shibori wool scarf hand dyed with snow by doris lovadina-lee toronto ontario canada clothing label

To receive a coupon code for 15% off your labels, sign up for my newsletter on my homepage or on the sidebar.

Show me your labels! Post photos of your labels on your beautiful handmade items and tag me: @lovadina.lee or send me a link to your blog.

Looking forward to seeing your creative new labels!

Snow dyeing photography shoot

I am working on a final photography project and have shot a lot of images. Thank goodness, my camera is digital. I can’t imagine how much film I would have had to process and then discard! red blue yellow black dyes in pewter cups on fence doris lovadina-lee toronto ontario canada

These are three photographs I took this weekend that won’t be including in the final cut. 

yellow dye in pewter cup on fence with branches toronto ontario canada photo shoot
Although I won’t be using these photos, I am very happy with the results and wanted to share them with you.red dye on ice close up doris lovadina-lee toronto textile artist photo shoot

My plan is to take photographs in natural light. But, with the weather not cooperating, I will need to think creatively in order to finish this project. Unfortunately, moving to sunnier, tropical climates is not an option at this time!

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