Thursday, May 8, 2014


Michael Smith, shibori, living and dyes his art in Asheville, NC.

ruanna and 2 layer skirt

Michael Smith makes shibori here in NC, and hand-dyes each of his pieces.  Each of his pieces are made one-at-a-time and are one-of-a-kid.  As far as technique, he uses the 5 basic techniques for shibori.  The first, Miura Shibori, which involves looped binding, which keeps more dye out of the cloth. This effect creates softer patterns.  The second technique, Arashi Shibori, where the cloth is wrapped around a 4-meter pole and then dyed.  The third technique, Kumo, is known as "spider-web shibori".  Nui Shibori, involves the fabric being sewn in to the pattern before dying.  The fifth and final basic technique is Suji Shibori.  The fabric is folded over a rope core before being bound and tied.  

His art is made for retail, and is available on Etsy.  He makes each of pieces individually, and can make the pieces in either silk or cotton.  He has worked under the names of Three Wishes, Chaos, and Mystic Eye, and is now working on getting his works more well-known.  I picked Michael Smith because of the beautiful bright colors in his works.  His designs are all intricate and eye-catching.  He also works right here in NC, making his work more locally known.  


What is this artwork intended to say?
  It is supposed to be a stage, specifically the auditorium at school.  It is meant to be a representation of how the auditorium looks from the perspective of the performer.  Since its not an angle many people see, I wanted to show how it looks on the opposite side of the theatre.

What issues are you examining through your artwork?
All of the doors and lights are quite small, as well as the lights, compared to the size of the stage.  I also had issues with making it look realistic.

How is this artwork about who you are or what you like?
  Im in theatre this semester, and I'm a dancer, so I perform pretty often.  I love to dance, and I am greatly enjoying theatre, so a stage was a good fit for what I like.  I have performed several times for dance and we perform regularly during theatre, so it is a part of me.

How did you use your own unique ideas in your work?
  I added the lights on the side walls that are slowly getting better.  Those lights don't exist in the stage I was drawing, but they are in a movie theatre.  The walls seemed bare, and the ceiling lights were very small, so I added more lighting.

Did you use a source for inspiration, then combine it with your own ideas to make it original?
  Rather than the school stage, I wanted a picture of the Halle stage.  This was the first actual stage I danced on, opposed to performances in our studio, and the stage we usually dance on.  But I was unable to get a picture on-stage at Halle, so I used a picture of our own stage at school to inspire me.  The colors and general shapes all came from the school auditorium.  I originally had intended to have the stage lights all shining so the audience would be much brighter and blurry, but ended up not, despite that the lights were on in the picture.  I altered some of the colors and the shape of the stage to make it more original, and take on its own characteristics.