Using fabric and dye, Britt Rynearson paints a landscape that moves and wraps around the body, rippling and waving in peaks and valleys. She creates her scarves using the Arashi Shibori technique, which originated in Arimatsu, Japan in 1880. It consists of wrapping a pole with cloth, binding it with thread, and submerging the pole in dye. The dye does not penetrate the knots, which creates a pattern of dyed and non-dyed areas. This produces a storm-like effect of lines and dashes.
Though scarf making is a laborious process, for Rynearson, it is a labor of love. First, she cuts the silk into a unique shape, then hems it, presses it, and folds it. She binds the silk around a length of plastic ABS pipe (Rynearson confides it took her four hours to wrap her first scarf) and dyes it. She rinses the silk, dries it, and unwraps it. Then she repeats the process to give each scarf added depth and variation.
Rynearson finds that the best way to work with silk is to fuss as little as possible. As the dye soaks in, she finds her scarves take on a life of their own. Like the sea from day to day, no two are ever the same. Each is unique based on the conditions under which it was created.
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