The Bead Society of Greater New York

Beadcap Newsletter

Bead Society of Greater New York
January 2013 Update

by Marie Michal

Jean WasilOn January 30, 2013, BSGNY welcomed guest speaker, Jean Wasil who spoke to us about the Art of Shibori. Jean is a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) where she earned a BFA with a concentration in Textile Design.

Jean began her presentation explaining that although she respects the old way of Japanese Shibori, she would like to speak about "her own take" on Shibori. Upon taking a fabric dyeing course at RISD, she fell in love with the binding, stitching, folding, twisting, and compressing processes of "Shibori".

We were treated to a wonderful slideshow of Jean's pieces along with being able to view the originals in person. She showed how using different fabrics yields a totally different outcome, the most intriguing being anything sheer. She felt it gave off the appearance of an x-ray with the subtle light areas appearing as "bones" in the most delightful way - to which we all heartily agreed. There were examples of using the technique only as a border or using a dye similar to the background fabric for a more quiet feel. There were pieces where she attached a fabric in an uneven pattern to an iron-on fusible lining which created more texture and dimension to the dying process.

Japanese ShiboriThe inspiration for Jean's work comes from a wide variety of places ranging from London's Victoria & Albert Museum's Textile Department to random photos taken of sand and the bubbly foam that forms when a wave goes out to sea. She admits to using synthetic dyes, namely Rit, in her work instead of the long and laborious process of compounding her own dyes as in ancient Japanese Shibori. She also likes to incorporate recycled and reclaimed materials into her process which she is presently doing in her work with the Eileen Fisher Company. Eileen Fisher customers are encouraged to recycle their gently used items back to the company where Jean then has access to these items to use in her workshops at the Eileen Fisher Lab Store. Jean's pieces are ALL one-of-a-kind, as no twisting or binding of fabric will ever produce exactly the same pattern.

Jean has acquired over 20 years of extensive industry experience in art direction and managing textile print, CAD, embroidery and embellishment teams for Urban Outfitters, Tom Cody Design; and she owned and operated her own NYC-based Textile Design business, Printed Planet. Jean has also directed designs sold to national and international design companies including: Anthropologie, Armani, Armani AX, BCBG, Calvin Klein, Diane Von Furstenberg, Etro, Express, Guess, Kimberley-Clark, Limited Too, Mango, Mattel, Max Studio, Promod, Nanette Lepore, Ralph Lauren, Target, The Gap and Zara. She is the founder of RISD Textiles NY, an alumni group formed on Facebook, to provide graduates working in all areas of the textiles fields, an opportunity to meet up in Manhattan to inspire, inform and network.

All in all, the audience came away with a better understanding of Jean Wasil's "take" on Shibori and had our creative desires stimulated in yet another way. Now... all we have to do is just add beads!

Please be sure to scroll down to view some wonderful pictures from this meeting!


Vice President, Ester Esses (substituting for our President, Cynthia Stern who was in Florida celebrating her mother's 94th birthday) called the January 30th meeting to order with the following announcements:

World of Beads:

BSGNY 8th Annual Garage Sale (February 27, 2013):

Handmade Holiday Craft Fair:

The 2012 Handmade Holiday Craft Fair brought in over 725 visitors to our event! Vendors' feedback was mostly positive. There was a drop in attendance this year, but we believe this was due to circumstances beyond our control, such as the difficult economy we continue to struggle with, the recovery from Hurricane Sandy, and the cloudy, misty weather we had that day. We still feel the event was a success and will therefore continue to present this event in 2013. So, mark your calendars: Our next Handmade Holiday Craft Fair will be held on SUNDAY, December 8, 2013.

Annual BSGNY Luncheon:

Our search for a new venue for our Annual BSGNY Luncheon continues. One of our members suggested Moran's on 10th Ave. After a visit to the restaurant, we found the space to be perfect for our event. However, the cost was prohibitive. Our previous venue, Slate, is still available for January or early February of 2013 - but we know that several members were not happy with this venue in the past. So, we are continuing to look into other options and will keep you posted.

Other News: