What can I say? This three day workshop with Els van Baarle from Holland was divine.
Els is very giving of her time and knowledge, caring and although quiet, makes you feel like you’ve known her all your life.
Advice given to me by Els was not to overthink my projects; just get in there and go for it.
Working furiously to move mountains, Els warned me that I was layering the colours too fast and may not get the desired results.
But what to do when you only have three days to work with such a talented artist and wish you had a lifetime?
Workshop topics covered working with all sorts of different types of paper, textiles and books.
Layering a variety of different types of paper, newspaper, paper towels or napkings on top of the plastic sheets and then covering them with 2 layers of white cloth. Then using wax with paint brushes/ stamps/ tjanting tools, applying dye with paint/ foam brushes, applying fabric paint as a first or last process with stamps, stencils, paint brushes or other type of tools, and using paper or books to blot and to soak in the leftover dye. Repeating this process over and over again until you have the results you desire.
Els also gave us some design hints and showed us how to make simple books or other art from our results. I can’t begin to tell you what I learned and achieved from this course except for a few hints and to archive my samples.
Rules: Use fabric paint as the first or last process and heat set from the back. Paint for stencils should look like yogurt.
Method: Soak pieces in soda ash and let dry between each process before applying the next layer of wax and dye. Batch (cure in plastic) dye before letting piece dry.
Colours: Primary colours are always a good start.
Although more colours were available, I found that I repeatedly used the following colours; Lemon Yellow, Golden Yellow, Fucshia, Turquoise, Royal Blue, and Black.
My favourite Seta Colours were Shimmer Gold, Parma Violet, and Shimmer Oriental Red.
Recommendations: Start off with white as it gives better colour along the way.
The longer you batch the better the colour. You can batch a piece for a week or longer as long as it doesn’t get mouldy.
As soy wax is very soft and comes off in the soaking process, I applied soy wax repeateldy over the same areas between each layer of dye.
I feel very priviledged to have been able to spend these few days with Els van Baarle.
Thank you Els!