The invitation was courtesy of Course Horse, an online clearing house for all sorts of classes in the NY area that launched in 2011.
Full disclosure: Course Horse invited us for the low cost of "please blog about us and this class or we shall break your kneecaps". Although after meeting Evan and Katie, the masterminds behind inviting a bunch of fabric obsessed bloggers to a fabric dying event, I'm pretty sure that it was my inner monologue - who was raised in Brooklyn - and not either one of them that added the kneecaps threat. They were super nice fabric enablers. At any rate, I'm happy to blog about CH and TAC without any reservations since we bloggers totally made out like bandits. I got to take a free Shibori class while hanging out with Puu, Daughter Fish, Nettie and Ginger, talking about sewing and fabric and blogs.
|R to L: Daughter Fish, Ginger, Addison, Nettie, Katie, Puu and moi (courtesy of Evan)|
Course Horse, on the other hand, had to somehow figure out how to make it easy for all craft-obsessed, diy, athletic, overachiever-ish people in NY (and soon LA, too!) who want to take classes to actually find classes in, say, paddle boarding, weaving, mime, flamenco dancing, cupcake making, "BYOB painting", guitar lessons, sewing, photoshop, yoga, cooking, mah-jong, breastfeeding, sailing, jewelry making, creative writing or just about anything else that you could imagine. Seriously, I searched for mime and they had a class! Talk about a great resource for those of us short on time and craft/interest obsessed! What I really like about them is that they pull together classes being taught by a variety of local craft shops and artists that I might not otherwise learn about.
|Our Shibori teacher, Addison|
Now, back to the class! In case you are not aware, Shibori, is basically what grown ups call tie-dye. It's a dyeing method that uses binding, folding and twisting to create resists that, after dyeing, become patterns. We used indigo as our dye, and that was fascinating, too. Indigo needs to be fermented in order to work, so the vat of dye smelled sort of like kimchee. So, you bind up your cloth (cotton, muslin, linen, silk...), wet it with water, dunk it in your navy blue kimchee for a few minutes, let it oxidize, rinse and then hang dry.
The fun part was the range of household items you can use as resists - popsicle sticks, buttons, mason jar lids, rubber bands...
This one is a spiderweb type shibori that I made using folds and thread. Essentially, you make a fabric cone and then loop thread around it repeatedly using what knitters would recognize as an m1 stitch. You can see the teeny tiny lines where the thread was the resist.
|Kumo shibori aka Spider web shibori|
TAC offers classes in all sorts of textile arts - fabric dyeing, weaving, sewing and printing - both in Brooklyn and Manhattan. In fact, they even offer a leather working class. Most of their courses seem to be in 4 class series and are taught by artists - "artists teaching atrists" was what Addison said. But even this one evening demo was enough to inspire me. I've never really considered dyeing at home before due to my messy nature and lack of knowledge. Anyway, I have a growing list of classes that I'm fantasizing about at the moment and I have a feeling that Course Horse will quickly become a lunchtime browsing habit.
As for the other bloggers, it's really fun and inspiring to get a bunch of sewing enthusiasts together and the inevitable resource sharing and comparing notes that happens. And it was great to meet everyone! I hope to see you all again soon - in the blogosphere or in person!