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.
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.
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.
I’m still making my train ticket art! I have been posting photos on Instagram pretty regularly and here are a few of them.
Additionally, Pattern Observer kindly wrote a post about it back in September. I meant to mention it then but was in Australia without much signal at the time. In it I spoke about the process and how I have managed to keep it going for so long.
The grand reopening of my Etsy shop selling digital downloads is happening today, Saturday 14th November!! To celebrate, I’m offering 20% discount on everything in the shop just for this weekend, 14th and 15th November. I’d love you to take a look! The code you’ll need is 20414 – at the checkout before payment, you click on ‘Apply shop coupon code’ and type it in the box that appears. If you need any help with this, go to Etsy’s help page for coupon codes.
Here is a sneak peek at one of the kits:
I had an inky time earlier this week splashing round India ink to make some more papers! Great fun, but very messy…
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