From the Studio

thoughts on art and process in action from a contemporary artist

Dyeing for Identity Tapestry

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IMG_4081To the left you see yesterday’s dyeing work (with the exception of those already wound into balls- those are ones I didn’t use in the last round).  I spent a good 6 hours the day before yesterday taking the skeins of yarn I buy at the store and rewinding them into many small skeins the right lengths for the artwork.  Every single one has to be a slightly different color, with an even balance of colors overall.  Over time I’ve found that for every foot the Tapestry is long I need to give participants at least a yard of yarn.  But I don’t do that, not every time.

From the beginning I felt it was important to make some lengths too short.  I wanted a sense of mortality in the piece- the sense that not everyone gets to do and say everything, that we don’t know when we might come up short.  Others are far longer than they need to be.  The variance is not only seen visually in the color, but in the cards dealt, so to speak.  I still need to vary based on being on either end of a certain mark though, so I am making the majority within a few yards of 12 ft.

This photo contains 110-ish colors.  Another 100-ish or so left to dye tomorrow.  Today I’m re-winding another stack of skeins.  The loose skeins in the bottom right (laid out in lines) are the original colors I started with.  I always keep one each of those too.  Dyeing over a range of colors gives so much more depth to the colors in the end.  I love over-dyeing.  It just makes me want to eat the colors.

Written by Mary Corey March

January 11, 2013 at 5:04 am

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