My dyed and painted warp pieces are created from a process I developed in the early seventies. I took the ancient Japanese art of sakizome, which literally means dyeing before being woven, and adapted the technique to accommodate my space constraints while blending the process of loom weaving with thread dyeing. My work involves dyeing the yarns after being dressed on the loom, but before weaving.
My inspiration comes from nature, what we see, how we feel. Images are sketched “life-size” on blank newsprint, divided into 8-10 inch sections (depending on size of image), and positioned under the warp threads.
I use colorfast, fiber reactive dyes and saturate each fiber while taut. Only “half” the yarns are dyed or painted. Once totally dry, the warp is woven with natural silk fiber. The fabric is then rolled under onto the front beam, revealing another section of warp threads.
The process is repeated until the piece is finished, cut off the loom. Steaming to set, washing and drying diffuse the image, creating the feathered, ethereal look.
Click on the images below for a larger version.
I am currently working with the art of sakizome and double weave, the process of weaving two layers of fabric simultaneously.