Thursday, September 3, 2020

Profusion: newest 3-D shibori indigo piece

Profusion is my latest piece in three-dimensional shibori stitched and indigo dyed work.  It's 10" x 10" x 3" deep; cotton, Procion MX dyes, textile paint, indigo and shibori.  Also, because the pre-stretched canvas frame has almost a 2" deep side, I added flattened fabric to the edges to give a wrap-around effect.

I wanted to do more than just have blue on white fabric and decided to dye paint large areas of bright colors.  Relearning to mix Procion MX dyes was good experimentation because I discovered that my red and pink dyes had died.  So, I brought out my ProFab textile paints and did a thin wash over those faded areas.  Knowing that indigo does attach to textile paint (can't be too plastic-y though), I was glad of the results.

Unfortunately in this new Blogger, I can't get the caption to appear no matter how I follow the instructions in the Help section.  

I find it amazing in this new virtual exhibit reality we have right now that we can have one piece in multiple shows and never physically send it anywhere!

Here's what it looks like when it's all scrunched up after pulling and tying off the stitches.

The second photo shows an entire dishpan filled with indigo dyed fabric.  There are all different colors of blue because indigo overdyes beautifully and creates lovely and unusual colors.  My favorite is indigo on orange/yellow!

Thursday, July 9, 2020

New Dolls for ArtCats Gallery

Oriental Poppy Woman
Sunflower Woman

A customer at ArtCats Gallery in Muskegon MI requested a commission for two Square Headed Women dolls in the flower themes of Oriental Poppy and a second one of Sunflower.  It was a great challenge that I loved.

I used some fabric from my most recent 3-D shibori stitched and indigo dyed fabric to make the dress fabric for the two dolls.  The dress for the Poppy is mokume which reminded me of the leaves of the Oriental Poppy.

Sunflowers have big oval pointed leaves.  The dress for the Sunflower Woman is exaggerated whole cloth ori-nui pressed flat unlike the Poppy Woman.

The petals of the poppy are red silk organza around black flocked netting.  The sunflower is constructed of many yellow cotton petals, ruched yellow-orange crinkled cotton and a discharged green knit fabric. Both dolls' flowers have stems of my printed knit tube.  And both have green UltraSuede faces!

Oriental Poppy leaf

3-D Shibori Indigo Pieces for "Tiny But Mighty" exhibit

Pink Volcano Landscape
Wild Jungle Leaves
Lush Bananas

I've continued with the three-dimensional shibori and indigo dyed work.

This time I did 8" x 8" square pieces (the maximum size required for the entries to the "Tiny But Mighty" exhibit at the d'Art Center in Norfolk VA).  This is their 2nd National Exhibition of Small Artworks.

The "Pink Volcano Landscape" piece is a collage of cotton and knit fabric shibori.  The kumo "mountains" and ori-nui wiggles are two of the most 3-D shibori which I love doing.

"Wild Jungle Leaves" is shaped shibori (maki-age) which I love to do in leaf shapes.  The cotton was dyed as low immersion in yellows and oranges so that overdyeing in indigo created an odd green.

"Lush Bananas" is a whole cloth piece in exaggerated ori-nui.  The embroidery uses the holes created during the first shibori stitching.

Friday, June 12, 2020

3-D Shibori Stitched Indigo Dyed Pieces

Oceans Deep 1, 33"t x 23"w
Wow, it has been such a long time since I last posted!  But I have been very busy, especially working on and finishing these two 3-D shibori stitched and indigo dyed pieces:  Oceans Deep 1 and 2.

Detail, Oceans Deep 1
Initially they started out as one very large piece that was 3'w x 5't--- too much for my arms and hands to handle.  I took it apart to embroider the shapes and really make them stand up and be three-dimensional.  I used the holes already made by the shibori stitching and my purple hand dyed embroidery floss.

I realized that they didn't fit together any longer after the stitching (of course it shrank). In the end I think it looks much better as two pieces.

Oceans Deep 2 is actually a deep green (a melon yellow overdyed with indigo creates an interesting green). Oceans Deep 1 is an odd blue gray on a slightly orangey yellow cotton with beading and purple synthetic sheer painted with blue and used as additional "ribs" on the huge kumo circles.

I've entered these two pieces into the Surface Design Association (SDA)'s "Exhibition in Print" so I'm hoping to see them in this Fall's 2020 Journal.

I'm looking forward to working on more pieces as the 3-D aspect is so much fun to plan and execute.

Oceans Deep 2, 76"t x 23"w
Detail - Oceans Deep 2

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

New Collaged Embroideries: January 2020

Chinese Shoes, 7.25" x 10"
by Jennifer Gould

I am really pleased with my work in January.  I had foot surgery (hammer toe) on Jan. 7 and forced inactivity gave me almost a month to sit and work on a series of pieces.  My first is the "Chinese Shoes" which I did on a day when my fiber arts group in Grand Rapids was meeting.  I couldn't be there as I wasn't able to go out yet.  I was watching YouTube videos on my laptop of Chinese costume designer, Guo Pei, and so inspired by her fantastically gorgeous and outrageous costumes.
The Wizard's Tower,
5" x 16"
by Jennifer Gould

I've been working on pieces that are not rectangular or square, but with edges or shape that are either asymmetrical or uneven.
Alien Monoliths, 8.25" x 15" by Jennifer Gould

"The Wizard's Tower" followed, then "Alien Monoliths."  I love the cave-like shape of this latter piece and the floating monoliths.  I made a lot of monoprinted fabric last year and I've begun to use them in my pieces (background of "Alien Monoliths").  This piece includes freeform machine sewing on the background, handstitching on the textile printed and arashi shibori and indigo dyed cotton knit and shibori/indigo dyed brown linen; the cotton embroidery floss is handdyed.

Donut Holes Tumbling through Green Air,
6.5” x 27” (and detail)
I had begun "Donuts Tumbling through Green Air" years ago and now had time to finish embroidering the remaining rayon printed fabric.  A fun piece which includes commercial rayon fabric, and handdyed silk noil.
Silk Pagoda, 6" x 22"
by Jennifer Gould

"Silk Pagoda" included a small portion on the bottom of printed silk from the bolt end of kimono fabric.  The first kanji (Chinese characters) reads "silk."
Alien Landscapes 2, 26" x 12"

"Alien Landscapes 2" uses two pieces of monoprinted acetate, freeform machine embroidery, hand stitching, and 3-D round pieces of embroidered fabric wrapped foam core.

I'm looking forward to working on more such pieces but especially printing and painting more fabric this winter!

Detail, Alien Landscape,
by Jennifer Gould

Sunday, May 5, 2019


Here are the workshops I'm offering at my house this summer.  YOU get to suggest the dates of the workshop you want to take!  Just contact ( me to give me an idea what dates would work for YOU.  Workshops during the week or weekend are fine from June through August (and possibly in September).  I'm excited about the workshops and look forward to hearing from you.

The seemingly mysterious dye, INDIGO, used throughout the world but famous for its special development in Japan, dyes BLUE ---- from light to darkest of navy.  When combined with the Japanese technique of SHIBORI (stitch and bound resists), the two create delightful patterning on natural fabrics (cotton, linen, rayon, silk, wool).  Further combined with already colored fabric, multiple colors can be achieved.  Students will have their own indigo pot, learn about the history and use of indigo around the world while stitching their fabric, and develop a basic library of stitches in order to design pieces using shibori.  Fabric, yarn, and small pieces of clothing (shirts/blouses, thin fabric dresses, small jackets, scarves) can be dyed.  A supply list will be sent upon paid registration. Two days.  $200 plus $12 for materials.

Using a plexiglass plate and textile paint to explore surface design techniques, students experiment with an unending process to create exciting patterns both amorphous and detailed.  These printed fabrics are wonderful for quilting, embroidery, dollmaking and more. A supply list will be sent upon paid registration. One day.  $100 plus $5 for materials.

For those with an adventuresome spirit but looking to work in a slower, more contemplative textile method, students will use textile paints to print and paint fabric with images of their own design.  These images will create pattern, areas of color, or designs that inspire students to put hand stitching onto the fabric —anything goes!  During the afternoon and the next two days the “stitched mark” or one’s own personal stitch vocabulary will be discussed and used on fabric to create rhythm, movement, and visual and physical texture.  This workshop will strive to have students look at stitching on fabric, not as decorative, but as an expression of themselves---pulling something new and different from inside onto the cloth.  Jennifer will have many samples of her own embroidered pieces, images of contemporary embroiderers’ work from around the world, and books on hand.  A supply list will be sent upon paid registration. Two days. $200 plus $15 materials fee.

DISPERSE DYES:  Transfer Prints for Synthetic Fabrics
A whole new world awaits you with synthetic fabrics printed with disperse dyes.  Everything from polyester organza, iridescent sheers, acetate muslin, synthetic knits and more can be used.  Transfer prints made with the dyes create fascinating patterning which can be layered for multiple color overlays especially on sheer fabric.  We'll cover exciting possibilities such as basic painting techniques to make transfer prints, manipulating fabric and steaming pleats in place while printing color, using laser copies to print photographic images, using resists to create patterning (such as leaves, lace), and discharge.  A supply list will be sent upon paid registration.  Two days.  $200 plus $15 for materials.

Your own handmade stamps, stencils and rubbing plates give you the most exciting patterning.  We'll use rubber insulation foam, polystyrene plates and many other unusual but easily available items.  These produce patterning that's personal and never seen before in commercial products.  On the second day, students will use textile paints to sample their stamps and stencils. A supply list will be sent upon paid registration.   Two days.  $200 plus $20 for materials.

Explore the world of surface design techniques through guided demonstrations and your own experiments with textile paint on any type of textile.  Flour paste resists, a unique and easy airbrush technique and use of all of my handmade stamps and stencils give students time and opportunity to experiment.  A supply list will be sent upon paid registration.  Two days.  $200 plus $15 for materials.

Look forward to hearing from you!!  at

Monday, March 18, 2019

Valley Fiber Art Guild: MONOPRINTING Workshop

A happy Marie with her monoprint!

The first day of the workshops for the Valley Fiber Art Guild in the Green Valley area south of Tucson, Arizona, was MONOPRINTING.  This is a technique that is part of the surface design portfolio and specifically uses some type of printing plate.  
Combination of trace monoprinting and a
brayered leaf resist (Jennifer's)
Trace Monoprinting

My choice of printing plate is always a plexiglass plate.  Some people love gelatin plates but I find them too limiting in size and I don't care for the squishiness.  I gave my gelatin plate to away to a friend, including the bottles of glycerin that I was going to use to make the glycerin/gelatin plate that keeps indefinitely at room temperature.  I've collected a huge number of very different sized plexi plates so I can make both small pieces as well as huge (3' x 4') prints.

Monoprinting was new to the Valley FA Guild but they requested this part of surface design as their first workshop and were very enthusiastic about diving in and learning.

Using a firm brayer with thick textile paint (or thickened dyes) is the first requirement.  (My textile paints are ProFab that come from ProChem (ProFab paints).  Too thin a paint gives only a minor brayered texture.  A smooth rolling motion gives an organic lined texture (like a duck or a swan taking off from a pond).  If you stop in the middle you get a line----maybe what you want but maybe not.

Many techniques can be used for reductive printing (taking paint away by using something like Q-tips or a chopstick to create lines) or additive printing by adding more paint and drawings after each print.  Trace monoprinting is an exciting way to create a lined drawing.

My favorite technique is to make a print (plexiglass turned onto the fabric, pressed with your hands and then lifted off), then spray the plexi plate with water, and take another print.  The sprayed water liquifies the leftover paint and creates tiny dots that seem to jump off the fabric.

Marge experimenting.

Anita used paper to do a lot of her gelatin
 Monoprinted pieces are perfect for adding stitched work because of a lot of the amorphous areas created by brayered areas.  This worked perfectly for the last workshop on Friday, Contemporary Embroidery.
Ann produced a huge amount of gorgeous
fabric monoprints.

Margalis uncovering a trace monoprint.
Assistant Peggy made a doll out of the
printed fabric on the left.

Sue used a large stamp.
Kathe paints the back of a fig leaf to
create a leaf print.

Linda used a finely carved wood stamp
to create an all-over print.