Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Book


Late Saturday night, I returned from my incredibly intensive workshop with Carol Soderlund, Color Mixing For Dyers. I attended this class with eight other adventurous and hard-working ladies at the Fabrications Retreat in Kalamazoo, MI.

I have to tell you, if you love fabric dyeing and want to take your work to a whole new level, this is the class to take. And if you love hanging out with creative women, laughing, eating great food, and getting messy in groups, run-don't-walk to Cathy Arnett's baby, Fabrications. It was all just so much fun!

 Laura Cater-Woods and Teri Springer enjoying breakfast

Deborah Harowitz, Melody Johnson and Carol Soderlund

But as thoroughly enjoyable as the week was, it was also filled with hours and hours of hard work and mind-bending ideas.

Carol teaches dyeing and overdyeing from a 3-dimensional cube model that is astonishing to see when held cradled in her hands. (I'd love to show you a photo of the cube Carol built with wooden blocks and thousands of half-inch squares of dyed fabrics, but since it's her unique take on color, I don't feel that it's my place.) Having only the basic color wheel as my own theory tool, seeing color in a cube model really opened up my mind to a whole new world of possibilities.

The essence of the class teaches and illustrates more than a thousand MX dye recipes through a series of dyeing and overdyeing 9"x9" pieces of white cotton fabric.


Three color families were explored, each starting with a set of three primary colors.


The families, Earth Tones, Brights and Basics, were stacked into piles and then cut into strips.


Everyone got a stack of strips from each bundle- dozens and dozens of them- and then we set to cutting the strips into one-inch squares and mounting them in our books.

Helen, cutting her squares.

 Deb, studiously working. 

 Janice, playing it safe.

And check out Carol's t-shirt! She wore a different, eye-popping hand-dyed shirt every day!

My book isn't totally complete yet, I have about 3 hours worth of work to finish it, but I will do that this week. I want to have the decks cleared when my first Masteries assignment arrives on October 1. 

(EDIT: O O O O O go look at Lynn's post on the class, too... and please ignore the fat lady in the stripedy, messy studio smock!)

I stepped out of the hotel only twice during my entire stay in Michigan, but the views I saw from the car showed me beautiful, rolling farmlands and fields. 


On the flight back, I was privileged to share the first class cabin with a helper dog, a Golden Retriever named Mia.  

She was a beautiful dog with a sweet and loving disposition whom I worshiped instantly.

The coming week will see me hard at work completing my Book but then this weekend, my husband and I will be flying to the Bahamas for a well-deserved vacation. I'm not sure we'll know what to do with ourselves, finally being in the same place at the same time for more than a two-day stretch, but I'm betting we'll remember quickly enough!

I will try to blog once more before we leave, but if I don't, I'll be home by the 17th!

In the meantime, happy creating!

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