Come see Eggleston speak this Sunday, December 14 at 3 pm at the Pennington Public Library!
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Stampede Artist Spotlight: Kate Eggleston

Eggleston recalls her first memories of Babe the Blue Ox and explains the Japanese art of shibori 
You describe Babe the Blue Ushi as a “product of East meets West,” inspired in part by Paul Bunyan’s Babe the Blue Ox and in part by the Japanese art of shibori.  That’s quite a combination! Could you elaborate on how this idea came about?

The story of Paul Bunyan and Babe was one of my favorites growing up.  I always had a love of folk tales and mythology; the fantasy was mesmerizing for me as a child.  Babe the Blue Ox was a perfect fit for my Stampede design.  The shibori (Japanese dyeing techniques) with the indigo was a natural fit because the majority of the work I’ve been doing over the last few years has been focused on fibers and hand dyeing techniques.  For a fun twist, I substituted the Japanese 
word for ox, “ushi,” in the title of my ox. 

Can you share with us your first memories of Babe the Blue Ox and the significance of Paul Bunyan’s tall tales to you?

The first time I heard the tale of Paul Bunyan was on Reading Rainbow.  LeVar Burton read a version illustrated and written by Steven Kellogg, one of my favorite artists with a very notable style.  I loved the story because Paul and Babe helped folks were ever they traveled.  Paul also had a big affinity for animals and nature, and I have always been the same so I felt a kinship with this character.  It was nice to read about someone I could relate to.  I also dreamed of having a friend/pet as wonderful as Babe (like a witch with her familiar).  There was something magical about the pair – always smiling and friendly no matter the circumstances. 

We've heard library patrons affectionately call Babe the Blue Ushi the “tie-dyed ox.”  How is shibori different and/or similar to tie-dye that Americans associate with the 1960s and 1970s in the United States?
The tradition of American tie-dye uses the some of the same essential techniques as shibori, with caveats.  Shibori is an umbrella term for multiple Japanese dyeing techniques, which include a variety of sewing and binding methods that each result in different patterns (ie kanoko, miura, kumo, nui, arashi, and itajime shibori).  What we know as tie-dye in the U.S. is similar to kanoko shibori, in which thread is used to bind cloth to achieve the desired pattern; the dye soaks into the outer layers of fabric, while the interior pieces are left the color of the fabric (like resist dyeing).  The traditional dye used for shibori is the beautiful natural blue derived from the indigo plant, whereas tie-dye is usually multicolored.  Other cultures around the world employ similar tie-dye techniques across Asia and Africa, each with their own customs and unique patterns. 

Learn more about Kate Eggleston at
Eggleston will be speaking on Sunday, December 14 at 3 pm at the Pennington PublicLibrary as part of the Stampede Sunday Artist Talks, co-sponsored by the Hopewell Valley Arts Council and the Pennington Public Library. For more information, please see below.
Pictured Left: Kate Eggleston painting Babe the Blue Ushi with help from her daughter

Stampede Sunday Artist Talks

December 7, 14 & January 4, 11; 3 - 4:30 pm

Were you delighted by The Stampede and curious about the variety of designs on display? The Pennington Public Library, in partnership with the Hopewell Valley Arts Council is pleased to offer a series of talks featuring three different Stampede artists each week. See upcoming dates and artists below. Stampede picture books will be available for purchase and ready for the artists to sign as a memento. Ornaments featuring Paradox will also be available for purchase to support the Friends of the Pennington Public Library.

Dec 14: 
Kate Eggleston - Babe the Blue Ushi
Clifford Ward - Indigene
Leon Rainbow - Jersey Strong & Inside Ox

Jan 4:
Terry Anderson - Luke the Celtic Ox 
Janet Laughlin - Wizard of Ox
Dana Weekley - Think Inside the Ox

Jan 11:
Nancy Stark - Agricolox
Doc O'Boyle - Mooo'ndrian
Gyuri Hollosy and Mary Michaels - ArtToro

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