The Fabric of Friendship

Real friendship protects intimacy and is sustained over distance. Real art is like a bolt of fabric – a creative, continuous process over time. My art is to write about the creation of art.

My blog was started to write about retirement, but has expanded to include travel, art and anything else that amuses me – such as how much time I’ve been spending with fabric. At the first of several post-retirement workshops (three of which were dedicated to fabric) I made this painted silk scarf and promptly gave it to a friend. It reminds me of the many old friends I have, near and far, who have stayed close to my heart.

My second fabric workshop was also silk painting, but using slightly difference tools and techniques. This time I travelled across the country to meet with three new friends that I’d met in Molokai. We bonded further over several hours of creating these beautiful ocean hued treasures on the drying rack.

Lastly, I took a local workshop using indigo dye with shibori patterning techniques. This class was so messy, but fun! I made this piece out of linen, using blocks of wood and vices to control the ink.

Fabric reminds me of a trip I took 9-1/2 years ago (way before retirement or blogging entered my mind.) I spent 10 days on a schooner with a bunch of textile enthusiasts traveling the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia. Fabric, for many of the villages we visited, was what bonded their communities. Life revolves around spinning, dying and weaving traditional fabrics. I’m so excited to be going back to Indonesia, on a reunion cruise with some of the same old friends to explore additional islands of this diverse and beautiful country. I’ll be writing about that soon!

Dancers in Kambura Village Wearing Traditional Ikat

18 thoughts on “The Fabric of Friendship

  1. Some days its hard to find the words!! when I have those days, I just go for a photo – I have plenty of those.. That scarf is gawgeous – lucky friend!


  2. How exciting, Tracey, to be going back to Indonesia! I hope to visit someday, when my cousin retires to Indonesia (from Amsterdam) with his Indonesian wife. I love Indonesian food and would love to learn more about the culture. I hope you will make some posts about this trip. Safe travels!!!


    P.S. your scarf is beautiful!!!


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