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Friday, November 25, 2011

Pole Wrapping Workshop with Jan Myers Newbury

I had the great pleasure of spending last Saturday and Sunday in Newark with Jan Myers Newbury and 12 other students. Jan's two day workshop was terrific. She really got us going right away and her knowledge and organization made this an amazingly productive workshop.

wrapped diagonally and twisted as it was pushed down the pole
We began by learning what I believe she called a down and dirty method of basically wrapping fabric around an pole, putting rubber bands on the bottom to keep it from sliding off and then pushing the fabric down to tightly compress it. No wrapping just pushing. This produces a much softer series of lines than wrapping with string, but is so fast and easy that it was shocking, almost effortless.

Jan had us working in teams and we each were able to dye a minimum of 4 poles during each dyeing session. She has a chart set up for each dye session that breaks down the dyeing time into 15 min. sections so that the washing soda is added at the correct time and all pieces are agitated in a timely fashion. She also provided us with recipes for all the colors we were using.

Rolled on to the pole vertically and pushed straight down.

There are so many possible variations with just this one simple technique that I can barely begin to think about all that is possible.

We were all working with cotton which is not at all usual for me. I really look forward to trying this with a variety of silks. Jan usually uses her fabrics to make quilts and says she really does not like sewing silk. I was curious about her banning of silk for this workshop and her explanation made perfect sense. She wanted us to all have color samples to go along with her recipes and silk does not dye the same colors as the cotton.  She also mentioned that the molecules are attracted to silk in a different way than to cotton, but this I am not so clear about.

Next we were encouraged to try incorporating different folds in our pieces. The one below shows a very random fold. I think I may have done it something like folding a paper envelope.
 You are only seeing the outer parts of the wrapping as I had folded it in half and over dyed the lighter half of it.
Folded randomly and pushed down pole

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