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DAY 5/7 Wool Masterclass @ Bergerie National, France

Today we were introduced to theatre designer and textile artist, Ysabel de Maisonneuve.  Ysabel is based in France but has spent extensive time in Japan studying their traditional Shibori techniques.  This was the topic of discussion for today’s workshop.

To give you a backround on Ysabel, she has worked on many in-theatre and on-site productions, including with Théâtre du Frêne; Theatre du Soleil, the award winning Tambours sur La Digue directed by Ariane Mnouchkine; with Peter Brook; Yoshi Oïda; and with Russell Dumas’ Dance Exchange in Australia.  A recipient of the Japan Foundation Fellowship, her textile works have toured internationally and collections sold in Paris, New York and Tokyo.

Ysabel began her day with us by outlining the background to her work, showing us images and techniques she uses on commissioned work, both fashion and theatre based.  She has created work for the fashion house Balenciaga as well as working with designer Christian Lacrioux on costume designs.  

The majority of images above are taken from a theatre brochure of Bunraku which is Japanese puppet theatre. Ysabel worked on the backdrop for this theatre company. It was fascinating to hear Ysabelle's experience of working on this scale, her challenges and the experimentation involved when working to such a large size.  Where can I find the space? What equipment can I use (eg. Ysabelle had to make her own large bath out of wood in order for the material to be evenly dyed) ??  

Our afternoon was spent experimenting with different Shibori techniques.  There is a few definite strategies you need in order for your Shibori to be a success:

1.  The material needs to be TIGHTLY compressed - strongly tied and knotted.

2.  Keep it simple and with repetition. TAKE NOTES. If it is a success you know how to repeat it, if it is not your desired result you know how to NOT do it again !! 

I think it is a very interesting process.  Similar to the felting I was continually looking to find form, shape, texture.  I had a few successes but I think it will be a case of practice and experimenting with scale, colour and different fabrics.  

* I think the prints -below-  beside eachother, create a much more interesting effect.  They clash while still remaining harmonious.

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