Feature Artist: Nellie Rose
From the moment she was born, she was swaddled in a smooth, silk cloth hand-dyed by her parents in a multitude of colors and patterns. Both parents are textile artists who practice Shibori, a Japanese dyeing tradition. Needless-to-say, color and texture were central to Nellie Rose Davis’s everyday life growing up in rural West Virginia. When she was sixteen, she accompanied her father to his trunk show in Kyoto, Japan. Absolutely enraptured by the Japanese aesthetic, unparalleled craftsmanship, amazing cuisine, fascinating language and bustling culture, Japan has been a part of her life ever since.
As a Fulbright Fellow (2011-2012) she conducted independent research on Japanese textiles and design at Osaka University of Arts in Osaka, Japan. She studied traditional and contemporary textiles including indigo and other natural dyeing, wax-resist dyeing, stencil-resist dyeing and printing, rice paste-resist dyeing, thread-resist dyeing, silk screen printing, Computer-Aided-Design, kimono construction, weaving, and hand-spinning. She traveled throughout Japan seeking out various art museums, exhibitions, cultural festivals, natural dye farms, indigo dyers and textile studios and small factories.
Her travels lead her to the small town of Arimatsu, where shibori techniques have been developed, refined and practiced for over 400 years. Techniques passed down from generation to generation through astute observation and incredible perseverance. However, many of these techniques are forever lost or are in danger of being lost due to the lack of younger-folk getting excited and involved. The disappearing of this highly-refined craft and once vibrant tradition summons the urgency and relevance for Nellie Rose’s continued study and exploration of the Shibori silk dyeing practice – a traditional 8th century Japanese practice of silk cloth dyeing, which consists of myriad shape-resist dye techniques.
Nellie Rose Textiles creates hand-dyed silk clothing and accessories for the love of subtle color, intriguing texture and organic movement. Nellie Rose does not toil with the color like a traditionalist would, but instead manipulates colors and shapes the texture. Nellie Rose uses the Shibori process and transforms it into something tangible and beautiful to behold, resulting in wearable art that is intended to come to life with the wearer.
Located in the mountain town of Thomas, West Virginia – Nellie Rose Textiles has the finest, handmade silk clothing, and hand dyed accessories available. Nellie Rose Textiles can be found across the country in stores, boutiques, galleries, museums and more. She will be featured in Charleston at The Art Store in a special Nellie Rose Trunk Show during ArtWalk on August 17th. The trunk show will run Thursday the 17th 10:00 am to 8:00 pm and 10:00 am to 5:30 pm Friday, August 18th.
You can also view upcoming works, events or Nellie’s musings on Instagram and Facebook.