The Practice of Shibori

Since attending a workshop at the Esker Foundation last Saturday, I’ve been reading a little about the practice of Shibori and discovering the many ways that one can, using Indigo, create brilliant patterns on fabrics.

Keep in mind that this was my first experience.

Esker’s workshop presenter was Lyn Pflueger, generously assisted by Jeri, also from Bragg Creek.  Borrowed from the 2009 Annual Report for the Immigration Services of Calgary, this beautiful photograph by Fritz Tolentino.

Lyn 2

Everything about this workshop reminded me of working side by side with my mother…learning to crochet, knit, sew garments, embroidery and basket weaving.  My mother loved these things.  One of my biggest regrets is that I never had opportunity to learn the skill of weaving on a loom with Mom.  She was an inspiring person for so many reasons.  Lyn and Jeri demonstrated the same patience and the Esker programming staff was so wonderful, providing materials and a smooth pacing of the event.  Thank you.

While I stitched a running stitch (the first technique described) I thought about Mom and while I evidently did NOT pull my stitches tightly enough (optimally, you achieve a beautiful white to contrast with the deep colour of the indigo), I enjoyed every minute learning the methodology, with intention of pressing forward with such exploration.

I decided to explore a gesture of the bush that I visit and document every day at the pond.I felt a lot of strength in my surroundings.  I was emotional, I must admit.  The technique at the bottom of the image is called binding, in this case, around soya beans.  In the end, I wrapped these tightly enough so that the ink did not manage its way into the cloth.  My running stitches, on the other hand, were not so successful.






Kath Stitching Esker Shibori 2

Photo Credit: Esker Foundation


Kath Stitching Esker shibori

Photo Credit: Esker Foundation

Break here for a song that came to mind…I had heard the St. Mary’s University choir do a version of it…and I was thinking how I’d like to be with my Mom.  She would so enjoy Shibori techniques!


The samples that Jeri and Lyn showed us were so absolutely beautiful.  I liked the connection between the exhibit, Colleen Heslin’s work and the process.


The technique used for the samples below is a clamping technique.  I have not yet documented my clamped sampler, but was pleased to learn this second technique.



An amazing process of dye baths and oxidation…all timed.  It is easy to get absorbed by the interesting process of it all.



I managed to catch the gesture of the bush…very strong sense of the rock with the bound soya beans…a  strong border, but the loss of some branches, likely by a pulled thread or two or three, lost and not knotted properly.

Kath's Canon April 11, 2016 Shibori and Black Bird and Crow 002Kath's Canon April 11, 2016 Shibori and Black Bird and Crow 013

We enjoyed the various fabric samplers that demonstrated the limitless possibilities of applying these techniques and more to other types of fabric…felting, organza and others.


Thanks to all, for a beautiful morning at Esker! There was a powerful bonding to fabric artists, both present and those who have left this world…to feel that spirit of connection and creation was awesome!

Finding Art in Belleville

I had several magical encounters with art and artists while in Belleville, Ontario and I’m grateful, especially, for meeting artists Peter Paylor and Lisa Morris. Totally immersed in their artistic community, both are creating wonderful ‘happenings’ at The Core Arts and Culture Centre and beyond.  Their enthusiasm is contagious and it is evident that the arts are alive and well in Quinte!

The Core Arts and Culture Centre

The Core Arts and Culture Centre

I met Peter Paylor and Lisa Morris, along with Kathy Jo Paylor manning tables at the Belleville Market down on Front Street. At the time, Lisa was displaying her art jewelry, reclaiming materials, and Peter was selling hand carved sumac walking and talking sticks.

Photo Credit: Lisa Morris and Peter Paylor Belleville Market

Photo Credit: Lisa Morris and Peter Paylor Belleville Market

Photo Credit: Lisa Morris and Peter Paylor Belleville Market

Photo Credit: Lisa Morris and Peter Paylor Belleville Market

The market, in itself, was a magical place because of all of the fresh produce, the homemade soaps…the local honey products and much more.  But for me, a real gift was meeting up with artists and seeing the sorts of projects and initiatives that they were working hard to build in the Bay of Quinte region.  The meeting also made me aware of an art opening one evening at the John M. Parrott Art Gallery.

As well as exhibiting Stitch Happens, by the Kingston Fiber Artists, there was a collection of local art based on local photographers’ works titled Bay of Quinte Interpreted 2.  19 local artists interpreted 12 winning photographs from the Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan Photo Contest with a Twist 2.  Please follow this link to see a collection of these interpretations.

P1140110 P1140111 P1110790 P1110791 P1110795 P1110796 P1110798 P1110799 P1110803 P1110806 P1110807 P1110809 P1110812Before leaving Belleville, I made certain that I said my good-byes at the market and purchased a piece by Peter titled Under Sail and several pieces of jewelry for my girls from Lisa.  Thanks to the two of you for being so welcoming and passing on so much information!

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