This summer I have been teaching two separate workshops in two separate parts of the world. In June I hosted a three day long class at the Barn Swallow, a gallery just west of Charlottesville, VA and in August I joined bookbinder Monica Langwe for a four day workshop in her beautiful studio in Mora, Sweden.
Both classes focused on the basic principles of eco-printing, including fabric preparation, plant selections, and techniques for bundling and clamping. We also covered other types of natural mark-making and explored basic natural dye methods. We discussed proper harvesting methods, color fastness, and the importance of learning to embrace the outcome—whether bold and striking or subtle and ethereal.
We created books for collecting work samples. In Mora, Monica guided us through the process of making a beautiful sample book using a pyramid binding structure. We ate amazing food, replenished our energy with coffee and laughter. Throughout it all there were plenty of wonderful conversations about art, nature, and life.
As with any workshop, whether you are a student or the teacher, the most rewarding part is the interactions with the participants. Everyone comes with their own wealth of knowledge and willingness to share. It was a privilege to get to know my students this summer and it makes me happy when I spot posts on facebook or instagram, where they show off new work, reflecting their love of this amazing, imperfect natural printing technique.
The images in this post feature work made by my students. I have added captions to identify which class the photos are from. Two different environments, climates, and eco systems - still producing beauty and magic in their own rights. If you want to read more about the class in Mora you can find Elisabet Jansson's two blog posts here and here. Lillemor Larsson-Haga also wrote a post about the class here (all three blogposts are in Swedish...). I will be teaching several classes next year - three of them will take me back to Monica's wonderful studio in Mora. There will be a natural indigo / shibori class in June and in August we will repeat the introduction to eco-printing as well as offer an advanced class. Details are still in the works. Please contact Monica Langwe if you are interested in attending. There will also be one possibly two classes in the US next year, email me if you want to be added to the workshop email list.