Several months ago Arlene found out about an article about Adinkra stamps in a magazine published by the Surface Design Association, a group of fiber and textile artists. It turned out the the most cost-effective way for us to advertise our stamps in the magazine was for her to join the association. We went to a meeting of the local chapter yesterday at the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton. I was just tagging along, having been warned that I was welcome but would have to put up with a lot of gabby women. The fact is, I went to an all male college where I had to either bicycle or hitchhike 17 miles to Bennington College if I wanted to talk to a woman. Eventhat was only spring and fall — Bennington wasn’t in session during the winter, and then it was something like a 50 mile drive to Smith, or farther to Mount Holyoke, Skidmore, or Vassar. I’ve never recovered from that; I have a high tolerance for gabby women.
The meeting started off with a tour of the basket exhibit at the museum. It was pretty impressive! The tour was given by the museum’s education director, who is a member of the group. She had an excellent idea of how to tailor her presentation to the interests and level of knowledge of the group members. Besides that, she had recently taken a workshop on ash (wood) splint basketry. There were a few “normal” baskets in the exhibit, and a lot of unconventional ones that you might not think of as baskets at first. With a little justification (”well, it’s made of fiber, and it could hold something, maybe”) you could probably accept them as baskets, or at least as basketry. One, a lamp with a shade woven from cable ties, looked like something you might be able to make in an afternoon. Others were so complex that you knew you would have to study for years before starting to duplicate them and then work most of another year on the one item.
After lunch in the museum cafeteria there was a show and tell session. Arlene showed off a discharge-printed T shirt she had done at the Nature Printing Society meeting a couple of months ago. Here’s a photo of someone else talking about her recent experiments with dyeing indigo over fiber-reactive dye colors. Also in the picture is someone else’s shibori-dyed fabric and a basket made from watercolor paper painted with acrylics and cut into strips by being run through a pasta maker.
Drat! I’m doing this on my PC, without my familiar software (Photoshop and Interarchy). I seem to have uploaded photos that didn’t get sized and rotated the way I wanted.
And here are close-ups of more indigo over fiber-reactive dye samples: