Our summer workshop series starts next week!  We’ll be offering the Surface Design Discovery Series over two weeks and I’m excited to be adding a class on Sashiko Stitching.

Jolie Bird is a Canadian artist currently residing in Calgary, Alberta Canada. In April 2013, she received a Masters of Fine Art in Craft from NSCAD University, Halifax Nova Scotia. She is currently employed at the Alberta College of Art & Design as the Educational Art Technician for the Fibre Program. Her work has been shown throughout Canada and the United States including Fiberart International 2013: An exhibition of contemporary fibre art presented by the Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh, Fibreworks 2012: A biennial juried exhibition of Canadian fibre art and In The Making: A group exhibition of Alberta College of Art + Design alumni that investigates conceptual intersections between contemporary craft and emerging digital media. Bird’s practice incorporates simple yet laborious techniques that focus on the making while presenting an invested length of time and the transformation of ordinary objects into functional and non-functional precious works of art.

Jolie works with varied materials, incorporating a variety of traditional techniques and I’m excited to have her in the studio for an introduction to this Japanese decorative stitching technique. Traditionally sashiko was used to reinforce wearing or tears in clothes, much like darning.  It can be distinguished by its white cotton thread on traditional indigo blue cloth.

The geometric patterns and motifs really appeal to my personal aesthetic while I find the history so interesting. This surface embellishment was used by rural folk to piece together worn out clothes using a simple running stitch, not to mention that it lends itself so beautifully to contemporary quilting.

Join us in the studio next week to find out more about this beautiful surface embellishment technique and how you can apply it to your own work, or in July, for a focused workshop including indigo dyeing.