Between Science and Art: Collaboration in Textiles. Catharine Ellis & Joy Boutrup
Joy Boutrup is a textile engineer, chemist, and historian from Denmark. Catharine Ellis is a textile artist from North Carolina who specializes in combining weaving and dyeing. They first met at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina and, despite living on different continents, they have worked and taught collaboratively for many years.
Joy’s science-based knowledge of textile dyeing and finishing has informed and expanded Catharine’s approach to textile design and practice. As a result, Catharine has developed a unique body of woven and dyed textiles. Many of her fabric can be directly attributed to the lessons she learned from Joy. Currently, they are working collaboratively on a book about the science and the art of natural dyes (just released - see below). Join them as they speak of the scientific principles and the textile applications that have resulted from their work together.
Catharine Ellis is a textile artist and educator. She developed the process of woven shibori in which special threads are added during weaving and then manipulated to create resist patterns during dyeing. Catharine directed the Professional Craft Fiber Program at Haywood Community College for 30 years and has now focused her explorations on the use of natural dyes. She teaches and exhibits internationally and is active in the Textile Society of American and Surface Design Association. Catharine is the author of Woven Shibori (Interweave Press, 2005 and 2016). She lives in the mountains of North Carolina.
Joy Boutrup has a background in textile engineering, specializing in textile chemistry. Her main strength is the ability to analyze structures, develop new methods and techniques and to solve problems in connection with the practical realization of ideas in textile art and conservation. Joy’s unique ability to teach in an accessible manner and to convey the deeper structures of fibres and dyes has had a profound influence on textile designers and artists. Joy has taught at design schools in Denmark and at the School of Conservation in Copenhagen. She lives in Sorø, Denmark.
This long-awaited guide serves as a tool to explain the general principles of natural dyeing, and to help dyers to become more accomplished at their craft through an increased understanding of the process. Photos of more than 450 samples demonstrate the results of actual dye tests, and detailed information covers every aspect of natural dyeing including theory, fibres, mordants, dyes, printing, organic indigo vats, finishing, and the evaluation of dye fastness.