My mono printed fabric.
Ruth demonstrates a shibori wrapping technique.

Enjoying the newly dyed fabric.

If you’ve been reading my blog for long, you know I love play dates with my artist friends. You have also seen the clothesline full of dyed fabrics. No clothesline this time, just stacks and stacks of awesome dyed, stamped, screen-printed, and painted fabrics.

I kept the idea of “cultivate” foremost in my mind going into the last two dye sessions: letting one experience build on the last.

The first dye session started with a few hours of de-stressing at the Glenwood Hot Springs pool. I was on my way to Grand Junction and a long weekend meeting with members of the Surface Design Association. Mary Hertert spearheaded and hosted the meeting was at her Color Creek Studio in Grand Junction.

Color Creek is a fully equipped dye studio. Two huge tables—one at a nice height for standing, the other lower for seated work—dominate the main area. Design walls, an extensive library, and a dye area surround the tables. There is a wonderful cabinet filled with everything you might need, and each drawer is labeled to ease your search.

The premise of the gathering was that each person would explore her own area of interest. We came from varied backgrounds in surface design and were able to share, teach, and learn together. Many took advantage of the dye pot or explored the use of disperse dye on poly fabric. My area of study was to monoprint using a Gelli plate.

The creative energy in the room was palpable. You could hear the oohs and ahs as fabric came out of the dye pot or off the heat press and went up on the design board. Words of appreciation and encouragement flew around the room. I was happily distracted watching others work.

Liz brought many of her woodcut stamps to share and I used them extensively, stamping on the fabric and also creating designs on the Gelli® plate to monoprint. By the end of the day, there was as much interesting paint on my hands as on the fabric!

We convened at Gjeneve’s in the evening for a potluck of wine and good company. We also discussed the possibility of an exhibit of surface-designed yardage at the Western Slope Center for the Arts.

Sunday was a repeat of Saturday and, for the ones who just couldn’t tear themselves away, so was Monday.

Two weeks later, on the hottest day of the year, I gathered with my smaller group, BLT, and we dyed fabric. This time I joined in the dye fun.