My fascination with shibori began over ten years ago when a Japanese friend gave me a set of lovely shibori placemats. It turned out to be a gift not of placemats, but of a journey of string which I have followed from Minnesota to Japan and back several times.

Shibori is a centuries old Japanese technique for decorating kimono fabric in which the fabric is shaped by binding, folding, stitching or wrapping. This shaping creates a resist impenetrable by dye. The pattern appears when the freshly dyed fabric is opened. While tie-dye is the popular form of shaped-resist dyeing, it is the clarity, simplicity and geometry of the crisp Japanese patterns which I love. The wit of using three-dimensional shaping to create a two-dimensional pattern intrigues me.

As a result of studying with both Japanese and American teachers I use both traditional and newer Japanese techniques and patterns to create designs which have a relaxed informality to celebrate our intellect and our senses. My ideal is a harmony between East and West, mind and heart, formality and informality, traditional craft and contemporary aesthetic. The vitality of the past delights and fascinates me, especially the way in which a tradition can continue to contribute beauty to our lives in contemporary reincarnations.

Patricia Freiert

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