Today was probably one of my favorite days of the trip so far.
We woke up and got ready for the day, and then our whole class met in the Paris American Academy’s lobby. It was Clare’s birthday, and her mom arranged for a special pastery treat to celebrate, which was such a fun suprise! After we ate our chocolate croissants, we got on a bus and headed to Ysabel de Masionneuve’s art studio.
Ysabel is an artist and she specializes in dyeing and specifically Shibori, which is a Japanese dyeing technique. She is inspired by movement, as she use to be a dancer but had to retire due to poor eyesight. She is intrigued by the way dyeing fabrics shows the movement of the dyes.
Ysabel was probably the cutest little lady I have ever met. She was so much fun to work with and told us to make ourselves feel at home in her studio, and she really meant it. She made us laugh all day with her witty comments and she kept reminding that there’s no right or wrong way to do Shibori, whatever you create will be beautiful. At the end of the day, she was so excited that all of our projects were different, but each beautiful in their own way.
We started off by doing three samples just to get a feel for shibori. It is very similar to tye dyeing, just a bit more intricate and strategic. Ysabel let us do the samples and then she gave us a white silk scarf and set us free- she said we could use whatever techniques we wanted! I wrapped my silk scarf around a plumbing tube and tied string around it to create a beautiful dye pattern. I dyed my scarf a combination of blue and green.
Our day with Ysabel was so much fun, she was so happy and genuine. She also showed us some pineapple and banana fibers and talked to us about the importance of sustainability.
After we left Ysabel’s studio, we headed back to our apartments, where we got ready for another long night of portfolio work and sketching. I finally started putting things in my portfolio and finalizing some of my sketches. Although it is overwhelming, I am starting to see my vision come to life.
We sketched from around 5pm until midnight, taking a break only to eat some pasta for dinner. Sketching has definetly become more important than sleep!