If you've stopped into Anthropology or Pottery Barn lately, you're already familiar with the quickly growing popularity of Shibori (if not, look to the left for some examples of Shibori patterns!). Shibori is a term from the Japanese culture to describe a way of dyeing fabric which is defined by an infinite number of resist methods. One of Rochester Brainery's very own teachers, Courtney Craig, uses Shibori to make numerous items such as pillows, wallpaper, scarves, and much more! Traditionally, Japanese Shibori is strictly the color indigo from the plant; however, as you can see Courtney deals in more colors than just that!
Courtney's interest in dying and printing textiles started back when she was 18 years old. Her interest quickly evolved into a passion after spending time with family, friends, and other artists in a studio environment. After attending the Art Institute of North Carolina and completing her BFA in textiles at Buffalo State, Courtney has started a career as a surface designer right here in Rochester!
So how long does it take Courtney to make the beautiful Shibori pillows you see to the right? The answer might surprise you! When she is hand dying her materials, it can take up to a couple of days to make one pillow! However, Courtney also produces screen printed material which, after you have created the screen print, only takes minutes to produce a pillow.
When I caught up with Courtney at the Brainery Bazaar, I asked her how much practice it takes to get to the level she is at. I expected the answer to be a combination of many years of practices and months of schooling. However, Courtney explained the Shibori is actually extremely simple! Someone just starting out can produce just as wonderful as a result of someone who has been doing Shibori for years. Pretty cool, right?
If you're interested in learning Shibori, Courtney is teaching a Shibori Dye Workshop right here at the Rochester Brainery on August 10th! After taking the class you will walk out with some knowledge of basic techniques as well as two of your very own hand dyed silk scarves! To learn more information about the class and to sign up, check out our website. Other than her class, Courtney recommends the Textile Art Center for people interested in learning more about Shibori. So the next time you see Shibori in a store - remember, you could do it yourself!!