After cutting my yardage off the loom and giving it a quick wet-finish, I spent some time trying to decide what “shape” it should take in the final work. I ended up deciding on a hanging double-width panel (with a “display” area for indigo shibori something like 27″ square), with the remaining cloth to be used for some kind of draped/knotted trim. The first image in the above gallery shows the basic idea; there’s a 22″ diameter plywood circle under the panel that I’m using as a kind of template. The cloth is folded back on itself to make the double-width panel and I used a simple hem-stitch to join the edges.
After quite a bit of time hemming and hawing about a theme or visual inspiration for laying out my shibori patterns I settled on the idea of a circular outline that will hopefully invoke both a Japanese chinowa ring and a SARS-CoV-2 virus capsid. To strengthen the former association I’m planning to use nui-shibori stitching to make four meandering outlines of the circle and will add periodic radial gatherings around the bundle of lines. To strengthen the latter I am planning to add some small mushroom-shaped maki-age gatherings around the outline of the circle to mimic the appearance of spike proteins as seen in TEM and Cryo-EM images. I’m still debating what to do in the interior of the circle. On one hand it might be best to leave it plain (not even dyed), but I would kind of like to see how it would look as one giant maki-age.
I started the indigo vat a couple of days ago as well (see featured image at the top of this post). I used cold water from the garden hose, which was maybe not such a good idea but I tied a drum-heater to the outside of the container to try to raise the temperature to help the reduction. After I give it a few days to equilibrate I’ll measure the pH and adjust — right after mixing everything it was over 12 so it may need some extra fructose.