Julia Masci- Textile Artist.
Born in 1979 in Toronto Canada, first generation Canadian, I grew up surrounded by women in her family making beautiful functional works of art. Learning embroidery and other needle work at a young age, I have always been fascinated with the creative process. As a young adult I began using plants to dye my own fabrics which I would then sew into various items. Using ethically foraged, sourced or home grown plants to use as dye, I create unique, ecofriendly, long lasting pieces of art, meant to be used in the everyday, paying homage to the women who passed down the knowledge of slow textile art.
Everything I create begins with raw materials, hemp and organic cotton fabric, cotton cord, which I then dye in small batches using ethically foraged or ethically purchased plants. Some fabrics are bundled dyed using local leaves and flowers, to create one of a kind prints.. Other fabrics are hand blockprint, or screenprint with my own original art. All of these processes produce unique, fabrics to then sew into the various items.
....a little more about me....
I taught myself to sew when I was 14 years old. The first item I made for myself, was an electric blue funfur (remember the early 90's?!) halter top. When I realized that I could just make what I couldnt find, I was hooked on sewing. I fell into dyeing fabric when I began to use hemp. At the time It only came in natural, so I taught myself to dye, and blockprint, creating one of a kind fabrics. I was heavily nspired by the textiles from South East Asia, surrounding me in the Import store I worked in when I was 18.
At 20 when my first son was born, for some reason everyone gifted us sweet little white clothing. Quickly I realized that, #1 I am not a laundry separater .(sorry mum) , and #2 babies stain things. This is when I started really delving into dyeing. Using Fiber reactive dyes, I began learning to tie dye. There was something magical about it. It was a surprise everytime I did it. To this day, even though I dont tie dye much anymore, It brings me so much joy to unwrap a garment and see what magic the dyes created! I spent many years selling tie dye clothing at the local farmers market, usually with a brightly dressed child in tow! .
Fast forward a few years and a few more babies, I began to delive further into the world of natural dyes. Digging up the yards of all the homes I rented to plant food, medicines and dyes, while showing my kids how to care for themselves and at the same time being gentle to the earth. Choosing to work with plants as dyes seemed to be a natural progression. Working with plants as dyes is always a surprising joy. They offer different colours depending on the time of year, the water, the temperature. So many variables, Its always new. With the plants I have found my home, my art, a mindful space. It combines all the things that bring me joy.