This is a busy week with The Sketchbook Blog Hop and now a Blog Tour (is that more sophisticated). I was lucky enough recently to be able to read a review copy of Shabd Simon-Alexander’s book entitled ‘Tie-Dye'. It is a beautifully presented book; the gorgeously illustrated cover looks so tactile that one could stroke it. Even if you are not tempted to try or retry tie-dye there is so much detailed information for anyone who enjoys surface design, practical information about dyeing and particularly about the use of colour, that I think you would enjoy this new book. Living in New York, Shabd has a background in fine art, and designs her own clothing line. She has been kind enough to answer some questions for Stitchworks, and to offer a free copy of her book for one reader. Read on to find out what you need to do to be eligible for the draw.
1. The splashes of colour in your book are lovely. I understand that you teach colour theory, which can be daunting, your illustrations and explanations are clear and make it a more approachable fun subject. Do you have your own favourite colour combination?
I love to use lots of bright colours but always like to tame them a bit with neutrals, tans and greys. I like my colors themselves to be a little off, so I mix the neutrals right into the dye to subdue them a bit, or I’ll use the neutrals alongside the brighter colors within a garment to make a more complex color palette.
2. Many people stick to one palette of colours and avoid others; are there any colours which you avoid?
I like a challenge, so I often try to work with colors that I have an arbitrary bias against, and figure out how to create something that I love. This may mean mixing a version that I like, or finding a new way of using the color alongside other colors that bring out its strengths or show it in a new light. Often the color that I originally didn't like but worked so hard to tackle turns out to be the universal favorite in a collection.
3. How would you spend a day in the studio, if you had no commitments other than to enjoy yourself?
Just playing around with new colors, techniques, and methods, and doing tests that don’t need to go anywhere specific. Most of my favorite things I've made have been the result of happy accidents!
4. I like the introduction to ‘Tie-Dye Around The World’ with its interesting illustrations and I wonder if there is a particular place or country which inspires your designs?
When I started dyeing fabric I wasn't looking at anything – historical or contemporary – and was specifically trying to get to know the technique within a vacuum so that I could figure out my own methods and aesthetic. Over time, especially after I began teaching and working on the book, I went very deep into historical research and found that there is an amazing wealth of techniques from all over the world, each with very different aesthetics that show a lot about the place where it comes from and the people who made it. My current favorites are the Berber tie-dyes, which are really free-form, abstracted and artistic; some feel like train of thought sketches while others are like abstract Rothko paintings.
5. Do you have any plans to teach or to visit the UK?
To be included in the draw for a free book you need to comment here letting me know your favourite colour and one you usually avoid. I will make the draw at the start of October.
Here are the other blogs participating in the Blog Tour:
Wednesday 11th September – http://www.relovedmag.co.uk/
Thursday 12th September – http://www.makeandcraft.com/blog/
Friday 13th September – http://www.knitting-up-north.co.uk/
Monday 16th September – http://www.cutoutandkeep.net/