Coming Soon: Handpainted Silks

November 08, 2016

Last year over Christmas break, I purchased a batch of pure silks and box of dyes. I had just finished a term paper about silk landscape painting in medieval Japan, and was intrigued by the idea of creating works of art on silk. I wanted to create special gifts for two of my closest friends-- and what is a better excuse to learn a new skill? 

I've gained an extremely high level of respect for those Japanese artisans.

My dad helped me to design and build a stretcher for the silks, and I set to work learning how to paint, dye, and set the colors.

Simply adding swirls of color to the silks was fun, but actually painting pieces of art onto silk is not for the faint of heart. I ruined many pieces before reaching any level of proficiency!

This scarf was designed and painted by both a friend and me

The entire process is time-consuming (the simplest pieces take a minimum of three hours of work to create, and the longest I've spent on a scarf was ten full hours of hands-on attention, plus the extra days to set the colors!). However, the process is so unpredictable and calming that the best way I can describe it is as a sort of zen experience.

I haven't had much time to dedicate to learning this skill, as I've been busy with all the usual things (hefty class loads, even during the summer, my first large-scale freelance job, the shop, and spending time with friends and family).

This scarf was designed by my little sister, and we painted it together. She wrote a guest blog post about the experience, which you can read here.

However, during breaks I did take a few opportunities to experiement, and have created several scarves which I will be selling on my shop!

 The prices will reflect the quality of the silks and dyes and the large amount of time which goes into creating these.

This past weekend, when the autumn light was beautiful, a friend came to a park with me to model the scarves. I am editing the pictures throughout the evenings this week, so keep an eye on the shop! I am hoping these will be up in time for anyone who might be interested in purchasing them as Christmas gifts.

Once all the photos are edited, I will share them here on the blog. I'm really pleased with this photoshoot and I hope you enjoy it, too!

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  1. Just getting caught up on the blog again. Shaylynn, this is amazing and beautiful! You continue to astound me with how fearlessly you dive into learning new skills for the pure joy of it, then emerge with glowing works of art! I can't wait to look at the results of your silk-painting adventure :)


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