Wednesday, 12 March 2014


At the Sturt Summer School this year I taught a "Colour+Print" workshop that focused on the basics of mixing colour for printing onto textiles. 
One happy class!
Most of the participants were beginners although some had related experience in the areas of weaving, sewing, dyeing, graphic design and teaching art. Student learnt to mix their own colours from scratch, learning about colour theory and the technical aspects of the chemicals involved, including exploring the many different binders that could be used onto textiles to create different effects.  Once we got a hang of that, we had fun playing with carving blocks and using traditional blocks for block-printing as well as cutting stencils for screen-printing.
Kate's green hydrangea block-print

Elizabeth's vibrant block-printed cotton

Exploring both traditional and hand carved blocks
This was a fabulous collaboration with a professional outcome!
The cushions seen above are an example of how much work and effort the students put into a 5-day workshop.  The Japanese Maple block was carved by Jen, the design and construction was executed by Lee, and Marylou acted as colourist and stylist. Lee and Marylou also made matching aprons from their colour swatch experiments (seen in the background), tote bags, napkins, tea-towels and much, much more.  It was awesome to come into class each day and see what they had achieved.  In fact, the whole class was so enthusiastic that we received many many comments about the work produced during the public Saturday Open Studio.  Well done ladies! 

Oh....they also presented me with this fab tote bag, screen-printed and signed by each one of them, then sewn up in the dead of night by Lee...and filled with bottles of wine of course! One of the most enjoyable workshops I have taught.

My next workshop will be at the TAFTA Geelong Fibre Forum in late September - Experiments in Printing with Mordants. Great for those of you who have an interest in natural dyeing and want to expand into printing with mordants and natural dyes.