Rolled Fiber Art Cloth

I have wanted to do 3D fiber art for quite some time. It has been rolling around in my head and I’ve been having vivid dreams about pieces I would like to do for over 2 years. After the holidays, I made a decision to start to explore and get my ideas out of my head using both cloth and paper. I know all the rules about creating a ‘body of work’ and I have achieved that with my Shibori Exhibit and other venues using 2D fiber cloth. Sometimes you just have to say “screw the rules”, I’m going to create these works for myself and I hope someone will purchase them or a call-for-entry exhibit will explore the possibilities with me. After all, I’m an outsider artist and a maverick, so there!

I am spending more time at the hardware store buying wood, copper tubing, nails and other implements of destruction. I am trying to stretch and find new substrates and tools that I haven’t used before. I am on a first-name basis with the guy at Home Depot. Rolling printed cotton and linen fabric is very tedious work, but I enjoy creating waves of colors and Italian glass effects.


Contemporary Fiber Art Work

This piece makes my heart go pitter-patter and it came together so unexpectedly. So much so, that I have decided to do a series of 3 pieces called “Luster”.  The silk has a wonderful shine and the Arashi technique (pole-wrapping) of dyeing is unique when pleated and scrunched.  I am branching out into 3-D fiber work, and there are so many possibilities.  I am feeling my way and taking chances more than I have in the past and it sure feels good.  I am keeping grounded but feeling less encumbered by ‘rules’ and ‘techniques’.  As many emerging artists it’s good to explore.

Fiber Art

Luster I

East Austin Studio Tour

Tile Motif

Yessss… I’m so glad we participated in the East Austin Studio Tour. Yessss….I’m so glad it’s over!  It was fun and exhausting.  Met so many people interested in art -buyers, artists, students.  The response was very very positive and fiber art was introduced to many for the first time.  The Canopy complex calculated that over 4,700 people passed through our doors.  So many people from many countries.

I learned a great deal from this experience: what an Austin crowd expects, price points that sell my work and planning for different requests that I hadn’t anticipated.  I did well and the feedback was priceless.

Now I can start planning for my workshops in 2015. Yessss….!



Lynne Brotman Fiber Art and Ed Brotman Photography



Austin’s tradition of supporting artists and musicians is legendary.  Austin City Limits festival of music just wrapped up and now artists who work on the East Side of Austin are preparing for the EAST AUSTIN STUDIO TOUR.  The majority of artists’ studios are located on the East side of Austin, and it’s a 4 day event spread over two weekends – Nov. 15th – 16th and 22nd and 23rd.

A catalog with a map is produced featuring all the artists’ studios that will be open and Canopy, where our studio is located, will be packed.  We expect over 1,000 people to visit.  My husband, a photographer, will be joining me this year presenting his photography portfolio.

White Wolf

White Wolf

I am busy hanging new work, freshening up the studio and completing projects. I am looking forward to this time of year, and I hope if you are in the Austin area, you will visit.


Digital or Printed Pigment Ink Cloth – What’s in a name?

Original Circular ReasoningI have long debated with myself about the use of the descriptions “digital printed cloth” and “printed pigment ink cloth” when describing fiber pieces I have made and then manipulated the design using software such as PhotoShop.  The design is original and then re-designed using digital software, but is the printing of the manipulated design digital?  When I check with the sources I use, they define the process as “printed pigment ink cloth”; the action of printing a digital design piece.

If I am answering (a call for entry) into an exhibit, how do I best describe the work; a digital design, a digitally printed design or the use of another term possibly.  Maybe it’s semantics, but I debate how to explain it to the public or a collector.  If I take a manipulated image and screen print or embellish it, does it change it back to an original.

If I take this one step further, am I a fiber artist, mixed media artist, indie designer… all three?


Shibori Fiber Art Journey

Makume (wood grain) is a wonderful Shibori technique that creates a multiple of images; abstract designs, motifs, animals -whatever you like.  This is a small piece that I created in my residency studying with a Shibori artisan.  It is created by sewing,  jumping spaces and then the thread is gathered and dipped in indigo.

Gathering Thread for Makume

Gathering Thread for Makume

Makume Shibori

Makume Shibori

Shibori Process

Foldedtriangles  Shibori is all about the process.  The Shibori artisans divide up the labor of producing beautiful cloth. Each studio plays a part as well as each person.  The cloth is first tied into a variety of designs which is usually done by women.  It is a long tedious process but the women have been doing it for so many years that their fingers fly when knotting.  If it is an arashi piece (pole wrapping), it is usually done by men and often with women to help them push the cloth down the long poles.  If the work is to be clamped, the folding is done by a woman and clamped into place by a man.

If it a wearable piece, it might stop in the process to be stenciled (katazome) by a very skilled artisan who designs and cuts the stencils or by a Yuzen artist who may use stencils and color to adorn a Kimono.

After this process, the piece goes to the dyer’s studio where it is washed, dyed, and rinsed (rinsing was usually done in the rivers, but no longer) in a long troughs of water.  It is then dried.

This is of course a brief description.  There are many other steps depending on the use of the article.  Each artisan is known for their own designs and processes, and they are closely guarded secrets.  The majority of older artisans build their own equipment often made of wood. The tools are simple but many have changed to more manufactured tools.

I was able to watch each of these processes and it is very humbling.  The work is hard and requires skills to master.

Follow link to my website: to see samples of the Shibori pieces I made in Japan.

Shibori Fiber Art

I have been working in my studio fast and furious preparing an indigo vat for my Japanese traditional Shibori designs.  The first vat I made included non-reduced indigo, hydorsulpahte and lime – pretty potent.  All of my fabrics came out a blue-black color with little distinction between the resist.  I changed to a pre-reduced indigo with soda ash and thiox, and I had more control over the indigo concentration in my fabric.  I have been working primarily with linen and the color is gorgeous.  I plan to move forward with silks and hemp fiber.  I have currently been dyeing samples with not only indigo but MX Procion dyes as well.

I had a stand made by a carpenter in order to do binding.  I believe it is the hardest process of all.  When I was in Arimatsu, Japan (the home of Shibori) I watched two women in their 90’s do binding, and they work at a blinding speed. I asked if they could slow down so I could see their hand motions and the knotting of the fabric.  It will take a long time to become even moderately efficient at one type of tying on.  It was humbling.

I am working on a solo exhibit that will be held August 21st through September 25th at the Tokyo Electron headquarters in Austin, Texas. Very exciting.

I have been in my studio for over a year now and find myself very lucky to have found such a great space; diffused northern light, lots of wall space and peace and quiet when I choose it to be. Otherwise, I put on my Ipod and sing to Delta blues.

Arashi Shibori

Arashi Shibori