Indigo Shibori … Fold, Stitch and Clamp the best Blue and White print !

You have to love the “Blue Dye” no? Would you like to try it? I will be running some basic Indigo Shibori workshops within the next few weeks… but if you love your Blue Indigo Shibori read below… some interesting facts for inspiration !!!

Come for a short Indigo Shibori workshop and get the chance to hand-bind your result in a unique book… with Glasgow artist Elisabeth Viguie Culshaw  and Edinburgh Artist Cassandra Barron

In Glasgow on the 1st June Book here

In Edinburgh on the 27th of May Book here

If you want to spend a week end exploring making an Indigo Vat and learning various folds then join my Indigo Shibori week end in August Details and booking here

Over the week end of Indigo Shibori dyeing learn the basic of Indigo dyeing… learn the secrets preparing your cloth with the perfect folds and stitches to get a great crisp pattern. Experience working with the Blue Indigo and be marvel at seeing the colour develop in front your eyes when dying with Organic Indigo.

The folding and the Blue Dye !

Shibori (しぼり / 絞り) is a Japanese manual resist dyeing technique, which produces patterns on fabric by folding, stitching and clamping, thus blocking out the dye in a structured pattern.

Most of us have at some point used a similar technique to Tye Dye a tee shirt in our teens… but the the first known example of Shibori dates from the 8th century and was realised in Japan, the gift of a Prince and in what colour but the deepest Indigo Blue ! Indigofera Tinctoria or the best organic Jananese Indigo…

Kanoko, Miurom Kumo, Numi are some of the known resist techniques used for Japanese Shibori.

In the Western world probably the most familiar one is Kanoki, a type of Tie Dye using a  strong thread or elastic bands to bind small objects into the fabric before dyeing it. Plastic tops, corks, shells etc… bundled into the cloth and thread or elastic bank used to restrict access to the cloth of the Dye when lowered into the Dye Bath.

Shibori has such a great reputation there is even a worldwide shibori network to keep in touch with all the Shibori news !

Great circular patterns of white cloth around the area where the objects was located. A lovely and fun way to create patterns. No wonder it is popular as it is so simple… a great fav with children.

Indigo, a natural way of dyeing for hundred of years has made recently a big come back and no wonder. Well applied it can give you fun patterns a deep colour of blue even if it looks just like a dirty green cloth when coming out of the dye water… the magic happens through the oxidation process.

Indigo come from a natural plant originally cultivated in India. A recent worldwide movement in Eco Dyeing has put it back to the forefront of the Eco Dyeing techniques and both Organic Indigo and Synthetic Indigo are available certainly online to anyone. But If you have the great chance to live or visit Asia, India, Vietnam, Northern Thailand, Southern China etc…  for example you will find Indigo being used still by local and tribes in their day to day business…. For how long ? That I cant say, its a very lengthy process to prepare a Dyeing Vat. Fashion change and even in The traditional Hill tribes the younger generations want a faster process for their day to day labour !

Brij Ballabh Ulwailal in India runs a very successful studio and practise where he works, researches and teaches Indigo Dyeing from naturally grown Organic Indigo plant. Its a wonderful process but lengthy, He promotes the use of natural Indigo but how sustainable is that in other countries…


Photo copyright Brij Ballabh

To see Brij’s indigo look Here

Patricia Chessman In Chiang Mai Thailand has spent her life researching, using and teaching Natural Dyes in her studio, Studio Naenna, she wrote a wonderful account of women’s weaver’s work in Northern Thailand and her work is so skilled. She runs regular Indigo and natural dyes workshop in Chiang Mai with her daughter and I believe now grand daughter.

It takes to have passionate practitioners such as Brij and Patricia to be able to talk and inspire about  those techniques … but the fact is the bulk of the Indigo dyeing work is done by many many individuals workers mainly women of the cloth all over the world… the unsung heroes in small villages in India, Thailand, China, Africa etc… who slowly cultivate the fiber, make the cloth and dye it …lana

This lady is from the North of Thailand Lana Ethnic community and still at over 80 years old applies wax to fabric to produce the nicest Indigo blue dyed and pattern resist there is… keen to show her skills at the Chiang Mai Design Fair last December.

Clink the link below to see her work !

Pattern tracing in Chiang Mai  

Is Indigo a viable dyeing technique for industry? I noticed recently a number of young South East Asian textile designers drawing onto their roots when creating their style… LONG GOY in Chiang Mai last December was showing some most innovative use of the traditional Lana Indigo patterns on his textile collection. (photos credit LONG GOY)

Vietnamese born young textile designer Vu Thao decided to make the link between tradition and fashion when she set out to create her brand Kilomet 109 by glorifying the skill of Vietnamese villagers in producing the most beautiful Indigo dyed cloth to make the most stunning garments. She works in an Ethical way, is instrumental in keeping traditional skills going while producing most contemporary fashion. She is a great example to be followed. Her work is recognised in the work fashion centres … Ethnic Indigo in the New York catwalks that is an achievement no ? Kilomet 109 made the cover of ELLE this season… from Dye bath to catwalk what a great achievement ! (photos credit Kilomet 109)

But not everyone wants or can travel to the other side of the world to try a technique. Those young designers and indeed the craft practitioners can inspire you enough to want to have a go here at home…

If you want to discover about those technics and play with them … and if you would like to experience the magic of the blue Indigo and the secret folding techniques… on paper and/or cloth why don’t you join one of my workshops this spring ? (details above)

I hope to see you there.


Betty x

When Betty came to my workshop to Stencil Mackintosh !

A few days ago I received this very lovely message from Betty .. a participant from my last Stencilling and Bookbinding workshop in Glasgow ! ... “Thanks to you and Cass, for such a wonderful inspiring day… To come away with my own stencilled bound book was amazing… ”  What best reward can you get than knowing that not only you have got the job well done but also that you have made someone ‘s day better …

Cassandra Barron and I will be running this workshop a second time on the 25th of May @ Mandors the Fabric store … Stencil, fold and Stitch, Stencilling and Bookbinding

2018 is the Mackintosh Year… So Cassandra Barron and I decided to run some collaborative workshops based on the work of Charles rennie Mackintosh in Glasgow. I would stencil Roses and she would bookbind… our usual routine, we would share that with a few participants and it would run in Mandors the Fabric shop. So we advertised the first workshop and… it fully booked. Some lovely ladies who like Mackintosh roses to bits and wanted to have a great day off doing a “wee bit of craft”.

Little did they know that both Cass and I work to a high standard and they would come out with a very beautiful hand bound book full of stencilled roses… Little did I know Betty would join my own workshop … and that she would love it 🙂 … some of the work we did below and what beautiful standard …

There is something satisfying in stencilling… even if you cant draw to save your life you can create beautiful patterns just by rubbing the right amount of paint through the cut out patterns of a template. Off course it helps to have an eye for colour ! Mackintosh loved the technique and used it in many of his interiors… Today we know him for his stencilled roses but I do know that he used the techniques well into the 1920’s and with very geometrical designs. Indeed I was in Northampton last year recreating some Art Deco schemes he designed for a local industrialist.

So on last week’s workshop after a warm cup of coffee and a brief introduction I demonstrated how to stencil a rose … highlighting the “less paint is more beautiful result !” highlighting the beautiful result of a dry brushed technique… and then I handed the brush to the participants for them to have a go onto paper, fabric and more paper…

And off they went stencilling away, roses, letters, small and large motifs on paper for their insert and on fabric for the coptic binding they would tackle in the afternoon. So much inspiration… So many colours 🙂

We could have stopped for lunch but there was no time… “we better crack on” said Cass… and she took over showing how to fold the 6 signatures that would form the inside of the book… and then how to use the recently stencilled fabric to cover the hard sides of the book… The whole project taking shape. And a hard curve needle in her hand demonstrating the stitch we would use for the back … Coptic it’s called … so effective !

From time to time a customer would pop their head to see if everything was ok and they could just have a quick look at the class in project.

And before you knew it… Ta Dahhh ! that was one, two, three,…. books ready. Even I made a little book so lovely pretty thing.

4 o’clock arrived before we knew it ! and everyone left book in their hand… ready to go home and show off 🙂

Then the lovely message came in… Betty’s one … and I was so touched that she was so happy with her day ! Her beautiful day spent with us …

All the Betty of this world together to do “Mackintosh workshop thing…

But I am thinking already about the next very stunning workshop… it will be on the 25th May… details are above see you there ?

Best wishes.

Betty x

Blue Print and West end Eco Collaboration ! When Oxfam and the Glasgow Botanic become my work places !

Some people travel for work … I tend to do my best work close to home and let those who want to share come closer…

I will be running an Eco printing and Bookbinding in the glorious Kibble Palace next week end with Cassandra Barron Edinburgh bookbinder. For info look Here

I live and work in the West end of Glasgow, the Green Dear Place… only a few minutes away from The Byres road and its great Oxfam Book shop, and from the very well loved Botanical gardens. From time to time I work in collaboration with the Oxfam bookshop and demonstrate my creative techniques using material you can source there for pennies… I think it is a great idea just as you can cook from first principal from the content of your fridge… that you can be creative using recyclable material found in charity shops. So last week I spent two afternoons eco printing in Oxfam using old music sheets, old maps and loose pages of an old encyclopedia. This is what I will be teaching next sunday the 25th of March during my Eco printing and Bookbinding workshop at the Botanics, I am running this with Cassandra Barron a bookbinder from Edinburgh it will be much fun ! No many get to be creative in the Kibble palace:)

I like using a thick paper as a resist paper for my Eco prints… you never know sometimes the resist or what some call the blanket can be nicer than the actual print and in any case it adds some new colours in the bundle. I also like using a discharge cloth, I should explain that is a piece of fabric previously dyed, preferably with a natural dye but not fixed… so it runs if wet again and if you use one of those cloth in a bundle of prints you get a lovely leakage of dye within your prints. This past week I have been experimenting with naturally dyed cloths with Onion skins. My local green grocer has now the message that I only want onion skin from them and they have a little bag ready for me any time i pop in… But in this occasion I had pre-dyed some synthetic blue dye cloth and I had lying about some textured wall paper, Anaglypta type and I decided to use it as a resist paper. I do like a little experiment.

So here we go,

Blue cloth, recycled paper, lining and textured paper for resist, rehydrated leaves from last autumn, string, piping, cling film, ferrous sulphate mordant etc… and a good old fashion steamer.

Amazing result, with leaves blocking the blue dye in a perfect leaf shape, the texture of the textured wall paper blocking the blue and the print in an organised manner creating a pattern on the printing paper… great colours, what a day of sharing the lovely technique to the public. A great public, some came from far and some from around the corner. Many wanted to see the result and waited for the steam to be over, some went for coffee around the corner and came back in time. An elderly gentleman wanted a print so much that I ended up giving it to him… Many found it impossible to understand the process and were marvelled by it.

The Oxfam staff amazed of what beauty came out of those old pages…

But the story is not over… those results are now in the window of the Oxfam shop for all to see for a long week… Many should walk past and I hope the prints catches their eye because Cassandra and I are running an Eco printing and Bookbinding next week on the 25th of March in the glorious Kibble Palace and I hope a few more will join in the fun.  For details and bookings look Here

I love the “Botanics” its a great garden but its also a great family place to walk around… we have spent many years walking around the pound checking out the fish or trailing up to the back to find the swing park as well as watching the plants come alive in the Spring and dying in the Autumn. I have chosen the heated room in the Kibble palace to run my workshop and I hope course goers will love it.

It will run from 11 to 4 and we will be collecting leaves then print them on paper before stitching a book out of them. I hope you can make it !

Have a great week end.

Betty xx

#mackintosh150 – THE BIG MACK PROJECT


For those interested to discover Mackintosh stencilling that is see some original stencilling as well as practise your brushstrokes why don’t you book yourself on one of my Stencilling Mackintosh Discovery days? I am running them once a month between May and October on the last friday of the month… If you are a small group of up to 4 people I can set up a day for you … Just email me

For details on the events and bookings : Stencilling Mackintosh discovery days


After some serious snow this past week end Glasgow is waking up to the fact that this year 2018 is the 150th anniversary of one of his most cherished child… Charles Rennie Mackintosh ! #MACKINTOSH150 is the Mackintosh year… a celebration of all things designed, made, dreamed by the man and is wife, sponsored by his patrons and friends here is Scotland and elsewhere in the world. And we are going to celebrate…. in the pure “GLASGOW STYLE”.

For me 2018 will see a new community art project, after #THE BIG ROSE and last year #THE BIG BANNER I though it was time participants dropped their brush and seized their piping bag… we shall make Gesso… many pieces of art work actually 150 of them to celebrate all those years … and many hands will squeeze and draw small and big lines, dots and circles… to make a HUGE installation ALL TOGETHER next October … a celebration of all things Mackintosh !

Keep your eyes posted on this page for the details coming out soonish on this project…. there is will loads of events and it will take place in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Helensburgh, Kirkcaldy, and hopefully in Dundee but anywhere else where I find keen people… if you want to register your interest to take part… drop me a mail @ you can volunteer services or just come and take part in one of the events.

For now ….

Speak to you soon….

Betty xx

Use PULP ! Make paper !

Every year I take a couple of days off to learn a new technique, something fun which I have not done before and I might just be able to incorporate in my own work ! I came across PULP the paper making workshop in Glasgow through Cassandra from Bookbinding with Cass an Edinburgh book binding with whom I run collaborative workshops. Paper making sounded fun and I hope I might be able to produce some great paper to Eco print with Alison.

Alison Newman the artist who runs PULP IS an ex GSA graduate (a printer in fact) and post graduate … she is very generous with her time. Its a wonderful studio located in the East End WASP facilities. Its big, clean, with loads of really exciting equipment and loads of fibres I can not identify… Kozo, Gampi, Mitsumata… and bog standard … Cotton but mixed in a pulp form they all make the most beautiful hand made paper !

Alison runs numerous workshops, assists artists who want to use the facilities, produces snow white hand made paper etc.. and is the most generous artist around… I had booked really quite early but because of the very bad snow storm that week end in Glasgow the workshop almost got cancelled as participants could not make it there… people from Orkney, London etc… Paper making draws crowds… but Alisan realising how keen I was agreed to run the workshop just for me and my daughter…

Upon arrival we were introduced to the different kind of fibres, how to treat them, to clean them, to blend them etc… and gave us a go at at least 6 different of paper… We then added “bits” that is torn pages of books, glitter, cut up pieces of silver, dried leaves from the Glasgow Botanics last autumn, etc… to make our very own textured paper with dried “stuff” just lovely paper I can not wait to get once it has spent time under the press…

All along I was so impressed about all the very professional equipment available for the running of the workshop… off course you can make paper at home using old newspapers and a blender… but this is top professional paper making using traditional technique, material and ingredients you don’t get to do everyday… The Huge Hollander that is necessary to transform your old clothing into the most beautiful paper… Alison runs workshops with therapists to groups wanting a way to overcome grief. What a great way to join creativity and overcoming difficult life moments.

Homework that night was to prepare a watermark, something representing you and hand cut, Its a design that prevents the fibre to be to opaque in the shape of the design you have made.  We casted a few leaves of paper… and then:

We went all creative, adding small pieces of the collages, some inprint, some cuts out pieces of artwork made earlier… we stencilled via plastic stencils, and other shapes, using coloured slip… all togher a great creative moment…


Making paper is just a really nice technique, it allows you to free your brain:) the time you need to wait for the draining would help anyone recycling,,,

I am to collect my papers later this week.. get ready to be marvelled.

If you want to know about Alison ‘workshops please look HERE.

I hope you enjoy the visuals…

Best wishes.


Earthy ! using organic dye to give earthy tones to Eco-prints

Eco printing is my very favorite technique of all ! Creating beautiful marks on Upcycled paper and fabric with some leaves discarded by nature ! What better way is there to recycling while being creative ?

I am so eager to teach anyone who wants to hear me about it and I run a number of classes in Scotland to give “wannabe eco printers a head start !” All details on my post about Dyeing, Printing and Eco Printing ! or my FULL COURSE LIST But read below how I went even further in my quest for Upcycling nature this week by foraging in my composting bin to add colour to my prints 🙂 it’s a lovely past time and … you save the Earth !

You definitively should give this a try …

Recycling paper last week I noticed my box of onion peels was overflowing… Do you have this annoying habit of collecting onion peels when you are visiting the green grocer? I have been for weeks now collecting both yellow and red onions peels and this week was the right moment to for using them.

But then what to do with them? I decided to add them to my eco printing experiments and it turned out a wonderful pile of earthy coloured prints in shades of warm yellow, browns and cream mix of art board and simply glorified lining paper…

Each little pile of skins was transferred to a sauce pan and covered with hot water, I then steamed them for one hour before poring them through a colander to get rid of the discoloured skins. The coloured liquid transferred to a Tupperware type container. But I shared the yellow liquid in a second container and added a small quantity of ferrous sulphate to turn it into a deep brown colour.

I then diped small cuts of both watercolour paper and some glorified lining paper into each liquid for up to 30 mns to dye them. They were left to dry to be used the second day to eco print.

Using some autumn leaves rehydrated in lukewarm water I bundled them onto the paper before rolling the lot onto a bit of piping insulation and steaming them in my boiler for one hour.

And the result is amazing, the ferrous sulfate I used for mordanting the paper has modified the original died paper into lovely deep colours and in most cases transferred on the resist paper together with part of the leaf print…

I just have to decide to do with my lovely collection now. I think some of them would be lovely to just frame as a work of art… all very natural !

I am looking forward now to try on larger size paper… I will make a try this week using Soya milk for mordanting… Its a safer option I have heard about to keep the process safe to use with children.


Betty x

2018 is the year of the Blues and the Greens !

My studio is based in Glasgow – Scotland, and anyone there reading the title above would think I have been stung by the Football bug ! Blue and Green are the well known colours of the Celtic and Rangers football clubs tops… Very close to the hearts of most Glaswegian… but for me those colours represent the creative techniques I love most… Indigo dyeing, Shibori, Tie Dye, Cyanotype printing for blues and off course Eco printing, Eco dyeing for greens…

From there I run workshops on Indigo, Dyeing and Eco Printing please READ BELOW for details or click here for my FULL COURSE LIST

From time to time you just have to concentrate the way you work and research to really understand the full potential of your loved technique but I just cant settle on one single technique, who can ? The prints below were all made by eco printing on Indigo dyeed paper and fabric, and thats what made them complete in my heart ! I cant decide what I like most, experimenting or fixing mistakes I made while experimenting…. So I will do both and I hope many will sign up to do that journey with me.

But if you want to read about when I first discovered about Eco Printing then click Here

I do love a bit of collaboration and Cassandra Barron from Bookbinding with Cass and I have already ran a few joint workshops… Cass is an accomplished book binder and with her skills I can make use of my marks and prints… together we have embarked on a number of workshops where participants get the chance to try their hands at eco printing, indigo dyeing, stencilling and so on… and bind the result in a unique book to take home. Travel diaries, note books of all sorts, hand made and featuring hand decorated papers, two techniques learned in a day, those workshops have a great deal of content and they are being very popular already. A few of them are very special indeed… we ran one in  The beautiful Kibble Palace of The Glasgow Botanic Gardens, on the 25th of March. We will run this one again but in the Edinburgh Botanic Garden in June and in The Secret Garden in July. For info please look here for info on the Edinburgh Botanic gardens workshop and Here for the workshop at the lovely Herb Gardens

Eco Printing is a natural technique, you take a leaf and steam its colour away onto paper or fabric … its a great magical trick ! the result is always wonderful but you cant quite predict what the outcome will be. 

Identifying the right leaves and the right support, using the right technique to transfer its pigments through  steaming, deciding how to best use the result to create, prints, mixed media boards, scarves … are some of the subjects I will teach during my workshops.

I will be running a one day Eco Printing on fabric to create a scarf in the West end of Glasgow on the 8th of June. On that day we will learn the basic of Eco printing on paper and fabric and print a scarf on mixed linen/cotton. For information and booking click the link on Eco Print Scottish Leaves on your Scarf


Indigo is a natural dye which has captured the heart of many artists and textile specialists. From its humble origins as a small plant in India to its transformation into the beautiful true blue once seen it is never forgotten and used all over the world from Denim Jeans to unique hand dyed fabrics in Asia. Many use it for the beautiful Tie Dye called Shibori which takes its origins in Japan.

I will be running a week end of  Indigo Shibori dyeing in Glasgow for beginners at the House for an Art Lover in May, we make Indigo from scratch and will fold and print some beautiful Shibori fabric for info and booking look at Fold and Print, Cold Indigo Dyeing

indigo bookbinding

In June I will join forces with Cassandra Barron from Bookbinding with Cass to run a one day workshop in Glasgow on Indigo Shibori and bookbinding. It will be a great creative way to approach two lovely techniques to create a great finished book on that day after having discovered the folding techniques of Japanese Shibori Booking and info here

Blue and Green Eco Printing : 

Under the right conditions, the prolonged contact of a leaf onto cloth or paper can make a beautiful print. In this two-day course, you will learn the basics of Eco printing. Using local botanical material and working with heat and light you will transfer the shapes or pigments of the leaves onto paper or fabric. Learning the secrets of mordants, and tannin and iron bath, the resulting prints can be used to produce scarves/artwork or greeting cards. Cyanotype and Eco Printing will allow you to in-print the beautiful shapes of the Fresh leaves you have picked up in the great walled Garden of the House for an Art Lover. For info and booking look here Green and Blue Eco Printing


Up-cycling has been my passion for a few years, but up-cycling Nature will be my focus in 2018, won’t you join me for one of the classes above?

Hope to see you there.

Betty x

A freshly baked scone, a cup of tea and a stubby brush ! Stencilling Mackintosh @ The Willow Tea Rooms

I will be running some stencilling workshops with The Willow Tea Rooms in Buchanan Street – Glasgow if you would like to book look here


Much of my stencilling life is spent up a ladder or a scaffolding recreating the historic designs and it is immensely  rewarding. But I also love sharing my skills with the public, adults and children who don’t have the training and don’t think they could ever “manage it”. Over the years many hundreds have learned to stencil with me and Mackintosh’s rose !

Off course we all have a specialty, something we do well and that makes people happy and Anne Mulhern has been baking scones for over thirty years but not in any odd place… In the Willow Tea Rooms. She opened her first Tea Rooms in Sauchiehall Street in the very building Mackintosh designed for Miss Cranston. The Willow Tea Rooms was born out of Anne’s passion for delivering a beautiful tea experience to her customers… in style just like Miss Cranston had done before… just like Charles Rennie Mackintosh had too.

This is what Anne and I have in common, a passion for the job well done, a great service for the customer, a lovely experience, a beautiful memory for the future ! That is why I will have great pleasure to run Stencilling workshops in the lovely blue Chinese Room of her Tea Rooms at 97 Buchanan Street. What better experience than learning to stencil Mackintosh’s design seating in a chair after his own design and eating one of Anne’s Scones?

I will be running a number of Stencilling workshops in the lovely blue chinese room  of the Willow Tea Rooms through the Spring. Participants get a chance to try their hand at stencilling and perfect their technique using some Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s inspired stencils. After a delightful Fresh baked scone and a cup of tea you will have the time to stencil yourself a unique tote bag to take home. This is a perfect workshop for beginners, and it would be also great treat to offer it as a present for a special occasion.

You will learn a great skill but also have great fun and off course the setting of The Chinese room is quite spectacular let alone the Fresh baked scone !

If you would like to read more about this event or book look here 

I hope to see you there sometimes…


Betty xx

Better together : “Honest Error”, written words and stencilled roses together celebrate the life and work of Mackintosh and Margaret

Tuesday’s are funny days… not the drab Monday that everyone hates and not the well awaited Friday… yet not the middle of the week either. Just a bit of a boring day apart from the lunchtime talk at the Hunterian ! 10 mns of bliss of talk by an expert, just enough to keep you interested, not so much it takes your day… Today Gillean McDougall was talking about “Honest Error” at 1pm precisely.

“Honest Error” is a wonderful book curated by Gillean as part of a creative part of her Mlitt at UofG in 2017. An anthology of poems by a group of writers from the Mlitt about the life and work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife Margaret after the group had spent some time looking at some archival pieces in the collection of the Hunterian art gallery. A beautiful collection of 34 poems all very different about different aspects of Mackintosh’s work and life but all very meaningful. And off course a cover full of Glasgow roses. The cover is my work… my contribution to that very meaninfull project.

I happen to meet Gillean @ my stencilling workshop organised by Queens Cross Church in June 2017 which she had joined hoping to get her stencilling skills up to a confident level to work on the cover herself. After we met the idea of me coming up with a design was quickly up and discussed and we exchanged for several weeks before I came up with those roses. So many criterias in this kind of project… copyright regulations, background material, size of the roses, timing for the making, need for it to be photographed… but it happened and in September the book came out. What a lovely little thing. Everyone I know loves it and half my family has received a copy for Christmas.

Today was a celebration day. The reading of some of the poems by some of the poets, a great expose about the making by Gillean and a show off of my art work… but also the joy to know the book is now stocked in some venues around Glasgow as well as online

You will be able to find “Honest Errors” in the The Willow Tea Rooms in Glasgow, in the shop of The Hunterian at The UofG many to follow.

Do not hesitate to walk miles to get yourself a copy of this beautiful little book it is well worth it.

Love Betty x

It’s better together ; Erasmus’s Nuremberg students collaboration & #thebigbanner into Europe

“Dear Betty … we are German textile students and we would like to help…”

The email I received started that way… a group of students from Nuremberg on an exchange with Erasmus grants were visiting Glasgow in October and they wanted to take part … they were in Glasgow to research a future fashion show based on Mackintosh for the Mackintosh150 in 2018 and were offering to volunteer for the Open day at Kelvingrove museum. So … they did !

After an exchange of communications it was decided they would meet me at Kelvingrove on the day and mix with the volunteers for the day, they would quick train and would be involved in both dealing with the public … and we saw around 300 visitors on that day and focus on the making of that day banner.

5 very bright and dedicated German textile students and their tutor, one architecture student from GSA, one practising textile artist, one Chinese business student, one retired lady and myself master managing them, that is quite a team ! But 300 participants with a great proportion of children that is also quite a large group to manage and thank goodness for our German volunteers who were such an asset on the day.

After a quick introduction and stencilling tuition we all get busy in getting the space ready and indeed many parents with their young children had already been around asking when we started ???

At 11am on the dot we lifted the stencilling brush and it all started … to not stop until well after the planned 4pm…

Douzains of children of all ages came by that day but also retired people visiting the galleries on a cold day. Families having a day out during the October break, students walking by during their lunch break… but also Art lovers having read about the project on social media and who wanted to take part in the making of the banner…

We split the group and David our textile artist started leading the banner making helped by some of the Nuremberg girls in turn some members of the public helped on some of the process. The rest helped the public who wanted to grasp the basic stencilling technics with many roses stencilled on paper that day…

Our result was a stunning banner at the end of the day and a very satisfied group of German students… the banner hang in our Lighthouse exhibition for several weeks before making its way to Nuremberg where it’s hanging proudly in the College.

Erasmus is a European funding promoting exchanges and mobility in Europe and I am grateful that it initiated the trip of our German group here in Glasgow. Their cooperation with Glasgow and North Kelvinside college is ongoing and our Lord Provost was visiting their establishment recently. The college will be back in Glasgow in May 2018 to run their fashion show at Kelvingrove. I can’t wait to see their beautiful result … I will welcome them into a Gesso class this time how exciting to see skills being passed around !

#the bigbanner is about heritage skills and outreach ! This group has made my dream of this project going into Europe true … I don’t mean political Europe I mean continental Europe closer geographically to where Mackintosh and his wife liked to travel and share their art with like minded artists.

I just wonder how far I can make this project going !


Betty x