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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Shibori and Natural Dye Workshop with Joan Morris

“Shaped Resist Dyeing with Indigo and Woad” with Joan Morris
22 June – 26 June 2012
Canandaigua, NY
Contact Sara Burnett,

This is a a 5 day class in shaped-resist dyeing using natural dyes, including indigo, woad, a variety of natural dye extracts, madder root, cochineal bugs, and walnut galls.  This class is geared towards students at various levels of experience; from the beginner to those with prior experience and a desire to expand their vocabulary, experiment, sharpen skills and gain greater control of materials.  All levels are welcome in this class.  The beginner can expect to learn 10- 12 forms of shaped-resist (shibori), while they gain knowledge of mordanting with alum, and dyeing with the above mentioned natural dye stuffs. New to my classes will be the addition of a woad dyebath, a process at once similar to and different from indigo dyeing.  As they are available, new natural dye extracts will be added to the materials we’ll use in class (e.g. coreopsis extract).   Color shifting (with ammonia, vinegar and iron) presents additional color possibilities for each of the dyestuffs we’ll use.  For those with prior experience, bring images of your work, or actual pieces, including work-in-progress, if you would like to engage in a dialog about possible directions that your work could take.  Please note that this is a forum for making samples, experimenting, and making small pieces.  It will not be possible to dye large yardages in this setting. 

Joan Morris began working with shaped resist in 1983, after many years of working with paint, dyes and fabric.  That year also marked the beginning of her work as master-dyer for the Theater Department at Dartmouth College, where she has dyed, painted and printed textiles for more than eighty productions.  Her resist dyed textiles have been exhibited and awarded prizes nationally and internationally, and she has received grants for her work from the Asian Cultural Council, the Vermont Arts Council, the Vermont Community Foundation, the Puffin Foundation, Dartmouth College and private foundations.  Her work is in the permanent collections of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum (Smithsonian Institution) in New York, the Museum of Art at RISD, Takeda Kahei Shoten in Arimatsu, Japan, and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut.  Barney’s New York featured her one-of-a-kind shaped resist dyed shawls in the fall and winter collections of 1990 and 1991.

In 1996 Morris completed a shaped-resist dyed translation project for the US Army Corps of Engineers.  The five-year project involved translation four environmentally significant remote-sensed images into resist-dyed imagery using stitched, pole-wrapped and capped resists, as well as newly invented forms.  An image from this series was selected as the cover art for Memory on Cloth: Shibori Now by Yoshiko Wada (Kodansha International 2002).  Morris’s paper on this translation project was presented at the International Textile and Science conference in the Czech Republic.  Her paper on the diffusion of shaped-resist dye methods was presented at the 3rd International Textile Symposium in the Republic of Georgia in 2001, and her work in the field of textile modification for theatre has been presented internationally.  Joan Morris has been a panelist and invited artist in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th International Shibori Symposia in India, Chile, England and Japan, and was an invited artist in the Kimono Project at ISS `92, in Nagoya, Japan.  In recent years she has designed and fabricated the shaped resist textiles for “The Lion King” on Broadway as well as for the Japanese, UK-Continental Europe, Canadian, Los Angeles, and road show productions.
“Camptown 2”,  2009,  36.5” x 47”
22 k gold/platinum mono print on shaped resist dyed ground
(photo: Joe Mehling)

In 1998 Joan Morris began research on the incorporation of mechanical resist and precious metal application into the shaped resist process.  She continues to work at making art works that merge these methods.  She and fellow artist Michele Ratté collaborated in the invention of a washable, precious and base metal printing process for textiles and other substrates.  They own the United States patent for their invention.  In her own studio work, Morris creates resist dyed art works and unique prints using high karat gold on shaped resist dyed substrates.

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