Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Colour, Texture and Maipulation

I spent a good part of last year weaving towards this solo exhibition "Colour, Texture and Manipulation" which showed at Laughing Pottery in Waihi.  I wove the pieces with the shibori resist threads in them but had to set them aside as I had a large commission looming and would have to rethread the loom.  So in the new year, that is the beginning of 2020, the magic started in the dye pots.

I had two walls in the studio plus the windows.  Started with the green pieces which blended into blues and the second wall was pinks into reds.  One window showed a blue blanket and the other window my woven coat with freeform crochet back.  My friend, Rene Corder Evans helped me hang the exhibition and it turned out exactly as I planned.  When hanging was finished I stood back to look and have to admit to shedding a tear or two.  A proud moment.

I have to admit I didn't give the pieces names. 
This piece was probably the most experimental with three wave design lines intersecting each other, one in the weaving and two shibori lines, hence it went through three dye pots  It was very hard to catch the magic and the colour.  Sold.
This piece in shades of blue had two design lines, one in the weaving and one a shibori resist.

The following was rather a mission working out the curves to fit within the length of a wrap and you never know quite how the dye will show.  This was rather a surprise.  It looks fabulous draped around a body.
                   The next piece you have read about in another blog post "Pounamu".

Below Pounamu is a neck piece, part of a series of woven jewelry.
This gives you an idea of how the resist threads are drawn up before the white merino wool and/or silk has dye painted on them.
As someone commented to me - you paint you work after its woven!
Sometimes my heart is in my mouth as I do it but ...

Bold orange and yellow on a deep olive green background.

Of course I make art.

Goodness its difficult to keep a length of weaving folded until it can be clamped.  I don't recall how many times I'd just be tightening the clamp and sprong ... it would explode outwards and I'd start again.
But what an effective result.  The blue/turquoise cowl at the top is a double twist, the other two are single cowls.

The table runner beside the cowls has sold.

This silk piece was pole wrapped several times with a different dye colour each time

This silk piece was the only one I made with hand stitching in the resist; mokume.

Another piece in the jewelry range with a woven tube around the neck, cotton medallion and silk tassel.
More jewelry, another tube.  Surprisingly warm to wear.  Sold

More pieces you've seen before.  A machine knit wrap that has been felted, the felt bars making it very organic.  The second piece is a woven cowl with an interesting accent yarn.
A narrow silk scarf shibori dyed with the folds creating the resist.  It has a ring at one end that the tassel end slips through; ideal for warmer climates.
A square silk scarf, again the folds creating the resist.
I really liked this so much I was tempted to weave silk to try several ... until I realised I'd be threading over 2,000 threads.  Nice dream.
And the last piece I'm sharing was woven with shibori resist threads in the body and clamp resisted at the ends, again going through several dye baths.

Andrew from Laughing Pottery was a bit surprised at the number of people who came from far and wide specifically to see the exhibition and asked if I could leave it hanging for another few weeks but, of course, Covid-19 changed our world and New Zealand went into complete lock down on the night of 25 March so my last activity before I was grounded was to go collect my exhibit.
Many thanks to everyone who went to see it.


  1. This morning I am strangely attracted to the very "graphic" dyed work. I like the vivid colors and "modern" patterns.

  2. Wow, what a wonderful exhibit Dianne! I am absolutly gob smacked at the wonderful range of your work. You absolutly derserve to have a solo show....well done you!

    1. Thanks Lynette. You are my inspiration for trying to update the blog. It has been sadly neglected - so much easier to upload a picture to social media but I do miss telling the stories.