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.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

You're Invited: First Friday Artwalk, May 4, 2018

Our personal invitation:  please come to downtown Winslow for this upcoming First Friday Artwalk event, in which we celebrate two diverse yet connected art forms - Shibori and Tokkuri - both of which involve a lot of skill and not a little chance to successfully produce.  Shibori is traditionally a hand-dyeing technique applied to textiles; tokkuri are sake vessels, in this case created using the wood fire method of ceramic firing.

We'll offer you a glass of wine, a chat with friends, and a look at these two remarkable disciplines, presented in juxtaposition especially for this beautiful exhibition.

Additionally, in a special, simultaneous exhibit, The Island Gallery at Sotheby's presents Spring Portraits, oil on canvas paintings by Port Hadlock artist Andrea K. Lawson, in an homage to the gentle season of spring and its attendant delights.  For further details on times and locations, see the information below.

Virtuosity and Chance in Two Art Forms

May 4 - June 30, 2018

Textile artists:
Betsy Giberson, Ana Lisa Hedstrom, Mary Jaeger, Amy Nguyen
Carol Lee Shanks, Joan Wortis

Ceramic artists:
Judith Duff, Anthony Gaudino, Robin Hominiuk, Mitch Iburg, Lucien Koonce
Ken Pincus, Akira Satake, Reid Schoonover,  and Shiho Kanzaki

First Friday Artwalk, May 4, 6-8 pm

In Concert:

The Jenny Davis Jazz Duo


Ana Lisa Hedstrom, Diamonds II. Shibori Collage
Akira Satake, Tokkuri. Wood fired ceramic
Carol Lee Shanks, Imprint Silhouette Ensemble.  Nui shibori on silk
Robin Hominiuk, Tokkuri with cup. Wood fired ceramic

About the Show:   Artistic skill is exemplified in both shibori textile art and wood fired ceramics.  Folding and stitching and manipulating various cloth to resist dye, and using particular clay bodies to form pots, utilizes skills honed over years.  Success is measured by the virtuosity of the artist; yet the many variables of the dye pot and the wood burning kiln lend an element of chance, a special magic to both pursuits. This is their strongest appeal to artists and art enthusiasts alike.  This exhibition features these two art forms with contemporary examples of shibori dyed cloth in various iterations and the bottle/tokkuri form often used for sake, and offers the viewer a look at the fortuitous nature of both ancient art processes.

Visit the Gallery in person, as well as our extensive Website and Online Shop.

About the Artists:


Betsy Giberson was born in Washington, D.C. and completed a BFA in Sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design.  Her background and work in sculpture is reflected in her textile art which features shibori and sculptural elements in collaged pieces with exposed seams.  She is exhibited at multiple venues throughout the United States and makes her home is New Hampshire.  Her garments are exquisitely crafted of crinkled silk crepe de chine, organza and noil. Surface decoration is achieved with shape-resist, piece dying, and overdying.  Pieces are often enhanced with stamped designs.

Ana Lisa Hedstrom is known for her signature textiles based on contemporary adaptations of Shibori.  Her textiles are included in the collections of major museums including the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt, the Museum of Art and Design, and the De Young Museum in the United States, and the Takeda Kahei Shoten and Aiichi Shibori Archive in Japan.  Her work has been exhibited and published internationally, including in Canada, China, Germany and Thailand.  Ana Lisa has taught and lectured at numerous international Shibori conferences and schools, including in Australia, Chile, England, Japan, India, Canada as well as the United States.  Her awards include two NEA grants and she is a fellow of the American Craft Council.  She holds a BA in Art from Mills College.

Mary Jaeger designs sculpted and dyed accessories for women, focusing on quality and hand-made details. Drawing on her years in Asia, she creates timeless, well-constructed designs in unorthodox colors, patterns and striking textures – a perfect blend of Eastern and contemporary Western ideas.  Her signature work includes shibori dyed tees and tucked wool wraps and other apparel, such as scarves, coats, jackets, capes, hats and bags. As one of her longtime customers puts it: “It’s classic with a surprising twist.”  Mary has studied at the University of Notre Dame, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Fashion Institute of Technology, and Nihon Senshoku Gakuen, Kyoto, Japan.  She has exhibited internationally and is the recipient of awards and honors, her work is featured in numerous publications.  She is currently based in New York City.

Carol Lee Shanks’ 28-year career has been dedicated to designing unique clothing and textile art pieces. She has a great reverence for cloth, allowing it to be the foundation of her inspiration, and personally constructs each garment, one by one, building collections made from carefully selected fine materials. Her dressing concept encompasses coordinated silhouettes layered for style and comfort; her pieces are designed to be collected piece by piece over many seasons.  Carol has a degree in Textile and Costume Design from the University of California at Davis. She now works and exhibits her clothing and textile art from her Berkeley, California studio. Her work is shown and sold in galleries throughout the United States and has been included in international shows and fiber art publications.

Joan Wortis was born in NYC and has lived in various cities in the United States and around the world. She has lived on Vashon Island for the last 24 years. Her professional creative life began in the world of dance, went on to hand weaving and weave design for industry before settling into monotype, collage and manipulated textiles. Her work is influenced by her travels and intuitively by her dance background. Her work has been exhibited in New York, Tokyo and across the United States, including the Seattle Art Museum Gallery, Henry Art Gallery and the Tacoma Art Museum.


Judith Duff, with degrees in biology and painting from Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia, has been a full time potter in North Carolina since 1991.  She has studied throughout the United States and Japan and fires primarily with wood.  She has researched Japanese Shino clays and glazes, working with well-known Japanese Shino potters, with the aim to duplicate them using local materials.  Judith has both published articles and been featured in numerous ceramics magazines. She has taught workshops throughout the United States and in Japan, Germany and Italy, and has exhibited her work nationally and internationally.  

Anthony Gaudino, now living in Gig Harbor, Washington, grew up in the Northwest exploring the Olympic mountains and drawing pictures of the natural beauty surrounding him. When he began studying ceramics at Tacoma Community College in 2001, he knew from that moment that clay would always be in his life, and he now teaches ceramics at that college.  In 2004 he travelled to Turkey as part of a ceramic exchange and symposium which had a huge impact on his work and life.  He is also heavily influenced by Japanese, Korean and Chinese pottery. While he continues to work with gas kilns he was instantly captured and intrigued by wood firing and the results from unglazed wood fired pots. He fires and helps manage two anagama wood kilns in the area. Anthony creates both functional and sculptural forms.  Anthony has exhibited at numerous galleries in Seattle and the Northwest as well as internationally. He has conducted workshops in China and South Korea, and won a special prize and award at the 6th Ceramics Symposium and International Art Exchange in Turkey.

Robin Hominiuk was born in Canada and moved to the United States in 1998.  She received her clay education via community education courses and several terms at Mt. Hood Community College.  She regularly attends workshops to keep a fresh perspective and learn new techniques.  In addition to the beautiful functional pots she produces from her studio kiln, she also creates pottery and sculpture for wood firing.  These pots are fired in huge kilns based on ancient Japanese traditions.  The pots are fired for 70 plus hours with a committed group of potters and six to eight cords of wood.  Pottery fired in this intense method is transformed by flame and ash; the colors and marks cannot be replicated or produced in any other way. Robin’s work has been featured in numerous national and international collections.

Mitch Iburg grew up in Wisconsin and Iowa surrounded by nature, and is thus drawn to the powerful yet simple combination of clay and fire and the naturalistic “landscapes” the wood-firing process produces.  After graduating from Iowa’s Coe College, he moved to Appomattox, Virginia as an Artist in Residence at The Cub Creek Foundation to dig and process clay, learning its unique properties, imperative knowledge when placing a piece in the kiln to best capture the interaction between fire and earth. Although the majority of Mitch’s work is unglazed, he offers shino-glazed tea bowls, and the connection to Japanese wood fired objects is undeniable.  By using native clays, however, Mitch feels that his pieces speak to “where he is” - they allow each piece to become uniquely a part of its location or habitat, similar to the way wine from a particular region owes its characteristic taste, body and flavor to the natural environment in which it is produced.  Mitch has personally designed and built anagama style wood-fired kilns.  He recently established his own studio in St. Paul, Minnesota.   His work has been exhibited widely, both nationally and internationally.

Lucien Koonce received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from  East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina  and Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts (both in ceramics) from the University of Iowa.  In the past several decades he has appeared in numerous exhibitions throughout the United States and worldwide (Australia, Taiwan, Belgium, Singapore, and Ireland), as well as receiving a number of prestigious awards.  His work can be found in collections throughout the world, both public and private.  He is the author of a number of articles.

Ken Pincus studied Arts and Crafts/History and East Asian Studies, earning a BA from the University of California, Santa Cruz.  He found a source of inspiration in the ceramics of China, Japan and Korea and went on to study pottery in the Tajimi region, Gifu Prefecture, Japan, in 1982, serving until 1987 as an apprentice to potter/artist Yoshihiko Yoshida.  In 1988 Ken returned to the US and soon established Pincus Pottery Studio in Aloha, Oregon, eventually relocating to his current studio in the hills of outer northwest Portland. There he built his Skyline Kiln, a single-chamber wood-fire kiln designed to high-fire in about 36 hours. Skyline Kiln is fired two to three times a year; a separate gas kiln, more frequently.

Akira Satake was born in Osaka, Japan and has been living in the United States since 1983, currently residing in North Carolina.  He is widely sought after for workshops, lectures and exhibitions both in the US (including the Smithsonian Craft Show, Philadelphia Museum Show, and SOFA NY), and internationally in Australia, Indonesia, Belgium, France, Spain and Israel.  Akira is included in the collections of the Mint Museum and the Phillips Collection.  His awards include the National Award for Excellence in Contemporary Clay awarded by the Philadelphia Museum and his life and work have been featured in the PBS television series A Craftsman’s Legacy.

Reid Schoonover is a ceramic artist and mixed-media sculptor, living and working in Wisconsin.  He was educated at the University of Wisconsin (BAE) and University of Montana (MFA).  He has been featured in many exhibitions throughout the United States, including in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kentucky, Montana, Illinois, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Washington and Washington, D.C.  Reid produces both functional and sculptural forms and exclusively fires in wood fired kilns.

Shiho Kanzaki is revered by a loyal, worldwide following.  His faith and passion for Azuchi-Momoyama Period Shigaraki and Iga pottery inspired him to create many stunning works, primarily large tsubo and tea ceremony utensils.  Indeed, it has been said that his pots are like jewels thrown down from the heavens.  Kanzaki continually blazed new trails in the ceramic art world.  Potters from all over the world traveled to fire with him and learn his techniques, including a number of artists represented by The Island Gallery.   Until his recent passing, Kanzaki lived and worked in Shigaraki, Japan.

 The Island Gallery at Sotheby’s
Andrea K. Lawson, Self Portrait with Spring Bouquet in My Studio.  Oil on canvas
Spring Portraits
Andrea K. Lawson

May 4 - 31, 2018

First Friday Artwalk, May 4, 6-8 pm

About the Show:   The Island Gallery is pleased to announce a special showing of works by Port Hadlock artist Andrea K. Lawson at “The Island Gallery At Sotheby’s,” opening on May 4th at Bainbridge Island’s First Friday Art Walk, 6-8 pm (240 Winslow Way East).  Andrea’s works celebrate spring, and the opportunity to bid farewell to clouds and drizzle, and to welcome the burst of sunshine and accompanying floral display.  In this special show, Spring Portraits, Andrea offers a series of colorful, expressive and very personal figurative work. 

About the Artist:

Andrea K. Lawson (Port Hadlock, Washington):  Andrea was born in Hollywood, California and received her BA from the University of California Santa Cruz and her MFA from Parsons The New School of Design, New York City.   Her prize winning paintings, drawings and prints have been exhibited across the United States and Europe.  A select list of Andrea’s solo and juried exhibits include:  The Painting Center, New York, The Cape Museum of Fine Art, Massachussetts, Gallery K, Los Angeles,  Ronnebaekshholm Arts & Culture Centre, Denmark, and Ecole Nationale Superieur des Beaux Arts, Paris, France.  In Seattle and the Northwest:  Washington State Convention Center, The Corridor Gallery, Port Angeles Fine Art Center, Max Grover GalleryArtisans On Taylor and Northwind Arts Center.

Using expressive color and freely roving gestural line, I explore wild spaces as well as dense human spaces. I am intrigued by the interaction between the two, such as electric lights twinkling in a wild nightscape. Painting outdoors overlooking the Puget Sound, I paint abstract landscapes with color that is not a copy but is a direct response to my emotion and experience of the changing light on sky and water as the sun moves along its path. Using sketches from dances, and photographs that I take at political marches and parades, I paint the wild magic of community. I create paintings about how human figures can be entangled in nature, struggling to be part of or separate from their/our surrounding environment.

In light of recent political events, an interesting part of Andrea’s life has been the influence of her grandfather.  Andrea says that her grandfather’s “story is a reminder to all Americans to vigilantly fight for and preserve our freedom of speech and civil rights.”  Andrea remembers
visiting her grandparents and hearing the sound of typewriter keys click-clacking from her Grandpa Jack’s office downstairs.  Grandpa Jack was John Howard Lawson, the experimental playwright, screenwriter and one of the Hollywood Ten.  Inspired by European Theatre, vaudeville and jazz, he wrote socially conscious, experimental plays in the twenties and thirties which broke down the “fourth wall” (separation between audience and stage). In the thirties, he brought his family to Hollywood to write for the screen. His film titles include: Sahara, Blockade and Algiers, starring Hedy Lamarr and Humphrey Bogart. Cry Beloved Country is known as one of the first films to portray a non-stereotypical black character and to question Apartheid.  Lawson was the first president of the Screen Writers Guild and outspoken, standing up for writer’s rights and the rights of workers everywhere.  During the 1950s (a/k/a: the McCarthy Era), Lawson was part of a group of ten well-known writers who were imprisoned for refusing to name names to HUAC (the House on Un-American Activities Committee.) These ten brave men stood up for freedom of speech and went to jail for it.  

My grandfather was blacklisted and never worked again under his own name. This had a huge effect on his life and career and family.

Event Location: 

240 Winslow Way E, Bainbridge Island, WA
206-842-0842 /

About The Island Gallery

Established in 2002, The Island Gallery features internationally recognized artists whose work takes traditional art  forms in exciting new directions:  studio furniture and sculpture;  museum quality textile art  and wearables; wood fired ceramics from the finest potters in America; paintings and prints; and unique jewelry creations. Monthly exhibitions include live musical concerts, featuring such genres as jazz, rock, folk, chamber music and performance art.  This, along with its reputation for excellence, makes The Island Gallery a destination spot on beautiful Bainbridge Island, a short ferry ride from Seattle, and steps from the new Bainbridge Island Museum of Art.  In 2017 we celebrated 15 years of collaboration with unique and talented artists from near and far.

Contact Us/Visit/Event Location:

The Island Gallery, 400 Winslow Way E, #120, Bainbridge Island, Washington.

Underground parking is available at The Winslow off Ericksen Avenue.

Web site:


Tuesdays - Saturdays 11:00 – 6:00 pm
Sundays Noon – 5:00 pm
Closed Mondays