Did you know that Oak galls (or Oak apples) were used in Roman times to make black ink and that between the Middle ages and modern times coupled with Iron it was the main source of black writing ink. A tiny little hard growth on the Autumn tree is so precious and so powerful and produces the greatest tannin on Earth. A substantive dye (that means it does not need mordant to colour cloth or fibers) it reacts with iron sulfate to create shades of grey to nearly black.
I love working with Oak tannin although there are many different tannins available from Chestnut of the European forest to Myrobolan of South East Asia, depending on what part of the World you are located. I use it to create wonderful background for my eco prints. Just look at those… on linen and silk some of my local leaves eco printed using the tannin/iron relationship.
This is a traditional technique known to eco printers and we will start there, but we will go further in our four sessions, we will learn to create printed words and images and discharges using tannin and resists pastes you can use with stencils, screens and stamps. After three weeks of great creativity we will end the program by going back in time and make ancient Gall/Iron ink for your calligraphic or free hand writing.
When I work with tannin I like to forage but I also like to use a traditional product in my work and my Oak galls come from the Themazi family, since the 1950’s in Turkey, they have been producing the best Aleppo oak galls. Aleppo oak galls give the strongest tannin. If you want to see what they offer look here http://themazi.com?aff=13
My workshop will be run on zoom in the comfort of your home, it is a simple platform to use and all you need is access to a device (laptop, tablet or phone) and a good internet level. The workshops are live but they are always recorded, so if you live in a different time zone you can use the video replay to work.
Learning in a virtual workshop means you can interact and ask questions, thing you cant do when you learn from just a video. What we miss in an online workshop is a big reveal … which is why I always plan a “show and tell” session. It is when we show each other our results and answer any last minute questions.
I hope I will see you there and enjoy working “together” in my virtual creative bubble.
In the meantime dont forget to go for a walk in the woods… its a great pastime in the Autumn.
Recently I have been speaking to a few friends again on the phone and this week starting making grand plans to teach online an amazing collaboration workshop with my most creative friend Cassandra Barron … Its like a black cloud has lifted from over my head…. Covid is not over but I am connecting again… What am I talking about !!! I have been connected creatively non stop since the beginning of lockdown, I have ran more workshops than I would normally do and going “all online” has opened the world to me.
My lovely participants come from Alaska, Sydney Australia, Paris, North Carolina, California as well as Edinburgh and Cambridge… My face to face participants have booked my online workshops to keep the creativity flowing and I have met online many more who now cant wait to meet me face to face… Covid has been my nightmare and my saviour as far as work is concerned… So where is the problem… Why do I feel everyday is the same as before and why do I lack energy every morning…
I am a people’s person before and foremost and I love meeting and greeting, I like welcoming people in our home and when it is work related I realised now that I have catered my studio like a home… When you come to a workshop with me in my own space … you are not coming into my studio… you are coming into my life. All around me are bits and bobs that have come from somewhere I visited… No affectation there… Only the memories of good time, bad time, shared time and time to come… That brush I bought in Hongkong in this little alleyway and I can still smell the smell and feel the heat and the sweat running down my back. That Indigo paste I extracted from my friend Mann’s Indigo leaves in Northern Thailand… come and experience with me… I cant share the time I collected it but I can share the story. I am a story teller… I want to share…
Dont get me wrong I am enjoying it and I love meeting you Pat from North Carolina, Bridget from Cambridge, Alva from Sweeden, Moira from Sydney… but how I wish I could make you tea with that Green tea I brought back from Northern Thailand…
Not that it will be the same but I decided to make an effort to keep on sharing my stories and my studio space with you… From today I will run for 30 days postings on my Instagram page @bettysbeautifullife about stories from my creative space. The stories of my learning, of my travelling, of my sharing, of my collecting, of my meeting with lovely people face to face… and why dont you share yours? 30 days of your love for your space and what it means for you… Join me on my https://www.instagram.com/bettysbeautifullife/ every day to discover my short story. It will be tagged #shareyourcreativespace … why dont you share your own creative space on Instagram? It wont be completely like being in it but… not far… I cant wait to discover yours… will you come to see mine?
In the meantime find me online before I can meet you again…
Have a great Wednesday, I am sending you a virtual HUG.
I started my artist life in the 1990’s as a stenciller. I trained in Glasgow and for many years was involved in the recreation of schemes by the turn of the century Architect/Designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh. I worked on exhibitions, conservation, refurbishment and recreation of his designs. Two of my best know pieces of work are the scheme for “The House for an Art Lover” in Glasgow in the 1990’s and the refurbishment of “The Willow Tea Rooms” now called “Mackintosh at the Willow” in 2018.
His style incorporated the famous Glasgow Rose. A stylish rose with very stylised lines used in stain glass, repoussee, embroidery as well as stencilling.This collection of stencils is inspired by the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Some of the designs are taken from his collection, some I designed myself. They are all made of oiled manilla card a very sturdy material similar to that of the 19th century. They are all individually cut and can be used again and again… They come in a standard size but I will be happy to resize them to your requirements.
TO PURCHASE A STENCIL, MAKE A PAYMENT BELOW AND EMAIL ME YOUR SHIPPING ADDRESS ON email@example.com
Glasgow Rose – Large Rose with UK shipping
This stencil is based on the traditional Glasgow Rose and the nine squares part of Mackintosh vocabulary.
It is available at this price for shipping in the UK
Design size 16.5 x 18 cms
Glasgow Rose – Large with Overseas shipping
This stencil is based on the traditional Glasgow Rose and the nine squares part of Mackintosh design vocabulary. It is available at this price for shipping to Europe, the USA, Canada, Japan, Australia. For any other destinations please email me for a quote ... design size 16.5 x 18 cms
Windyhill Rose – With UK Shipping
This stencil was designed by Mackintosh for a bedroom for a Scottish House called Windyhill. This is available for UK Shipping
17 x 18 cms
Windyhill Stencil – with Overseas shipping
This stencil was designed by Mackintosh for a bedroom for a Scottish House called Windyhill. This is available for shipping to Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, Japan... for any other destinations please email for a quote
I love teaching my craft, I share some knowledge and know how I have acquired over the years and in return get inspired by your creativity. With me you will learn a technique and work on a project. With each workshop your understanding of Eco Printing and Natural dyes will grow further. You can also interact in a private Facebook group I have set up so we can share results and and answer questions.
To book a space select your workshop and make a payment. You will receive a receipt and within a day or so a confirmation of your space.
To read a full description of each workshop scroll down to the bottom past all the booking buttons ….
Eco print and Indigo dye paper for Art online workshop UK participants
In a 3 hours workshop learn to Ecoprint paper and Indigo dye it after setting up a hydrosulfate vat.
On zoom, 3 hours and suitable for beginners
23 January 2021 1pm to 4pm UK time
Ecoprinting and Indigo dye paper for Art online workshop Overseas participants
SAME AS ABOVE NO STARTER PACK
23rd January 1pm to 4pm UK time
BOTANICAL PRINTING ON TEXTILE WITH NATURAL DYES ONLINE WORKSHOP UK participants
Week end workshop to learn to create clear ecoprint on cellulosique and protein fabric with natural dye background.
Over 2 sessions using zoom virtual platform 1st May and 2nd May 1pm to 4pm UK time
BOTANICAL PRINTING WITH NATURAL DYES WORKSHOP overseas no starter pack
SAME AS ABOVE BUT NO STARTER PACKS… FOR STARTER PACK AVAILABILITY EMAIL FOR QUOTE ON SHIPPING COSTS
1st and 2nd of May 1pm to 4pm UK time
ECOPRINTING ON PAPER FOR ART UK PARTICIPANTS
One session virtual workshop to learn how to eco-print on paper using a natural dye on 20th February 10am to 12 noon UK time.
ECO PRINTING ON PAPER FOR ART ONLINE WORKSHOP FOR OVERSEAS PARTICIPANTS
SAME AS BEFORE BUT FOR OVERSEAS PARTICIPANTS SO NO STARTER PACKS
20th February 10am to 12 noon UK time
Black & White, 4 weeks Printing and Mark Making with Tannin and Iron
A 4 weeks workshop (4 sundays) from 10am to 1pm online with zoom to learn to make the most out of Oak gall tannin and iron, we print, make ink, make printing paste and discharge fabric and paper. A starter pack is available for UK participants for overseas enquire on postage costs.
Starts on 10th of January
Black and White, Starter pack for the Black and White workshop
Starter pack for UK participants of the Black and White workshop … contains Oak gall, ferrous sulfate, and all other ingredients you need for the 4 processes as well as a printing screen and a chinese calligraphy brush for overseas orders please enquire in postage costs
ECO PRINT, DYE AND STITCH AN ONLINE WEEK END WORKSHOP IN ECOPRINTING AND BOOKGBINDING UK PARTICIPANTS –
A two days workshop in collaboration with Cassandra Barron bookbinder in Ecoprinting and Bookbinding. Over a live workshop, some videos and a show and tell make a number of hand stitched books with the ecoprinted paper/fabric you will have produced.
A starter pack is included for UK participants.
On 1st and 16th of May
ECO PRINT, DYE AND STITCH AN ONLINE WEEK END WORKSHOP IN ECOPRINTING AND BOOKBINDING OVERSEAS PARTICIPANTS –
SAME AS ABOVE BUT NO STARTER PACK SAME DATES
INDIGO STORY, FOUR WEEKS ONLINE WORKSHOP IN PRINTING AND DYEING BLUE –
A four weeks online workshop exploring the magic of the ferrous vat. We will explore setting up a vat, dyeing with it, creating a printing paste with the Indigo and discharging cloth dyed with it. This workshop is perfect for textile lovers, stitchers, packwork quilters.
4 sundays starting 7th february till 28th february from 1pm to 4pm UK time.
A starter pack is available for UK participants or at extra shipping cost to overseas participants
INDIGO STORY STARTER PACK
Starter pack including Natural Indian Indigo paste, other ingredients, a screen for printing or discharge.
Can be shipped overseas please enquire for starting date
FELT AND PRINT, AN ONLINE ECOPRINTING ON WOOL WORKSHOP
A two sessions online workshop about nuno felting with specialist Ewa Kuniszac and Ecoprinting both on the felted piece and on a recycled wool piece some Eucaliptus leaves for red prints… This will be carried over zoom and can be completed in a tablet holder.
A starter pack is available below to UK participants, for overseas location email for shipping price.
On 6th and 27th february 13, 16 th
FELT AND PRINT STARTER PACK
In this pack you will find wool, felting plastic and tools and eucalyptus leaves to follow the workshop above. For UK participants, for overseas orders enquire on postage
Eco Printing on paper for Art online workshop
This is an online workshop on zoom. During a two hours session we will learn a simple Eco Printing technique for work on paper using a natural dye, simple like Onion skin or a more established one like Logwood. I will run the workshop live, it will be recorded and the video shared for 4 weeks, I will also share a PDF instructions. This is a simple but really effective technique to print both fresh and dried leaves. This workshop is perfect for beginners.
Black and White a four weeks technique using Tannin and Iron
This is a 4 weeks workshop online were we will explore the potential of using Oak gall tannin and tannin. We will learn how to use it to print background to Eco Prints, to transform it into an Ink, modify its colour using Ph shifts, we will make a printing paste out of it to use for screening, stencilling and stamping as well as a discharge to also use for printing. We will work through a progression of technique using the same two elements creating very unique pieces. The workshop is ran on zoom in 4 sessions and one show and tell session. All sessions are available via video replay and a PDF instructions will be available to participants.
This workshop is available for beginners as well as more advanced participants. There is a great scope for working in specific area each participant is interested in both in paper or fabric
BOTANICAL PRINTING AND NATURAL DYE WEEK END ONLINE WORKSHOP
This two days workshop is perfect for those who want to learn how to get clear Eco Prints on both cellulose fabric or silk using a natural dye for a clean background. For complete beginners and more advance printers. We will get to grips preparing your fabrics as well as mordanting them, extracting natural dyes, preparing blankets, selecting leaves and printing. Finally finishing our fabric to a high standard.
The sessions will be live on zoom and recorded before being shared for replay to participants for 4 weeks together with a pdf instructions. There is a starter pack available. We will use tannin and Logwood dye on silk, cotton and bamboo.
FELT AND PRINT A WEEK END OF ONLINE FELTING AND ECOPRINTING WORKSHOP
This is a collaboration workshop with Felting artist Ewa Kuczniac. In two sessions over two separate week ends we will learn to Nano felt some wool and Eco Print it as well as a piece of recycled wool using Eucalyptus leaves to create beautiful strong orange prints. With the completed wool you will have the chance to create a pouch for a tablet or a book.
This is the perfect workshop for a beginner who looks into making stunning prints. It is perfect for a winter time workshop when the other botanics are not yet there.
The two sessions will be ran on zoom with a video replay available for 4 weeks and a pdf instructions. We will meet for a glorious show and tell to share our results.
PRINT AND DIP AN ONLINE ONE SESSION ECOPRINTING AND INDIGO DYEING WORKSHOP
This is an online workshop which combines two techniques, Eco printing and Indigo dyeing. In one session online of 3 hours we will Eco Print some leaves on paper, prepare an hydrosulfate Indigo vat and add Indigo to our prints. This workshop is ran online on zoom live and recorded for replay by the participants for up to 4 weeks, and a PDF instructions. This workshop is perfect for beginners, for multi media artists, to produce art work, greeting cards…
You will learn two techniques Eco printing and Indigo vat building.
PRINT AND STITCH AN ECO PRINTING AND STITCHING ONLINE WORKSHOP
This two sessions workshop is a collaborative workshop with Edinburgh bookbinder Cassandra Barron from Bookbinding with Cass. We will spend one live session getting to grips with Ecoprinting on paper using the gorgeous Sapanwood and tannin and iron on fabric and paper. It will be followed by bookbinding sessions via video links with Cassandra Barron. We will have a wonderful Show and Tell session to discuss our results. You will make 3 books using those two techniques and end up with a lot of additional Art work.
All sessions will be recorded and video recording will be available for replay.
This workshop is perfect for beginners, for book lovers and eco printers
INDIGO STORY, FOUR WEEK ONLINE WORKSHOP IN PRINTING AND DYEING BLUE
This is a four week online workshop for anyone in love with Indigo and mark making. We will learn to set up a ferrous vat and dyeing with it flat and shibori, we will use paste to resist the dye, turn Indigo into a printing paste, discharge it to create pattern. We will learn to finish our pieces and maintain our vat.
This is ran over 4 weeks on zoom with a video replay for participants to access for 4 weeks and a PDF instructions to keep.
This is perfect for textile lovers and a starter pack is available to UK participants or overseas at an extra shipping cost. It contains Organic Indian Indigo.
In April 2020 I turned 60 and just as my textile business was doing well and I was enjoying face to face natural dyeing workshops with very small groups in my own lovely studio… COVID19 dropped a bomb on me and I had to start teaching online… ON ZOOM !
I am from this generation that wrote at school with an inkpen… better not to be left-handed… and then a fountain pen… I learned to copy type using a mechanical type writer … then an electric one… we did not have a phone at home until I was 18… I lived abroad in my 20’s cut off from my family without the comfort of whatsap, face time, and the internet… we wrote paper letters… my first Art business was essentially paper full, only finding a IT use for it… and I remember sending my new course programs to potential participants through paper mailing… So you could say I am a bit old school…
But then OMG I discovered Facebook in 2005 when off for a summer and being scared to be bored… and then Instagram when I decided I wanted to share more photos TO THE WORLD… as my family rightly says I was unleashed… and at some point I switched from posting personal stuff on Facebook to going professional, every other posting had a stencil or a piece of fabric… I had always had this thing about networking before … so what not to like to do this online? Facebook groups about Eco Printing allowed me to call The World my Village and to meet people from the other side of the world and exchange techniques…
Other middle age ladies get offered expensive jewellery for birthday or Christmas my husband know better and know I will find the use for one of the lastest smart phone in the market… I do not sit in front of a computer… I am in the park on my phone like any other young (at heart) person:)
I made easy connections with people from South East Asia and discovered I wanted to visit Bali and so on and so forth… but not like an observer… very much like a participant and an organiser… This very blog starting distributing to Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter etc… in one touch of a button…
I am a techno babe and I love my phone… my challenge is to do EVERYTHING with it … I love to be able to send a photo of my work in the touch of a button within minutes to someone on the other side of the world instead of having to pay a premium and spend 24 hours waiting for a physical slide to send by post as we used to do in the 1990’s…
So in April 2020 I gave in and I set up an account with Zoom ! I have turned 60 and I now run my workshops online… That means a lot of changes and extra work… but so much reward…
I could be the half empty glass girl and say it has been a problem and that I cant wait to get back to normal… but actually I want to be that half full glass girl and rejoice about the fact I can have now participants from the US, Australia, Sweden, Belgium and Holland taking part all at the same time… My work is done here… Off course I will be so happy when it is finally (and soon I hope) safe to welcome lovely participants into my space but in the meantime find me on zoom !
Change is difficult and many resist and mourn the good old days.. but if you accept it and embrace it… there is always a silver lining… I always find my silver lining … make sure you don’t mourn for too long… you will go past serious fun !
I look forward to meet you on one of my sessions wether it is on Zoom or Facebook live I have a lot to share with you … and to learn from you …
This is the story of 19 unique pieces of wearable art created in Northern Thailand by my very good friend Mann, to help combat COVIT19 … please read and if you can fall in Love with one of those scarves… you too … Make Merit… you will like it…
I have a very big Love for Thailand and Thai people, I have been travelling there for the past 14 years and I have many friends there, all great people, kind, gentle, and very very caring. I am so sad that they also have to cope with the COVIT19 Virus, and isolate and stop working because for sure their safety network is far from what we have in the Western world… No Government grant for self employed or salary replacement to coax you to stay home… No magical funding to create large numerous Nightingale hospitals all over the country… They are hard working people and will be very affected by this crisis. Harder than we will be in the West.
My very dear friends, the creative ones are pulling all the stops to help their country to face the crisis, each in their own way, helping family and friends who have to isolate, many making masks and while it seems in the West we are not convinced that a home made mask is of use against this virus, in the East people wear masks very often to prevent spreading of illness and this is not any different as usual… we are unwell we wear a mask. Many many make masks nowadays.
My very good friend Prach Niyomkar is a textile artist in Sakon Nakhon, he runs Mann Craft, a dye garden and studio. He earns a living from his art, he makes Art and teaches Indigo and Natural dyes… the virus is affecting his business like it is affecting mine but while I will be getting a grant from the Government, Mann will have to make it work by himself and somehow I think the world can be unfair…
His work is beautiful, and meaningful and he decided to make a unique serial of scarves to help with the Virus… 19 scarves for Virus 19, they are beautiful things… Hand woven local cotton, decorated using Indigo dye and Eco Print… each in a unique way. They are a beautiful piece of wearable Art to get and keep as a memory that creativity can win the day even when the situation is quite uniquely difficult … But the most important thing… Mann will donate 100% of the proceeds of the sale of those scarves to a local hospital to help with the battle agains the virus.
In Thai Culture this is called MAKING MERIT… and I feel so overwhelmed by this kind of generosity.
The thing is … You dont have to be Thai to Make Merit… You can purchase one of those scarves knowing that you have acquired a unique piece of wearable art made by a Thai artist… but every time you will wear it… you will be surrounded by the good feel that helped creating it. Their cost is 19 000 Thai Baht, not much in Western money for a unique piece of wearable Art.
I have “pinched” a few photos from Mann’s website to show you the process which is quite unique and the scarves… I could not resist buying one, because I LOVE his Art and also because I know how much good will my purchase do… I too want to MAKE MERIT… Thai people give me so much Love and Care regularly I feel I owe them to this time “Take Care” of them a little bit… And I like supporting my friend Mann’s effort… it is a big input from him and he can only achieve his goal if his friends also help.
Take a look in the confort of your home and may be you will fall in Love with one of those scarves and decide to purchase it… Your cash would go a long way there… and it will take time to have it shipped here… the dreaded Virus has slowed down everything… but it is worth it… It is for a good cause … and the are GORGEOUS…
If you want to become the proud owner of one of Mann’s scarves … you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I will put you in touch with Mann or you can use the FB page as the above link and contact him by messenger… His English is great and he is very friendly.
You have to love anything Blue and Crips 🙂 blue and white china, blue and white chintz, blue and white Indigo Shibori … I cant take my eyes away everytime I come in contact with this combination…. and so many of my techniques draw on blue and white… so many of my techniques use Botanical elements…
For that reason I have decided to offer to 6 mark making lovers, textile lovers, multi media lovers… a block of 4 workshops using those techniques to create artwork … four delightful afternoon in my cosy studio using my cyanotype lamp to create prints out of stencils and flat leaves… create crisp patterns on white recycled cotton out of very large Indigo vat, to make Botanical patterns out of the local park leaves… how to dye from blue to purple with Logwood.
It should be a voyage of discovery, four great techniques in their own right which can also be mixed to create delightful art work…