Indigo

Shibori Scarves available at Boutique Firenze, London, Ontario

Boutique Firenze is a gift shop in London, Ontario. It is the dream of owner Bettina Weber and husband Len Elliot. They travel to Italy to personally select the beautiful items available for their shop.

Storefront Boutique Firenze London Ontario artisan gift shop

 Luckily, you won’t have to travel to Europe, to purchase fine quality leather gloves, silk scarves and hand crafted gift wares. 

postcard from Boutique Firenze London ontario canada

This bricks and mortar shop has only been open a short while. Previously, the owners worked at selling these luxurious yet affordable items part-time. 

Counters with leather gloves in Boutique Firenze London, Ontario

Boutique Firenze also carries a selection of fine handcrafted items from Canada including my scarves! They coordinate very well with all the beautiful gloves they carry from Florence.

hand dyed scarves by doris lovadina-lee on counter with leather gloves at Boutique Firenze in London, Ontario, Canada

Hand dyed shibori and indigo scarves on display in Boutique Firenze London Ontario, scarves by Doris Lovadina-Lee
Photo courtesy of Boutique Firenze

glass display shelf with leather gloves, roses and photos in Boutique Firenze London

Gloves for the man in your life.

Display of Doris Lovadina-Lee's hand dyed shibori scarves at Boutique Firenze in London Ontario
Photo courtesy of Boutique Firenze

Snow dyed, shibori and indigo dyed scarves hand-made just for you. Visit to see the selection.

Boutique Firenze owner Bettina in her shop London Ontario Canada holding a box with black and gold venetian glass necklace

Whatever you are looking for, the perfect gift to give or for yourself, Bettina will be happy to help you. I hope you have the opportunity to visit the store and see the selection of gifts available, including Murano glass jewellery, and my scarves of course!

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!

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!

Vista artwork from the Fineline Series

This series of textile paintings are the first three I created and set on canvas. The canvas was originally painted medium blue. Once the pieces were attached, I found the background was too dark and the quilted artwork did not show well. So, I repainted the canvas white and I am much happier with how the quilted pieces look.

Vista 1

Indigo textile painting on white canvas by doris lovadina-lee for sale, vista

Vista 1
2017 ©Doris Lovadina-Lee
12 x 12 inches
fabric, thread, dye on stretched canvas

fineline series textile painting vista 1 detail doris lovadina-lee artist
Vista 1 detail

 

Vista 2

indigo textile on painted canvas by dorislovadinalee.com artwork for sale
Vista 2
2017 ©Doris Lovadina-Lee
12 x 12 inches
fabric, thread, dye on stretched canvas

Vista 2 detail
Vista 2 detail

 

Vista 3

Vista 3 textile art from fineline series artwork for sale by doris lovadina-lee toronto canada
Vista 3
2017 ©Doris Lovadina-Lee
12 x 16 inches
fabric, thread, dye on stretched canvas

close-up textile painting Vista 3 on 12 x 16 inches indigo for sale by doris lovadina-lee toronto
Vista 3 detail

 

detail of vista 3 fineline series artwork by canadian dorislovadinalee
Vista 3 detail

 

detail of Vista 3 fineline series artwork by doris lovadinalee indigo blue and pale blue
Vista 3 detail

 

Fineline Series

The Fineline series of quilted textiles was an attempt to incorporate some new ideas and techniques. I had:

  • read Gwen Marston’s book: Minimal Quiltmaking
  • dyed some beautiful indigo cotton
  • read Jean Wells book: Intuitive Color & Design
  • attended a quilt retreat with a very small amount of my hand dyed fabrics
  • used canvas to frame quilted pieces

The quilt retreat was the perfect time to play with the ideas of minimalism and experiment with the technique of inserting narrow strips. There was no pressure to create a finished piece. But, I was so happy with the works I created, that I did finish all three!

Inserting very narrow strips of colour into the pieces was very satisfying. Continuing my experiments with this technique, I created tiny pieces of quilted art: Fineline Brooches and recently made: Lipstick and Mascara. I am not finished with the Fineline Series of textile paintings, there is still so much more to explore.

 

Vistas on blue canvas textile paintings by toronto artist doris lee
These are the Vista textile paintings before the change of colour in the background. What do you think of the colour change?

Rowland Rickett’s Master Class in Indigo Dyeing

The Textile Museum of Canada in conjunction with the Contemporary Textile Studio Co-op in Toronto hosted Roland Ricketts in a sold out indigo dyeing workshop.

template for indigo dyeing with Roland Ricketts at the Contemporary Textile Studio Coop

Commonplace materials were used to create a template for stitching our design.

yukata cotton with dots showing the stitching pattern for indigo nui shibori

This chevron pattern was a challenge even though Roland very carefully explained the process! The design is transferred to the narrow cotton kimono cloth that is also used in making tea towels in Japan. The other end of the cotton is visible at the top. The edge has been marked and  gathered, ready for the indigo dye bath. These edges are held in place by 8 layers of folded cotton. This will give the design a continuous solid colour from edge to edge.

indigo tea towel sample by Roland Ricketts in the master class in indigo dyeing

I believe this is Roland’s example created in class. After being dipped in the Contemporary Textile Studio’s natural indigo vat three times, two stitches were removed and the piece was dipped into the indigo vat again. This gives the cotton a beautiful ombre effect.

set up for indigo dip dyeing to create ombre with roland ricketts

Another technique Roland demonstrated was how to create a gradient effect. The very thin poles are made out of bamboo and are inserted into the fabric edges. This easily allows the fabric to be held apart to facilitate the dyeing process.

roland ricketts demonstrating indigo dyeing technique in toronto ontario canada
My slightly blurry photo of this piece.

ombre sample dip dyed by roland ricketts in workshop drying

 Roland Ricketts’ work:

Roland Ricketts showing his indigo dyed table runner

Roland brought samples of his work. The designs, colour and quality of his indigo pieces are outstanding. I encourage you to view his much better photographs on his website: Ricketts Indigo. You will also see work by Chinami Ricketts. Chinami hand weaves beautiful cloth used in kimonos.samples of nui shibori indigo dyed samples by roland ricketts

folded indigo sample of stitched resist by roland ricketts

Chevron indigo fabric dyed by Roland Ricketts shown during the Textile musem indigo workshop in toronto canada

Wrapped in plastic to protect the handwoven cotton cloth is a kimono length woven by Chinami and dyed by Roland. This piece still needs to be overdyed before it is complete.Hand woven cotton by Chinami Ricketts and indigo dyed by Roland Ricketts

I took my indigo dyed pieces home and hung them outside to dry. The piece on the right is from the workshop. I dipped it three times and then removed two rows of stitching to achieve the lighter shade of blue at the top. The two handkerchiefs were brought from home and dyed with no resist.

Doris Lovadina-Lee's indigo samples from Roland Ricketts master class in indigo dyeing workshop by the Textile museum of canada

The scrap cotton that was used on the ends of the bound piece have an interesting texture. You can see the small dots, some with the threads still attached where the stitching was secured. These small bits will find a way into my work too!Scrap cotton from the roland ricketts indigo dyeing workshop attended by doris lovadina-lee in toronto canada

The indigo will need to be stored in a dark dry place for a couple of weeks before I finally wash and neutralize the fabric. I am looking forward to using this fabric in some new artwork.

I learned so much taking this indigo dyeing workshop and realize that I have so much more to learn. Making time for learning, sharing and meeting other artists is so very important. I hope you take the opportunity whenever you can.

Indigo Shibori Scarves 2017

Italian Linen

This beautiful lightweight linen was purchased in Venice, Italy this spring. I only bought enough to make three scarves. This is the only one left! Linen has a lovely drape and is perfect for the summer. I love the dramatic lines in this scarf.

Silk

This pole wrapped scarf is a gorgeous satin back crepe. It has a lovely sheen and weight. It drapes beautifully. I wish you could feel it!

The next two scarves are dyed using a lighter weight silk, equally soft and luxurious.

Rayon/Linen

Once the linen/rayon fabric was washed in preparation for the dyeing process, soft crinkle folds appeared. I love the texture. These scarves are easy to wear and travel very well. This Itajime shibori design was first dyed in a soft blue before being dipped in indigo.

Italian Cotton Gauze

This soft as a cloud cotton gauze was also purchased in Italy. While in Verona, I found a fabric shop that had a beautiful selection including some designer fabrics.

 

The scarf below surprised me when I unwrapped it. I first dyed the cotton gauze in a very pastel turquoise. I folded the fabric and used a metal switch plate as the resist. It was dipped in the indigo dye bath. Once it was unwrapped pink areas were visible, but no pink dye had been used! I am guessing that the metal switch plate reacted to the indigo. I thought that the pink would eventually fade away but it hasn’t and won’t. This scarf has been washed, dried and pressed with no change to the pink. I like it even though it wasn’t planned. Do any of you have an explanation for the pink?

All of my scarves have fringed edges and are machine washable. The Italian cotton gauze scarves and the linen/rayon crinkly scarves are available for $40.00 each. The silk scarves are available for $50.00 each and the last Italian linen scarf for $60.00.

How I wish my laundry line always looks!

 

Atmosphere – Indigo dyed quilt

Earlier last year, I dyed some cotton fabric in indigo. The texture and the colour changed from pale blue to a deep indigo. I really liked the design of this piece and I wanted to keep it intact as much as possible. My inspiration to use this indigo fabric was a modern painting I saw in a decorating magazine. The artwork had three large bands of colour running horizontally with the colours blending together.

I pulled a deep indigo piece of fabric and a pure white cotton pique to use with the ombre. I took many photos while deciding on the proportions of the white pique. Some of the photos were taken in the evening as I was working to create this piece for a deadline.

My first attempts had the darker indigo on top. I tried many positions, folding, pinning and moving the white pique until I was certain of the final size.

During this process, I tried rotating the fabric so that the darkest indigo was on top, bottom and either side. Initially, I thought that having the piece run from dark at the top to light on the bottom worked the best.
You can see that I finally decided to orient the fabric so that the lightest colour is on top, moving down toward the darker.

Atmosphere
2016 ©Doris Lovadina-Lee
49 x 42 inches
hand dyed indigo, commercial fabric, thread
$1,200.00

I am happy with Atmosphere. It reminds me of water. For some, it reminds them of snow falling. What does it remind you of?

Aga Khan Museum

A friend and I visited the Aga Khan Museum this weekend. A very knowledgeable and enthusiastic docent began our visit with an introduction on the design of the building by architect: Fumihiko Maki. He was given the theme of light as his inspiration. An interior courtyard brings light into the center of the building and provides a lovely outdoor space in warm weather.

Leaf from a Qur'an Manuscript North Africa, 9th-10th centuries ink and gold on blue-dyed vellum
Leaf from a Qur’an Manuscript
North Africa, 9th-10th centuries
ink and gold on blue-dyed vellum

Artifacts that are centuries old have colours, textures and designs that seem modern and timeless.

Oculus Syria, Late 12th-early 13th century Fritware, molded and glazed
Oculus
Syria, Late 12th-early 13th century
Fritware, molded and glazed

The museum’s collection of pottery, glass, metalwork, and calligraphy is a source of inspiration.

Bottle Probably Iran, 9th-10th centuries Glass, wheel-cut
Bottle
Probably Iran, 9th-10th centuries
Glass, wheel-cut

The mosaic tiles in the fountain can be translated directly into quilt blocks.

Fountain Syria, 16th century and later Marble and sandstone mosaic
Fountain
Syria, 16th century and later
Marble and sandstone mosaic

Turquoise, blue, and gold colours found in the pottery, are some of my favourites and I imagine them in a project.

Muqarnas (Squinch) Elements probably Samarquand, Uzbekistan, late 14th-early 15th centuries Fritware, carved and glazed
Muqarnas (Squinch) Elements
probably Samarquand, Uzbekistan, late 14th-early 15th centuries
Fritware, carved and glazed
Muqarnas (Squinch) Elements probably Samarquand, Uzbekistan, late 14th-early 15th centuries Fritware, carved and glazed
Muqarnas (Squinch) Elements – detail

More designs that can be directly translated into quilt blocks. Also Ideas for arranging the blocks in various configurations.

Box Spain 16th century Wood inlaid with bone, wood and mother-of-pearl
Chest
Spain 16th century
Wood inlaid with bone, wood and mother-of-pearl
Candlestick Anatolia, Turkey, 14th century' Copper, tin, and zinc alloy, inlaid with silver and gold
Candlestick
Anatolia, Turkey, 14th century’
Copper, tin, and zinc alloy, inlaid with silver and gold

The circular design in the candlestick above reminds me of the New York Beauty block. I can imagine this block on a solid background and heavily quilted with angular lines like in the background above.

Bowl Nishapur, Iran, 10th century Earthenware, slip-painted and glazed
Bowl
Nishapur, Iran, 10th century
Earthenware, slip-painted and glazed

Two dishes in the collection look very modern. I loved the simplicity and elegance of the designs. More information for both of these pieces and many others are available on the museum website in the Collection Highlights tab.

Bowl Nishapur, Iran, early 11th century Earthenware, slip-painted and glazed
Bowl
Nishapur, Iran, early 11th century
Earthenware, slip-painted and glazed
Flying Carpet, 2007 by Farhad Moshiri b. 1963, lives and works in Tehran and Paris 32 stacked macine-made carpets
Flying Carpet, 2007 by
Farhad Moshiri
b. 1963, lives and works in Tehran and Paris
32 stacked macine-made carpets

Although the Aga Khan Museum features historical cultural artifacts from Islamic civilizations, it also features contemporary artwork. The piece above: Flying Carpet by Farhad Moshiri is a stack of 32 machine-made carpets that has a fighter plane cut out of the centre. The artist, Moshiri, was inspired by a documentary on Afghan carpet weavers. They had been incorporating modern technologies into the design of the carpets – planes, drones and other military armaments.

Flying Carpet, 2007 by Farhad Moshiri b. 1963, lives and works inTehran and Paris 32 stacked macine-made carpets
Flying Carpet – overhead view by Farhad Moshiri

Another special exhibit on display until March 26, 2017 is Syria: A Living History. This exhibit contains historical artifacts and contemporary artwork illustrating the diverse culture and history of Syria. Unfortunately, photography was not allowed in this exhibit, so you will have to visit the museum to see the collections in person. The grounds around the museum are also worth visiting – I will need to return in the spring when the weather is a bit warmer!

Indigo Bursts: textile paintings

Indigo dipped cotton, linen and white pique are combined to create four individual pieces of textile art. Machine quilting adds beautiful texture.

Indigo Bursts by Doris Lovadina-Lee
Indigo Burst: tetraptych
2016 ©Doris Lovadina-Lee
6 x 6 inches each
fabric, thread, dye on stretched canvas

Each textile painting is wrapped over a 6″ square gallery canvas.

Indigo Burst 1 by Doris Lovadina-Lee
Indigo Burst 1
2016 ©Doris Lovadina-Lee
6 x 6 inches
fabric, thread, dye on stretched canvas
$75.00
Indigo Burst 2 by Doris Lovadina-Lee
Indigo Burst 2
2016 ©Doris Lovadina-Lee
6 x 6 inches
fabric, thread, dye on stretched canvas
$75.00
Indigo Burst 3 by Doris Lovadina-Lee
Indigo Burst 3
2016 ©Doris Lovadina-Lee
6 x 6 inches
fabric, thread, dye on stretched canvas
$75.00
Indigo Burst 4 by Doris Lovadina-Lee
Indigo Burst 4
2016 ©Doris Lovadina-Lee
6 x 6 inches
fabric, thread, dye on stretched canvas
$75.00

These textile paintings can be displayed individually or grouped in twos or fours to create a diptych or a tetraptych.

If you are interested in having unique artwork to display in your home, contact me, I am happy to ship directly to you.

How would you choose to display these Indigo Bursts?

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