Saturday, April 28, 2018

Shibori: Carol Lee Shanks

Carol Lee Shanks, Imprint Silhouette Ensemble.  Nui shibori on silk
The magnificent garment shown above is included in our May 2018 show,
Shibori/Tokkuri.  It is such a special piece that it requires that we provide
a bit of extra information, especially for all the textile aficionados
following this blog.  Below is the history of this beautiful piece,
as well as other in he artist's collections, in her own words.
Imprint Silhouette Ensemble:in progress
 Clamp Resist (itajime)
and Hand Stitch Resist (nui shibori)

In 1997 I was invited by Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada and the Gunma Prefecture Society for Sericulture Industry Promotion in Japan to become involved in a project to support and promote the sericulture (silk) farmers in the Gunma Prefecture.  The silk was woven in Kiryu, Japan under the supervision of Ms. Wada with weavers Masao and Mayumi Koshizuka. The ultimate goal of this project was to preserve traditional practices through the interconnectedness of art, agriculture and commerce.  Ms. Wada has been instrumental in insuring the survival of traditional craft world wide.

Imprint Silhouette Ensemble:in progress
 Piercing Process developed by Carol Lee Shanks
The project title was “Metamorphosis:  Gunma Silk Fashion Collection”.  I was offered Gunma silk fabrics to create a collection that would travel to Japan for exhibition and promotion.  The techniques I used were hand stitched resist (nui shibori), clamp resist (itajime) and a piercing process I developed which creates holes and pleats simultaneously.  The silk weave structures were thoughtfully designed and beautiful in their own right.  The cloth was able to accept and hold up to the manipulation that shibori requires and additionally was left un-scoured so the artisan could remove the sericin protein as an additional design element.

Indigo Dress
Scarification and Stitch Resist

Scarification in indigo
The subsequent collections I’ve made from the Gunma silk have been exhibited during many World Shibori Network Symposiums as well as shows within the United States.  It has been an honor and pleasure to have had the opportunity to work with such fine textiles as part of a community that is historically rooted in craft disciplines.
The Island Gallery's Shibori/Tokkuri Exhibition opens on May 4, 2018,
running through June 2018.  It features these two special pieces
as well as other remarkable works of art from nationally- and
internationally-recognized textile and ceramic artists.

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