I have come to love teaching: I make sure to figure out the best way to push my students out of their comfort zones, albeit, gently. When they surprise themselves, I am thrilled. Below are the methods I teach most often. They can be stand-alone workshops or be combined into a four- or six- or eight-week workshop. These classes can be converted to virtual teaching. Contact me so we can organize what will work best for you and your students, or get a bunch of people together and organize your own workshop. Whatever works!
DISPERSE DYE (SUBLIMATION TRANSFER)
Disperse dye is a little known method of surface design, a kind of printmaking. Using brushes and fabric crayons, marks are made on paper in a painterly fashion, but can also be created by using texture- and pattern-making tools. The image is printed onto fabric by using a hot press. There is always an element of surprise, as the dyes and crayons do not necessarily look the same color after heat is applied, somewhat like glazes for ceramics. This is a messy, somewhat unpredictable process, and perfect for experimentation.
INDIGO SHIBORI ON FABRIC
This is an ancient pattern-making process often referred to as Shibori, and uses the ground leaves of an indigo plant that produces a rich, deep blue. To make traditional patterns, fabric is folded and clamped or wrapped around a pole and then immersed into the indigo. The non-traditional methods I teach require embedding various objects inside the cloth before being being dyed.
ERIC CARLE-INSPIRED COLLAGES
Eric Carle is a well-known children’s book illustrator. His work is full of charm and I have many fond memories of reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? to my daughter. In this workshop, students will learn how Carle created his illustrations and make our own using his method, step by step. Images can be figurative or abstract.
CARVING A STAMP
Knowing how to carve your own stamp is useful for all kinds of artists. It is possible to take inspiration from public domain images, and/or to create your own. The stamps can be used on a variety of surfaces - including clay - and can be figurative or abstract. It is a predictable fact that once you start carving, you will be unable to look at any flat surface without wondering what kind of stamps to use to change its appearance.
Marbling (or marbleizing) is an ancient art that requires a steady hand and a love of color and pattern. Instead of the wonderful but expensive and temperamental carrageenan, this method uses shaving cream, allowing you to create (almost all of) the traditional patterns as is done with carrageenan. Not to worry though, since this method also is exquisitely suited for experimentation! Each student will produce several sheets of drop-dead gorgeous marbleized paper and/or fabric, which can be used for book binding, crafts, gift wrapping, sewing projects - or as a piece of art to be framed.
BLEACHING ON PAPER AND FABRIC
This surface design method transforms a piece of fabric or paper into a dynamic design in a matter of seconds. Sometimes called discharging or reverse dyeing, bleach or a powder similar to bleach is used on the fabric or paper. Unusual compositions and color combinations are the result. Because it's such a quick process, make sure to have plenty of paper and fabric to transform into as magically as a chameleon changes color.
SHIBORI ON PAPER
The same folding and clamping methods used on fabric can be applied to paper. Instead of immersing fabric in indigo, watercolors or ink are applied - ever so sparingly - onto the paper. This process is virtually instantaneous, so you can learn quickly how to improve and make changes and come up unexpected patterns and color combinations - in short, just beautiful papers.
DYEING WITH ICE CUBES
Dyeing with ice cubes - or snow - allows you to create fabrics that have distinctive patterns or atmospheric compositions. The dyes need to sit on the fabric for 24 hours, so patience is required. It will be worth the wait, however! You will start scouring your house for natural fabrics to dye the next time.