Yesterday’s lesson was a continuation of shibori dyeing in which the kids dyes a hemmed silk handkerchief that they will be able to keep or perhaps give as a gift.
After last weeks lesson focusing on experimentation with the dyeing of 3 squares of silk, I wanted to introduce the idea of intention in regards to shibori. I handed out squares of white paper representing their silk hankies along with crayons and markers and asked them to create a design they could attempt to replicate with shibori techniques, using their knowledge and experience from last week to guide them. I suggested they could fold the paper like they had done on their itajime pieces to help them figure out the patterning if that was the style they were going to use. I find I have to be very careful with what I tell them as the power of suggestion is so strong that often they can focus on my suggestion to the exclusion of their own creativity. I’d rather nudge them along IF they get stuck than tell them exactly what to do. This isn’t failsafe but just a general practice. The designing stage was also necessary to keep 30 kids busy while letting them come to the back in 3’s & 4’s to dye their piece.
Of course many students created some wonderful designs on paper but discovered that they were impossible to recreate as shibori using the materials and methods at hand. This too, was part of the lesson- that even though we have intent in artmaking we sometimes have to adjust along the way to accommodate the process’ limitations. Sometimes we abandon it altogether, sometimes we adjust. We learn and add to our experience for another day.
A few of the designs were successfully recreated on the silk. Many were adjusted. Many AHA moments occurred as they learned what they could and couldn’t do. Everyone wanted to do more. But alas, the lunch bell rang and time was up. We’re going to do it once more next week and offer the results for sale at our gallery show. I’ll edit this post a little later and add a few photos……