Jenny Hafer - Senior, Fiber major

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Materials and Process

  • Cotton fabric
  • Clamps
  • Wooden rectangles
  • Disperse dyes
  1. Using a method of resist-dye known as clamping, I folded the cloth in half diagonally four times to create a right isosceles triangle, clamped it with a square, and then dyed it with the yellow dye. The four cross-like sections in white were created from this process.
  2. I repeated this process by folding the cloth into a small square, clamped it with a rectangular piece of wood, and then dyed it with the dark blue dye. This step forms the rectangular grid across the entire piece of cloth.
  3. I later went back and added the blue circles into the cloth to make the cross forms more recognizable.

Artist's Narrative

I consider this to be a self-contained pattern, because it's controlled inside its own grid, without need for a border. This pattern is horizontally and vertically symmetrical. At first glance it appears to be symmetrical diagonally, but is not because the grid pattern is rectangular. There are signs of symmetry-breaking in places where the dyes created variations in the thickness of the lines, but the eye compensates for these variations.

Teacher's Comment

In this practicum the fold lines define the rectangles of the pattern; they exhibit noticeable symmetry-breaking because of the selective absorption of the dye. The blue circles are also arbitrarily placed within each rectangle; as Jen has observed, our perception seems to correct this -- we tend to "see" the symmetry rather than the symmetry-breaking!

more by Jenny || back to other students' practicums

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