Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Beauty in Chaos... Textile Art in Christchurch, New Zealand

Currently, I'm visiting Christchurch, New Zealand. My friend Betty, a native of Christchurch has been taking me around, and it is a surreal experience to see the devastation of a city I've visited on several occasions before. The earthquakes of 2011 have completely changed the face of the city, and reconstruction work continues.

Amidst all the chaos that still exists in the city is the Transitional Cathedral, designed by Shiguru Ban. Here is the outside, and a few shots of the inside.

What you are seeing is cardboard tubes, and laminated wood, amongst other things.

The alter was decorated in the most beautiful textile art; a quilted fabric rich in color.
Here are a few shots:

As in all things, beauty exists, and fiber arts play a role.

Garment Designer Pattern: Eco-Dye Style

Garment Designer Pattern Eco Dye Style was created with our upcoming Batwing sleeve! Here at Cochenille, I’m working on a group of new styles (Style Set 3) for Garment Designer. At the same time, I’m teaching a new course at Mesa College; Textile Design. I decided to combine the two as I test new styles.

The Pattern

Here we have a style I’m working on; a Batwing sleeve. My inspiration came from the costumes at a recent Ballet performance I attended. The ballerinas wore a batwing style sleeve with an extended cuff, scrunched up their lower arm.
Garment Designer Pattern for Batwing sleeve
To the left is my initial write of the style. I’ll extend the sleeve when I cut the garment.

I printed a test pattern, then taped it together. This I laid on the fabric and once I understood the shape, I began to lay out my various plants on the fabric. began to lay out my various plants down in place.

The Layout

Positioning my pattern for layout purposes.
Arranging the plant materials using the pattern as a guide.
Various plants.

The next step was to roll the fabric up, and tie it tightly. Then, it is put in a pot of simmering water. A rusted pot was put in for good measure to assist in heightening the color of the plants on the fabric.

Into the Pot

Rolling all into a tube.
The ‘sausage’, rolled and tied.
Into the dye pot

After about one hour, the fabric come out, and is untied, and unrolled. Many plants (but not all) transferred their color to the fabric.

Revealing the Fabric

Fabric fresh out of the pot.
Revealing the color upon unrolling.
Fabric, eco-dyed

My fabric is ready… now time to get the garment cut out and sewn.
Susan.. Cochenille
Fabric, after washing and drying.