Shibori in France

My husband and I had a holiday in Haute Vienne in France in early June.  One of the places we visited was a papermill and paper museum called the Moulin du Got which had an exhibition that reminded me of shibori and manipulated fabric.  Here are some of the exhibits – looking at the website I think these are all by the artist Fritz Jacquet.

"Starry" by Fritz Jacquet 2016 in exhibition at papermaking museum

“Starry” by Fritz Jacquet 2016 in exhibition at papermaking museum

Another creation of paper manipulation

Another creation of paper manipulation

The papermill was in an area famous for its tapestry – Aubusson and Felletin – and I had a fascinating tour around a museum of tapestry cartoons (the paintings which provide the guide for the tapestry weaver).

paper sculpture

I love the way these paper sculptures have been lit!

Do you remember the shibori fabric in the last post and that I thought of making a bag with it? Well, I bought a pdf pattern of this bag – the Zip-To-It from Cloudsplitter Bags – and decided to make a practice version first. Here it is!  I really enjoyed making it and can thoroughly recommend the pattern: it comes with lots of photos to walk you through the (quite complicated) process.  This practice session was useful because I came to the conclusion that Spoonflower’s ecocanvas would probably be too thick to use for it (this one has several layers of quilting fabric plus interfacing and zip and my sewing machine was protesting at certain points!).  So I will use a simpler pattern, and maybe make a tote or a bag for planner supplies (or both!).  I love this bag though, and can see myself making a few more.

flowery Zip-To-It bag

I enjoyed picking out the different fabrics for it from my stash.

I took it to my son Barney’s graduation from Trinity College, Cambridge last month.

Cambridge graduation photo

Posing for the obligatory graduation photo!

I have just started a Facebook group for customers and fans of my digital downloads and scrapbooking papers.  It is called Plummer Printables and I’m hoping that we will be able to discuss what we can do with the digital papers and planner stickers/clipart and share links to tutorials and ideas.  If you are interested in joining, please click the link and ask to be added to the group.

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Experimenting with Japanese Shibori Patterns

I’ve been quiet on here for a while but have been busy adding digital scrapbook kits to my shops on Etsy and Creative Market.  One of the kits has indigo blue shibori patterns, developed from both tie dyed fabric and paper.

Indigo shibori Digital Paper Pack by Liz Plummer - printable for scrapbook paper, DIY wedding invitations, envelopes, etc

This photo shows some of the things you can do with the shibori paper

Shibori is a Japanese tie dyeing method of making patterns, usually in indigo.  In Japan, this traditional art has some amazingly complex stitching designs: the act of gathering the fabric acts as a resist so that the dye only reaches the parts that haven’t been gathered tightly.  Sometimes it is pleated and clamped.  When I did my City & Guilds in patchwork and quilting we wrapped it tightly round pieces of drainpipe and pushed it down really hard then poured the dye over it. This produced some really striking patterns.  Here is the account of how I dyed one of the patterns in the kit.

I have a book by Yoshika Wada called Shibori: the Inventive Art of Japanese Shaped Resist Dyeing.  The patterns shown there are varied and awesome.  My patterns, in comparison, are relatively simple.  I’ve mixed them with watercolour stripes and dashes.

I’ve got a Shibori board on Pinterest if you would like to see lots of examples.

Apparently the word ‘shibori’ comes from the verb shiboru which means to wring, squeeze or press, and denotes the process of manipulating fabric, treating it as a 3 dimensional form rather than a 2 dimensional surface.  Michelle Griffiths, a textile artist based not far from here in South Wales, makes amazing sculptural textile designs by leaving the cloth in this dimensional form.  I’ve pinned some photos of her work on the board on Pinterest.

The digital files in my kits can be used for scrapbooking, digital journaling, wedding invitations, to make envelopes and other stationery, or as blog backgrounds or for the new style Etsy cover photos.

I uploaded one of the patterns to Spoonflower and ordered a metre of it when they had a half price sale on their eco canvas. Here it is hanging on my design wall.  I think I’m going to make a bag out of some of it – I quite like this design.

a yard of Shibori pattern by Liz Plummer printed by Spoonflower on eco canvas

I like the faint, subtle markings where the dye just stained the paper a bit as well as the more vibrant parts.

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Latest Trainticketart

This is my latest train ticket art. I’ve been using some of the clipart that I designed for my shop as well as trying out a few painted motifs.

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Ephraim Hopkins – my family history journey continued

Time to talk a bit about my family history….

Since I wrote my  blog posts about William Hopkins I think I have discovered what happened to his brother Ephraim. I searched in the Find My Past Worldwide Army Index for 1861 and found an Ephraim Hopkins who was a private in the 94th foot regiment stationed at Mean Meer, East Indies. I couldn’t find any more about him including any army records so I went to the National Archives in Kew and looked up the Muster Rolls for the regiment. I discovered that he had joined up in the late 1850s. He seems to have embarked for India almost immediately and he seems to have spent about 5 or 6 years there until, sadly, the last entry I found was: 9 April 1865 Died at Chundegurh en route to Kussowlie. Disease ‘bronchitis chi?’ or sri. (or chr for chronic?)

I ran out of time while I was trying to trace him forwards in the records to see if there was confirmation that he joined up in Stoke on Trent so I don’t have definite proof that it was our Ephraim Hopkins. However, the only other Ephraim I can find either in birth registrations or in the censuses of the right age lived in Worthing and that one died in 1858. But next time I am at TNA I will look up the relevant muster rolls to see if I can find him immediately he enlisted, and also try and find his enlistment papers but probably the fact that he died in India explains why I couldn’t find his army records on FMP, as they are records of soldiers who were discharged to pension. But at least it probably ties up another loose end. I wonder how long it took for William to discover his fate?

UPDATE: on my next visit to Kew I looked up the previous muster rolls for the regiment but could not see any entries for him under new recruits, so I don’t know exactly where he joined up or any more information – does anyone have any idea where I can go from here or whether there are likely to be any more records of him in any archives?

First posted in my family history blog Entwined Roots.

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