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Category Archives: Workshops & Classes
The notes received in this workshop stated (in part & abbreviated): Pastepapers have been used since at least as early as 1650. They were often made in the binder’s shop, but some businesses were set up solely to provide them … Continue reading
5 days natural dyeing at Sturt summer school was an enjoyable way to start the new year. The course was interesting although I already knew much of what was taught. I went for several reasons; I’ve never really had a … Continue reading
Workshop with Brenda Tye A fascinating 2 day workshop where I learned a whole bunch of new techniques. We were asked to bring any sketches or reference material depicting objects from nature. I photocopied some of my past ideas: As … Continue reading
Whilst I’ve recently concentrated on making my own paper from some of my old prints (and blank paper offcuts) by pulping, remixing and forming new sheets I haven’t actually tried fusing or ‘felting’ lightweight papers together before. This workshop was … Continue reading
An interesting one day workshop, not something I see myself doing a lot of but another skill I’m exploring. This technique requires the use of a lightbox and, whilst I have my own purchased model, the tutor brought along a … Continue reading
I thoroughly enjoyed this 2 day workshop and am thrilled with the books I made. The course was aimed at both beginners and those with some book-making experience wanting to widen their range of binding skills. We covered four types … Continue reading
This workshop, with Jean Riley, was a good way to first explore the Belgian Binding technique. One or two things could have been better but, overall, it worked out well. I’ll highlight a few things to consider when constructing books. … Continue reading
Painting, drawing and block-printing with Gary Shinfield This workshop, which I attended over two days last weekend, had two parts to it. The first day we worked on designs, drawing and painting very randomly until we had built a small … Continue reading
Jet James workshop and research A couple of weeks ago I attended an experimental collagraph workshop with Queensland artist Jet James. My first impression of him was how seemingly shy and unassuming he is. A quiet, organised, unhurried man, working … Continue reading
Monotype printing with Tony Ameniero Three weeks ago I attended this workshop and I’ve been gathering materials and practicing the techniques I learned since then. The first thing to say about Tony is that he is a marvellous tutor: calm, … Continue reading
8 months ago I started the OCA course Printmaking 1. It has been 8 months of unrewarding difficulty, constant print problems, severe and extended angst and a loss of confidence, motivation and drive. I’m not satisfied with much of the … Continue reading
Last week I got together with my friend Judy, another OCA student, for a day of indigo dyeing. Both of us have had a tiny go at this before but always within a class structure where the vat has been … Continue reading
Creative Textile Printing with Helen Richards 17/08/2014 This was a fascinating workshop and, whilst not exactly the type of printing I’m covering in my OCA course, enthused me and has widened my printing skill range. As a textiles person I’m … Continue reading
Last weekend I attended a 2 day journal making workshop with the intention of learning how to combine a variety of papers into stitched books. I’m hoping this will be something I can incorporate in my current OCA course using … Continue reading
Last week I was delighted to participate in a textile art retreat with 38 young ladies from years 9, 10 and 11, and 4 of their teachers. The girls had spent a day at the Canberra show where they had … Continue reading
Whilst researching Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh I referred to a book in my collection entitled Rennie Mackintosh Inspirations in Embroidery by Dorothy Wood. There are some excellent ideas for translating art deco designs into textiles using many techniques. One multi-layered cut-back … Continue reading
No-one can produce perfect prints first time so what happens to all those trial pieces? The ones where the colour chosen really wasn’t right or the registration was off-kilter. Even the ones where the main image was perfect but the … Continue reading
I attempted a much bigger piece here – with moderate success. The lino measured 20 x 30cm. First carving. This time I understood the colour process, having made a hash of it last time, so I started with process yellow … Continue reading
I enrolled in this natural dyeing workshop as my own personal ‘bonus add-on’ relating to the manipulated fabric works in Assignment 3. How lucky that this opportunity came up at this time. Kirsten Ingemar, visiting Sydney from her property in … Continue reading
I cut my 30 x 30cm lino square into 3 pieces, 2 small ones to practice on and a larger piece for a proper design. I used the first small piece to learn how the tools work and here I … Continue reading
All week I’ve been making chemical water, thickened paste, mixing dye colours and trialling my dye screen-printing. Today I took a time out from that while my prints are batching and attended another screen printing workshop.
This one day event, run by Cath Derksema of Prints Charming, was a delight after my not-so-great experience a month ago elsewhere. Cath is an experienced printer and designer with a long history in the textiles industry. In the early ’90s she developed “Art Park” a multifaceted design studio designing prints for manufacturers including Seafolly, Billabong, Carla Zampatti, Table 8, Target and Woolworths (the Australian one, not UK). In 2002 she created “Prints Charming” selling into America and now locally through Spotlight.
A few of her currently available designs are featured here. Most of the samples she showed us were large crisp uncluttered images printed onto predyed fabric bases. I was particularly interested in looking at the same design printed in different colourways as per the two pictures above on the left.
The day was aimed at paper stencil cutting and overprinting. We were given white cotton, medium weight, around 1 x 1.5 metre to work on with several small sample pieces for us to use for initial trials.
Cath uses Aquatex fabric colours which come in concentrate form and are mixed with a clear bonder, or you could call it an extender, before use. This picture shows a few of the colours we could use because we had already made our initial choices and taken them to our workstations. There was certainly no shortage and we mixed other variations as we went.
Cath cut a simple stencil and showed us how to apply it to fabric, how to correctly hold the squeegee, how much paint to use, how to get a good clear print and finally how to clean up. Her sample is to the left. I’ve not cropped it so you can see the wonderful array of prints she has happening on her drop cloth. Frankly there were enough ideas on that just to get us going!!
I had taken along some of the images I have been developing in my sketchbook for my assignment. They are fairly straight forward and easy to cut, not too involved for paper stencils and easily repeatable when they are saturated. However, if I were to do this again I would use my plastic paper instead of photocopy paper then I could wash my stencils for reuse because I quite liked them but they are now in the bin of course. Here is the piece I came home with:
I’m extremely happy with what I learned today and the result I got. The print registration was done by eye alone, there was no measuring and I’ve done a set of 6 full repeats plus some partials. The only random part are the pink motifs which have been placed haphazardly where I felt so inclined to put them. This now needs to be heat set before using and I’m thinking of tea dyeing the whole thing afterwards as it seems a bit stark, but we’ll see.
Positives from the day:
- The chance to use yet another type of fabric paint and I’ve found I much prefer this brand to my Derivan ones. They are less ‘plastic’ looking and alter the hand of the fabric to a much lesser degree. I’m told that once they are heat set that reduces even further.
- Still on paint – it was terrific to see how easy it is to mix and ‘dilute’ colours to achieve very different effects.
- An opportunity to see how a professional prints, explore her method and see how that fits with the way I work.
- I learned that this process can be quite quick and fun and less laborious than I have currently been doing. So a change in my own practice will now be made.
- I was delighted to see the different stencil designs from each participant and how they built their surfaces. This has given me food for thought regarding my future work.
Negatives from the day:
- It’s over.
I’ve been reading up on screen printing and collecting materials for my current assignment. I did a two day course about 4 years ago but have forgotten pretty much most of what we did so thought I would do a one day refresher. It was certainly an eye-opener. Some aspects were very interesting and informative whilst other parts were pretty abysmal, but they clearly demonstrated some of the dos and don’ts of the process.
- A bound folder of comprehensive notes detailing 17 different resist and pattern making techniques.
- The opportunity to see and try some of the above techniques with a tutor advising.
- Each participant wanted to print for different reasons and on different surfaces so a wide variety of questions were asked and answered, a lot of which would not have occurred to me working alone at home.
- An explanation of the slightly padded printing board/surface – even though we weren’t allowed to use the one there and worked on folded towels.
- Disorganised, unprepared and products not readily to hand.
- Old and unprepared wooden frames. These had not been either varnished or protected by any tape so the main one we were using had slightly warped. Insufficient frames for one per person (there were 7 of us) so we all used the same one in rotation for each technique.
- Tutor admitted frames were not routinely cleaned in a timely manner so the meshes were stained making it difficult to see through for accurate placement. There were also a couple of small holes/tears in one of the meshes.
- Fabric paints were old, end of tubs, and tutor commented that she wished to use up old stock. Paints had separated and were ‘moussy’ indicating they were coming to the end of their usable life (tutor’s words). Colour palette limited to green, red, blue and a smidge of old globular yellow.
- No layering process covered.
- No information re blended colour or using multiple colours together.
- Fabrics were not pinned or secured in place during printing so multiple people had to help out for each print.
Whilst this sounds pretty poor it did provide a lot of knowledge concerning what can be done better and I’ve prepared my equipment and set my work space up accordingly. Here are my results from the day:
Powder resist – Left: on paper with the only bit of yellow we had. Right: on thick textural cotton fabric. Due to the speckled appearance I think this technique has a lot of scope for layering on top of other prints.
Foliage & masking tape resist – Left: plant foliage used over calico fabric. Right: masking tape adhered to screen with overlay of plant resist print. I tried the green print twice as it simply wouldn’t work. There was speculation that the paint had dried on the screen.
And that’s it for a 3 hour car journey in each direction and 6 hours tuition!!!!!
What I’ve learned:
- Preparing frames correctly will increase their usable life-span and paint cleans off duct tape much easier than off porous wood.
- Clean frames immediately after use.
- Stir/mix paints well before use and ensure they are still usable.
- Prepare a large print work surface where either multiple small pieces of fabric can be pinned out or a larger piece can be worked on.
- Have a water source nearby and a hose if possible.
- Have a hanging or drying area nearby as each piece needs space to dry out, preferably flat initially.
- This workshop used block printing ink. My local art shop tells me that this is designed for paper and dries out too quickly for screen printing. They suggest using screen printing inks (sounds logical to me) as they have a slight retardant in them to avoid this problem. The workshop tutor didn’t know the difference between these two products. I wonder if this is the reason my prints are so poor or was the folded towel base too soft?
I’m starting my own experimentation with Derivan screen printing inks before moving to thickened Drimarine K dyes.
I have another one day screen printing workshop at the end of May and I’m looking forward to seeing how it differs from this experience.
The 5 day workshop I’ve just attended with Isobel Hall at ContextArt in the Blue Mountains, run by TAFTA, was enlightening and I gained a lot of new skills – all of which need further practice, of course.
The course, entitled Working with Scrim, was based on her 2011 book, pictured here. The focus was mainly on constructing dimensional vessels but also concentrated on introducing the participants to a wide range of products (molding pastes, mediums, waxes, encaustic, paints, inks and more) which may not have been incorporated into their work before.
I have long had an interest in layering and incorporating mixed media into my textile work and have made many samples over recent years. However, I continue to find it difficult to unify pieces when plastics, paper and pastes are used, as concealing hard edges whilst building an art piece can be quite challenging. This course addressed many of those issues.
Scrim, old thin Japanese book sheets, nettle yarn, various pastes & R&F oil stick.
Scrim, colouring agents, plant & coconut fibre, beads.
Builders scrim, fibrous paper, molding paste, paint & acrylic wax.
I have another vessel and a book cover yet to finish. A very worthwhile week, with an extremely enthusiastic and generous tutor who, although quite unwell, approached each day with a new range of demonstrations and technical information to stimulate and encourage us in our work. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her to anyone thinking of doing a course with her.
This week I was invited to a friend’s house to try out her rigid heddle loom. She had already warped it up using a couple of different coloured 2 ply wools, one being variegated. They weren’t too fluffy but were … Continue reading
Seeing as I am currently immersed in weaving for my OCA course, and think about little else at the moment, yesterday I attended a basket weaving one day workshop. Entitled ‘The Basics of Basket Weaving’, with Meri Peach as the … Continue reading
I’ve spent the last few days interstate at a workshop. Three months ago I was there as a participant in the encaustic art workshop, this time I was the tutor. Entitled ‘The Book of Silk’ the aim was to create … Continue reading
Sydney Craft & Quilt Fair 16/6/2012 Yesterday I had an interesting and stimulating day at our annual craft fair at Sydney Exhibition Centre at Darling Harbour. Some weeks ago I prebooked a place for myself and a friend in a … Continue reading
Three months ago, in a moment of enthusiasm and over-confidence, I enrolled in a 2 day free-machining workshop with Carol Wilkes. The workshop was held last week. It’s safe to say that , whilst the class was advertised for allcomers … Continue reading
With Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch: I’ve had a break from my OCA studies for a week and been interstate to an encaustic workshop with a visiting American tutor. This is a subject I knew nothing about other than from a couple … Continue reading
Colour on Fabric – Marbling. With a view to seeing how coloured paints sit on fabric a friend and I got together to do some fabric marbling for a day. This was our second attempt and our results improved a … Continue reading
This weekend I attended a workshop which concentrated on learning free-form right angle weave using size 15 seed beads. We started off by creating a flat structure which could be developed into a neckpiece or be used to couch down … Continue reading
I took a couple of days out from the course to do a bit of creative stitching. This week I am taking part in a stitching swap with the theme of food so I decided to make a book cover … Continue reading
This weekend I went to the above 2 day workshop. The tutor was the very talented Pamela Priday. Her work is astounding and uses many processes in each piece. I was especially interested in this workshop because I know Pamela fairly … Continue reading