Monday, June 21, 2010
Ptolemy Mann is a British textile artist I had the privilege of hearing speak a few weeks back at the Christopher Farr Gallery. Her signature work takes the process of ikat and modernizes with color and in the form of a stretched canvas rather than a wall hanging. I love classic ikat, but it was exciting to see the reinvention. She is also a color consultant for architects wanting to add a dimension of color to their structures. It seems like such an obvious collaboration, but apparently a new way of thinking as well. A hospital is one of the works in progress. I asked her about how she comes up with her color combinations while dying her yarns, she compared it to being a painter mixing paints. She recently came out with a gorgeous line of soon to be available ikat inspired upholstery fabric that are actually beautifully laser printed fabrics. Thanks David!
Got this great new used book called The Dyer's Art: Ikat, Batik, Plangi. It's describes these ancient dyeing processes and has big colorful photos of historical textiles. It's even signed by author and famed weaver Jack Lenor Larsen.
First of all, the process of dyeing is coloring fiber and then using something else like mordant to fix it" or keep it from washing away or make it "colorfast". Products like Rit dye are all-in-one products which makes it easy to do in your washing machine.
The look of ikat is the soft feathery edges of a woven graphic on a textile as a result of the imperfect handmade quality of dyeing and weaving by hand.
In the process if weaving ikat, yarns of a warp are wrapped in certain spots to resist dye, so when yarns are dyed, then unwrapped, and put under tension on loom it creates a warp with a dyed design.