Week 13 Ma Romper

Looking back it is hard to believe that this is how this weeks yard of fabric originally unfolded. Three very unique but oddly related processes came together to create what I am calling the "Ma Romper".  

The first of these processes, of Japanese origin, is Shibori.  

From Wikipedia "Shibori includes a form of tie-dye that originated in Japan and Indonesia. It has been practiced there since at least the 8th century. Shibori includes a number of labor-intensive resist techniques including stitching elaborate patterns and tightly gathering the stitching before dyeing, forming intricate designs for kimonos. Another shibori method is to wrap the fabric around a core of rope, wood or other material, and bind it tightly with string or thread. The areas of the fabric that are against the core or under the binding would remain undyed."

Following my first attempt of creating a geometric resist pattern with black dye, I then added color to the fabric with a combination of lavender, rose, hibiscus and turmeric.  I can't quite describe the colour that resulted other than to say it is almost that of the lichen "old man's beard". 
I refer to it now because it was scattered over the forest floor of our walk today in Strathcona Park.  I must give special mention to the wonderful folks at Strathcona Park Lodge who feed us another incredible meal and welcomed us gratefully. We journeyed there today to celebrate our wedding anniversary and visit the place where we took our vows, six years ago.

The second process was sort of a re-discovery for me.  Once I had sparked the idea of a one piece tank top/short combination, the rough pattern layout sketched up easily on paper.  Then the actual paper pattern became a single shape that when repeated, was the negative space around what would become the real garment.  By re-positioning these negative spaces, or off cuts, they too, became critical details of the shorts and, of course, pockets.  
Remembering an odd exercise where I was required to stack boxes of Plasticine in design school, I tried to recall the importance of the space between being as fundamental to the design of an object as much as the object itself.  Positive and negative, light and shadow, presence and absence.  In a quick search, I came across "Ma", also of Japanese origin, which seems to describe this the best.  
Again from Wikipedia "Ma () is a Japanese word which can be roughly translated as "gap", "space", "pause" or "the space between two structural parts." The spatial concept is experienced progressively through intervals of spatial designation. In Japanese, ma, the word for space, suggests interval. It is best described as a consciousness of place, not in the sense of an enclosed three-dimensional entity, but rather the simultaneous awareness of form and non-form deriving from an intensification of vision.
Ma is not something that is created by compositional elements; it is the thing that takes place in the imagination of the human who experiences these elements. Therefore ma can be defined as experiential place understood with emphasis on interval."

The rise, the arm hole and the neck are all created by one curve. From the remaining 1/6 of the fabric, I created the bias tape that I used to finish all the edges of the romper.  By some miracle, the length of the bias tape I cut was exactly that, that I needed.

Finally, the third process was a sunlight activated printing dye.  The product is called Inkodye, and so fun to use!  If your interested in giving it a try, I highly recommend reading up on how it has worked for others.  There are lots of examples online of tips and tricks to get you started.  I have also included a link to where you can purchase Inkodye snap packs, which is what I used, on Amazon.  If you use the link to purchase this product, you will also be supporting this blog!  Thanks in advance;)
This printing process, like Shibori and Ma, works with positives and negatives.  Like an old school film negative, the image that is created comes out of the shadows and what is not exposed to the sunlight.  What the end result will be is not truly known to the creator until it is unfolded, cut and washed.

I am that I am.


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