Dances We Danced

Shibori and Indigo Series

"Diana's Dance" shibori and indigo dye on cotton  Photo Credit: JC Johnson

"Diana's Dance" shibori and indigo dye on cotton

Photo Credit: JC Johnson

"Pavarti Prepares to Dance" shibori and indigo on cottons  Photo Credit: JC Johnson

"Pavarti Prepares to Dance" shibori and indigo on cottons

Photo Credit: JC Johnson

 

 

Dances We Danced

David F. Heustess

The early part of my arts life was spent as a dancer, first in musical theater and then in modern dance.   In my twenties I thought I’d never do anything else. But then time went by along with the wear and tear of training and performing, so I began my visual arts career. 

For this series, “Dances We Danced”, I use a technique called shibori.  Associated with Japanese kimono decoration, shibori involves manipulating fabric through stitching, knotting, folding and clamping.  These methods act as a resist to the dye used and when the fabric is unbound a pattern is revealed.  I use a lot of the stitch techniques to create these dance figures; every line is stitched by hand and then tightly pulled and knotted.  Each piece of fabric is dyed individually by hand in an indigo vat.  Indigo is a blue dye that makes layers on the fabric instead of soaking in to the fabric and this makes it the perfect partner for shibori.  I’m often asked how many hours a piece takes to create and I have no answer for that; I simply work until the piece is finished.