The one-of-a-kind, unique, hand-made designs are created with many different techniques--direct dye painting, batik (wax-resist), and rozome (Japanese methods of kimono design), most often on silk. Sometimes the designs call for beeswax, or soy wax, or the process requires etching or painting with thickened dyes.
Silk accepts dyes very brilliantly and makes the dyeing a joyous experience. The designs are most often inspired by aspects of nature.
For Leigh the design process is a blend of planning, spontaneity, and experimentation. Frequently the process begins with a drawing on the silk, and progresses with ideas that occur while working. Descriptive of her feelings about working with dyes are passion and joy.
Leigh's process frequently begins with white silk which, after drawing a unique design, is most often stretched. The hot wax is applied with special brushes, tjantings, and various tools. Then the work is immersion dyed for 20-30 minutes. The wax preserves the color (white usually for the first waxing), and the rest of the silk is dyed the first and lightest color. After the piece is completely dry, the new color is protected where desired with hot wax. The piece then goes into the next dye bath keeping in mind that the color will be altered by the color of the unprotected silk. The colors are layered in this manner, often several times.
Currently the work takes the forms of garments for resort wear or cruise wear--sarongs, scarves, shawls, ruanas, silk shirts--as well as wall hangings.
Small Works Perfect for Holiday Gifts -- 12/13/12
Waxing-Eloquent -- 9/22/11
Artist Among Us -- 3/24/11