Friday, May 2, 2008

Arashi BeeGee

BeeGee assisting with arashi shiboriHere's my assistant, last night helping me wrap the pole with my first arashi shibori. BeeGee is a total thread freak. From out of nowhere, he magically appears whenever I'm knitting or crocheting, or plying yarns, or hand sewing, or warping -- wherever thread or yarn is moving, that's where BeeGee is!

Arashi shibori on pole

I'm really excited about this project. What finally encouraged me to try it was an article I read somewhere online about how you don't have to get the entire pole into a steamer in order to do this -- you can let the dye dry on the fabric on the pole, then remove it, wrap it in plastic, and steam that. Which is what I intend to do.

All the art I've done -- all the dyeing, etc. -- has been right here in my kitchen, with formerly-used-for-food pots and tools. I would love to have a big studio with all the right equipment and tools...same as I am lusting for a 16-32 shaft jacquard loom. But at this point in my life, neither space nor money enable me to buy new and bigger toys. So I'm committed to pushing the edges of what I can do on my 8 shaft loom and in my kitchen.

I sometimes think of myself as a "samurai" artist. I took on that moniker after John Belushi played samurai characters on SNL, years ago. He went for whatever he was up to, like a warrior, and I often feel that way about how I do things that I do. Like minor carpentry (samurai carpenter, I was), using my kitchen sink and counters on which to lay things I cut with a hacksaw. Maybe I'm more like Rube Goldberg -- improvising! That's it!

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