Saturday, November 29, 2014

Balinese Painting – Langse[1-2]

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

Balinese paintings fall into five categories: flags and banners; (ii) ceiling paintings; (iii) ider-ider (cloth painting in a horizontal strip format); (iv) langse (form of a cloth painting used as a curtain) and, (v) tabing (kind of cloth painting in a rectangular format hung on walls) – Part I, Part II, Part III and Part IV.

Traditional Balinese paintings are usually referred in terms of three different grades of paintings based according to the level and standard of finishing: kasar - meaning a coarse finish; sedang - a middling finish; and halus – a fine finish. Kasar paintings are those which are sold after the main application of color is finished, without any final overdrawing in black. Since it is the initial pen drawing that involves the greatest skill, these paintings sometimes possess considerable vigor, despite being cheap, small and lacking a suitable finish. More recently kasar work is of poor standard and is really only suitable for the tourist trade.

Market in Ubud (Bali).

Today’s post will focus on the langse (curtain) form, but before we do we need to discuss the mythological and post-mythological stories that underpin Balinese paintings.

Balinese Stories[1]
The stories which Balinese painters illustrate exists in many different variations and forms – oral versions vary from place to place around the island, depending on knowledge and social respective of the story teller. Different stories of the one event may co-exist. For example, different versions of the one story tends to be associated with different forms; whether it is performed in the wayang kulit (shadow plays) or in dance dramas or operas.

Graphics for Tunas Mekar’s presentation of Wayang Kulit: The Ancient Shadow Plays of Bali in 1998.
Photograph Courtesy of H. Vömel.

The stories that are associated with Balinese paintings are stories as told to A. Forge[1] by the painters and by other men considered culturally knowledgeable from the Kamasan village complex and its immediate area. The version of the stories that the painters illustrate may differ from existing versions in other forms of the arts such as written versions. Nevertheless, paintings that contain writings tend to be close to the relevant text for obvious reasons, whereas those devoid of text may alter a scene or two for example by including the wives of dead heroes (who are not mentioned in the text as being present) but by using such an artistic license the painters hope to convey a forlorn “loss” more effectively.

Death of Wirata’s Sons (ider-ider). Note: Wives are present.

The stories that are illustrated in the paintings can be divided into two groups: mythological and post mythological paintings. The division is justified since there is a definite difference in content between the two groups.

Mythological Stories
This group focuses on the formation of the world and the emergence of the first great human kingdoms. This group further sub-divides into three sections: (i) The Adiparwa stories; (ii) Ramayana and associated stories; (iii) the Bharatayuddha and associated stories. All of these stories originate from Indian prototypes, although parts are further elaborated, others omitted and many modifications have taken place. For example, in the Javanese and Balinese versions, the Adiparwa stories contains the creation stories, whilst the Bharatayuddha stories have been paired down to only be concerned with the battle between the Pandawas and Korawas. Other stories concerned with the characters of the Bharatayudda, such as Arjuna Wiwaha, have been elaborated into separate stories. The other great Indian epic, the Ramayana, has focused on the main story line, while other separate stories elaborate on some of the characters.

Ramayana Story. Ravana, the ten-headed king of the evil demons, continually pursues the destruction of dharma or social and moral order in the world. The gods persuade Vishnu to reincarnate himself as a man to defeat Ravana. Vishnu is now born as Rama, son of Dasartha. The epic centers on the life and adventures of Rama and Sita his wife (the daughter of goddess Earth).

Four very important characters who occur in all painted versions of the mythological stories, and who do not occur either in the literary versions of the stories or in the “post” mythological stories, are the four parekan (or servants). Any major character of the “good” or “right” side will be accompanied by Twalen, who was formerly a god, and his brother Morda, while those of the "bad" or “left” side are accompanied by Delem and Sangut. Any confrontation between good and evil will have fights between these two pair of servants – they form a counterpoint to, and commentary on, the doings of their masters.


Post-Mythological Stories
Post-mythological stories portray events seen in Balinese as comparatively recent, when compared to mythological stories. The stories in this group are more diverse, covering the adventures of romantic heroes, past kingdoms, folk heroes and struggles between the forces of white and black magic – good and evil expressed to a domestic audience. Though some have Indian prototypes, most stem from actual life in Javanese and Balinese kingdoms. In all these stories, the gods in a sense may control events, but they no longer intervene in a physical sense.

Prince Panji Mask.

Paintings of scenes from the set of post-mythological stories are known in Bali as Malat. They were popular with aristocrats in the 19th Century. These stories center of the Prince of Koripan, Panji, and his love for the Princess Daha, from who he is always separated and whom he always eventually regains, usually having collected several extra princesses on the way.

Artist: I Made Awan, The Frog Prince and Princess Daha.
Medium: Acrylic on paper.
Size: 30 x 25 cm.

Collections of old paintings have many Malat episodes, usually painted in langse format, but most of the contemporary Kamasan painters do not know the stories, apart from one or two standard episodes, which the painters themselves cannot interpret. Virtually no Malat paintings are done today.

Another source of paintings are folktales. The subject matter is from the popular Briyut story. Although Pan and Mem Briyut and their 18 children may have Indian ancestors, they are treated by the Balinese as being totally of local origin. They present a fine opportunity to paint scenes of Balinese everyday life and domestic affairs, often with a sense of humor.

Mem Briyut – with some of her children.

A very different, but equally important folktale painting source are the Calonarang stories. These concern the ever-present problem of keeping at bay the forces of evil, black magic and witchcraft, and the attendant misfortunes.

Dramatari magical ritual acting out stories associated with witchcraft, black magic and white magic, known as Pangiwa/Pangleyakan and Panengen.

These are oblong paintings used as a curtain to screen the bed on which offerings are placed. When actually used as a curtain, langse, they have a piece of imported cloth of equal size, sewn along the bottom edge. The printed pattern favored by the Balinese is yellow or gold floral on a red ground. They are suspended from old Chinese coins, kepeng. However, many paintings of the same shape as langse do not seem to have been used in curtains, but were probably used flat on walls, particularly in palaces.

Cloth painting, langse, cotton/rice paste/ink/paint, Kamasan, Bali, Indonesia, 1880-1920.
Comment[1]: Rectangular plain weave natural cotton cloth dipped in rice paste and painted with scenes from the Ramayana in polychrome tints. The style is clear and dynamic, with little background detail and a distinctive yellow paint probably derived from rock or vegetable dye. The scenes depicted are that of a marriage (Aijuna wiwaha), with groups of female and male figures with gods in attendance.
Size: 890 mm (h) x 2432 mm (w).
Courtesy of the Power House Museum, Sydney.

Detail of above langse.

Detail of above langse.

Malat Episode: A story of courtly romance.
Size: 88 x 180cm.
Photography Courtesy of H. Hughes.
Courtesy of Australian Museum.

Comment[1]: This Kamasan painting has been attributed to artist Nyoman Dogol and dated to the 1920s-30s. Anthony Forge collected it in 1972-73. This is a langse, an oblong painting suitable for use in a temple as a curtain, to screen the bed on which offerings are placed. The painting had been used as a curtain, because it is visible where the Chinese coins, kepeng, had been originally attached at the top and bottom of the cloth. The Chinese coins, with a hole in the center, are often used in Bali to suspend paintings.

The main scene, extending right across the bottom of the painting, shows a dance probably organized by Panji. He is shown dancing with a high minister or subsidiary raja and some queens in the top row. The third girl from the right is a princess, and probably is loved and loves Panji. On the left the orchestra (or gong) is shown in great detail, and behind are shown many more aristocratic ladies (all no doubt in love with Panji!) The presence of a Twalen like figure wearing the poleng (i.e. black and white checked cloth) is anomalous in a Malat scene and probably shows a decline in knowledge and experience of the Malat cycle - already apparent in the 1930s.

The main scene in the top part of the painting is a, wayang kulit, a performance offered by a courtier to the same raja. Panji is presumably the second man to the left of the wayang screen. The dalang (i.e. the puppeteer) is a fine ferocious looking fellow, illustrating clearly the Balinese view that such experts are powerful. The shadow-play scene being shown is from Ramayana: the confrontation between the eagle Jatayu and the Sita-abducting Rawana. Wayang Kulit performances take place at night - which in a painting convention is shown by the stars in the sky. The very prolific pudak tree behind the audience emphasizes the atmosphere of courtly love that is so pervasive in Malat stories.

Detail of above.

Ramayana – Sita’s Ordeal.
Size: 88 x 225 cm.
Courtesy of reference[1].

Comment[1]: Kamasan, artist probably Kak Lui, a halus work, ca. 1920. The full length of the curtain is obtained by the addition of another length of printed cloth of equivalent size, sewn on below the painting. The painting is on European cloth and is in good condition.

This is a key episode in the Ramayana story, one of the most frequently depicted scenes in classical Balinese paintings. Rawana, demonic king of Langka, kidnapped the goddess Sita and kept her in captivity. After the fall of Langka and the death of Rawana, goddess Sita was reunited with her husband, Rama. But after such a long absence, Rama doubts her faithfulness. Distressed by Rama’s suspicion and in order to demonstrate her purity, Sita orders Laksamana, Rama’s brother, to prepare a pyre into which she jumps. However she is protected by Agni, the god of fire, and the fire turns into a lotus.

[1] A. Forge, Balinese Traditional Paintings, The Australian Museum, Sydney (1978).
[2] The Australian Museum, Sydney, NSW.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Golden Lace Artwork of Henny Wasser-Smeets[1]
Artist’s Profile

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

I am no expert on bobbin lace but I do pride myself on having a rather eclectic taste for all textile artwork and being aware of some leaders in most textile art fields. Hence it came as a surprise to me that when I opened the exhibition – “Memory Cloth” - featuring Cherilyn Martin, Els van Baarle, Glenys Mann and Cas Holmes at the Kantfabriek (Museum Lace Factory in Horst, Netherlands) - that Ms. Tineke Geurts-van Rens presented me with a book - Kant en Zelf-Kant: The Gold Lace of Henny Wasser-Smeets[1].

As I pored over the pages of the book in my leisure time, I quickly realized not only how prolific and delicate her artworks were, but moreover, how insightful they were in terms of the crisis she had to surmount throughout her life.

She died at the age of sixty-eight after searching for answers to the most fundamental questions of life. Her openness, wonder, intelligence and creativity (especially in the most difficult times in her life), funnelled her creativity into the gold lace bobbin artworks she birthed, thereby bringing to the fore the expression of her feelings and thoughts. In 1983 she held a ground breaking exhibition where the paintings she created with gold lace received the attention she deserved. In 1996 she created new gold lace paintings in order to create a collection to preserve and disclose her artwork to future generations.

The book – Kant en Zelf-Kant[1] – gives a selection of her work based on important themes she explored throughout her life such as the origin of life, birth, family, the position of women and especially the sea - the latter acted for her both as a symbol of life and also death. In her gold lace artworks the sun over the water played a clear role as a symbol of “feeling and warmth”.

The Great Snuf (April, 1982).
Size: 53 x 63 cm.

She died bravely from cancer but with the realization that she had completed and finalized a significant body of work. Her search for being an independent identity was in harmony with her sense of belonging in the memory of those who were near and dear to her.

Henny Wasser-Smeets.

This post is just a taster of her artwork[1]. Adding this book to your textile art library is a must!

A life With Bobbin Lace
Below is an extract from the preface of the book[1]. It has been loosely translated by myself and so should not be construed as being an “expert” translation but hopefully it will give an insight into the life and times of Henny Wasser-Smeets.

Bobbin lace had long been a great hobby and passion of Henny Wasser-Smeets. She searched for lace that possessed golden sides, and together with the challenge to perfect executed techniques, she wanted her lace artworks to give expression to her thoughts and feelings. Her bobbin lace works had no function and so demand to be seen as works of art (see my necessary conditions for a work to be considered art). A very small selection of her artwork is included in this post.

Tress Mother - Long Lock Of Mother’s Hair (November, 1981).
Size: 32.5 x 42.5 cm.

Henny Wasser-Smeets was born on August 30, 1927 in Griendtsveen, a “peel” village on the border of Brabant and Limburg (The Netherlands) where her father was an agriculturist. She had a carefree childhood and approached life with her chin to the fore. She experienced and understood the great disparity between those labouring for a living compared to those who managed them.

Connectedness [Of] Father (January, 1982).
Size: 32.5 x 42.5 cm.

She attended a boarding high school in Aarle- Rixtel. Away from her family and her family home, she often felt homesick. This was exacerbated by the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands and forced relocation of her parents.

In 1943 she obtained a diploma and was advised to go to Tilburg to train in an advertising agency. She did not follow the advice since it was not in close proximity to her parents. Instead, she worked as a doctor’s assistant with the renowned physician-painter Hendrik Wiegersma in Deurne. She came into contact with numerous artists, which provided an inspiring environment for her.

Clocks 1948 Deurne (March, 1982).
Size: 32.5 x 42.5 cm.

She was twenty-one years old when her mother died. The loss of her mother had a significant impact on her life. In her later years she continued to feel this loss.

My Dead Parents. The Graveyard (November, 1982).
Size: 42.5 x 52.5 cm.

In 1952 she married Thieu Wasser. The marriage brought her to Tilburg, where he worked as a psychologist. They had three children and when they grew older it gave her more free time to shape her own creative development.

Love (March, 1983).
Size: 14.5 x 19.5 cm.

She was fascinated by bobbin lace. A television program alerted her about a village near Turnhout (which was near to her) and which had long been a center of bobbin lace, where individual lace classes were taught to novices.

Her Unborn Life (March, 1983).
Size: 14.5 x 19.5 cm.

In 1969 Sister Idesbalda taught her the rudiments of lace making. A few years later she was accepted in the lace circle of Henk van der Zanden. For years, she continued to master the techniques of lace making. She learned Binche lace from Herik Hardeman in Utrecht, Rijsselse lace with Mrs. Cools in Beveren Waas, Parisian lace with Mrs. Neyrinck - van Herck in Turnhout and Duchesse lace with Sister Judith in Etten-Leur. She had a special interest for bobbin lace patterns from Denmark, Sweden and Finland because of their bright, clear and harmonic structures. With her sense of precision and with a steady regular hand, her hand-made artworks were often indistinguishable from machine lace.

Pending (November, 1983).
Size: 19.5 x 25.5 cm.

She experimented with different thread colors. The elaborate white lace she sometimes found too hard, especially if it was not thin or delicate enough.

Thanks To The Cordon (June, 1982).
Size: 19.5 x 25.5 cm.

Most of all she preferred to work with sand color, ecru, which created delicate artworks that exposed lighter touches.

Mother With Young (March, 1983).
Size: 32.5 x 42.5 cm.

Besides making bobbin lace she found the time to develop her own curriculum for the basic techniques and so she gave home workshops to interested parties.

After uterine surgery (1980), her lace making underwent a profound change. She stopped teaching all together. Based on existing patterns, she designed her own compositions. A basic gold thread underpins most of her artworks; for decorative threads she chose different colors - yellow, green, blue and black. As a background, she usually employed a moss green velvet in a brown frame. Sometimes she chose a red background and combined it with silver and red decorative threads. She would on occasions embellish her works with a green background formed by peacock feathers, where the gold thread would then act as the frame.

The Woman (February, 1983).
Size: 20 cm diameter.

Henny Wasser-Smeets found in her gold lace her own expression. She wrote about it in 1981:
"Lace bobbins keeps me balanced. [It is] technically very interesting [since you need to] concentrate. Despite [the use of] classic patterns, lines [that you create] can work well, and approximates your [attempts] at perfection. It is very relaxing and thus fascinating."

In 1981 she made the first artworks using gold lace - it was named "Despair". It was followed by an explosion of artworks in which she elaborated the themes of her life, which for so long had been dominated by her parents, marriage, motherhood, womanhood, sea (mirroring life and death) and illness.

The Submissive Wife (October, 1982).
Size: 25.5 x 31.5 cm.

Both connectedness with others and finding her own authentic independence were important to her for her self worth. In 1990 she wrote:
"I march [with my] own step and not [with] another".

About marriage she wrote in a difficult period in 1981.
"Lonely, and not just one together, and not alone."

The equality of men and women was an important issue for her. She recognized the role of women and the different modes in which they are interpreted: "The submissive wife", "The Cool Mistress", "The Woman As A Ballerina." She was happy being a woman and moreover, in her art she trusted her woman’s intuition far more than rational logic, which is the hallmark of science.

Woman As A Ballerina (October, 1982).
Size: 42.5 x 52.5 cm.

She was very fond of the sea, which symbolized for her both life and death. The sea - which was the first source of life forms - fascinated her strongly. The artwork named " The Closed Oyster " was very dear to her.

The Closed Oyster (March, 1983).
Size: 14.5 x 19.5 cm.

She also loved shells, and corals and the tension that is created due to the movement of waves. In her diary in 1989 she wrote:
"Let seas waves. The waves undulate about themselves, Until it rests on the quiet beach".

Seahorses (April, 1983).
Size: 25.5 x 31.5 cm.

She loved the seasons - autumn, clouds and trees. Trees come in her artwork: "My Life", "Mature", "Flight". As a tree has several branches, so life also offers several possibilities. She wondered, which branch should have been nurtured the most in order to yield the most fruit.

Mature (March, 1982).
Size: 25.5 x 31.5 cm.

The sun setting over the water inspired her choice of gold thread in her artwork. She saw a parallel between the sea and the life-giving potential of the woman (1989):

"The woman and the sea is full of anemones".

After her hysterectomy she wrote (1989):
"It is sad my sea has lost its waves".

Many of her artworks relate to her illness, which is often shared within a framework of seizure, fear, despair, flight, restlessness, and sadness. Death became an integral part of her life in general. She saw herself as a mortal person. In her diary she wrote (1989):

"I live with death.
Without death, I cannot live.
Within this limit exists the ability [for a] most intense life.
Death stimulates me."

The thought of death gave her the strength to live. Life and death, finitude and infinity layered within her. In poems, but especially in her artwork she took death very concretely. She wanted to walk barefoot through the waves of the sea to eternity to meet with its Creator. She wanted in the rays of the Sun to die and then be reborn by the waves. In the deep silence of the sea, she sought her grave. Her artworks - "The Sea Of The Dead," "The Deep Silence Of The Sea", "One With The Waves," "Sea Woman's Grave" – give testimony to these thoughts.

Sea Of The Dead (November, 1982)
Size: 42.5 x 52.5 cm.

In 1983 she held an exhibition entitled: "Kant and Selvedge". Her feelings, ideas and images of her artwork had a wide-ranging impact and so she was finally recognized as an artist in her own right.

After a difficult time in her life she found a new equilibrium. Her wonderment of life took her back to philosophy. She attended philosophy lectures at the KUB Tilburg. The early Greek philosophy that centred on nature especially appealed to her. She was struck by the doctrine of Empedocles with the four elements - earth, air, fire and water – present in all matter. She was less tied to the element “earth”. Rather it was the fire element that played a crucial role in her life since she wished to be cremated and her ashes scattered in the sea via the air – three of the four elements that made up life as she viewed it.

The Last Day – Judgement Day (May, 1982).
Size: 42.5 x 42.5 cm.

In 1988 she had a second operation, since cancer was detected in her body. She wrote in 1988:

"There are two holes in the death shroud of my life"

Then in 1989 she wrote:
"Sometimes I smell death".

This was followed by a new period with gold lace. In comparison with the gold lace from the first period, the latter showed to be more concrete representations. She raises in her artwork her life living with cancer. Sometimes the artworks are aggressive, but mostly they are passive in tone. She understands the joys and sorrows in life and hopes that one day these extremes will eventually reconcile. In August of 1989 she wrote:

"I'm lucky if my sorrow and my delight [will come] very close together in me."

In October 1989 she studied philosophy again and she wrote:

"It is autumn [and the] waves [of] philosophy came hot on me."

In 1993 her cancer manifested itself again in the pancreas and she was operated on again. At first, her battle with cancer seemed to have been won, but she became ill again in mid-1995 and this time she would succumb to it.

On the 26th of January 1996 Henny Wasser- Smeets passed away, with a strong mind in a weakened body. She was loving, courageous and spiritually devoted to her art and to the meaning of life as rendered by her golden lace artworks. She left behind, her husband and three children.

Rest (March, 1983).
Size: 14.5 x 19.5 cm.

[1] Kant en Zelf-Kant, Valkenburg Printers Echt, Tilburg (1997). ISBN 90-9010202-7.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Disperse Dye and Transfer Printing Workshop
Two Day Workshop at Zijdelings, Tilburg, The Netherlands

Tutor: Marie-Therese Wisniowski

This blogspot exhibits many of my students outputs from a variety of workshops. There are one, two and five day workshops as well as workshops that have a different focus. Nevertheless, it always surprises me how much I learn from my students and how enthusiastic they are to learn and so for your convenience, I have listed the workshop posts below.

Visual Communication and Design (The University of Newcastle Multi-Media Course).
The University of Newcastle (Newcastle and Ourimbah Campuses, NSW, Australia) 2008 to 2010.

In Pursuit of ArtCloth:Improvisational Screen Printing Workshop
The Australian Textile Arts & Surface Design Association Inc. Sydney, NSW.

One and Two Day Disperse Dye Workshops
Various Textile Groups (Australia) 2008 - 2011.

Five Day Workshop - In Pursuit of Complex Cloth
“Wrapt in Rocky” Textile Fibre Forum Conference (Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia) 29th June to 5th July 2008.

Five Day Workshop – In Pursuit of Complex Cloth
Orange Textile Fiber Forum (Orange, NSW, Australia) 19th to 25th April 2009.

5 Day Workshop – In Pursuit of Complex Cloth
Geelong Fiber Forum (Geelong, Victoria, Australia) 27th September to 3rd October 2009.

Two Day Workshop - Deconstructed and Polychromatic Screen Printing
Beautiful Silks (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) 20th to 21st March 2010.

Five Day Workshop – Disperse Dye and Transfer Printing
“Wrapt in Rocky” Biennial Textile Forum/Conference Program (Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia) 25th June to 1st July 2010.

Two Day Workshop – Improvisational Screen Printing
ATASDA (Sydney, NSW, Australia) 28th to 29th August 2010.

Two Day Workshop – In Pursuit of Complex Cloth (Day One)
”Stitching and Beyond” Textile Group (Woodbridge, Tasmania, Australia) 2nd to 3rd October 2010.

Two Day Workshop – In Pursuit of Complex Cloth (Day Two)
”Stitching and Beyond” Textile Group (Woodbridge, Tasmania, Australia) 2nd to 3rd October 2010.

Advance Silk Screen Printing
Redcliffe City Art Gallery Redcliffe, Queensland, Australia) 10th April 2011.

One Day Workshop - In Pursuit of Complex Cloth
The Victorian Feltmakers Inc. (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) 14th May 2011.

One Day Workshop - In Pursuit of Complex Cloth (Felted and Silk Fibers)
Victorian Feltmakers Inc (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) 15th May 2011.

Five Day Workshop – Disperse Dye and Transfer Printing
SDA (Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA) 13th to 17th June 2011.

Five Day Disperse Dye Master Class – Barbara Scott
Art Quill Studio (Arcadia Vale, NSW, Australia) 15th to 19th August 2011.

Five Day Workshop – Disperse Dye and Transfer Printing
Fiber Arts Australia (Sydney, NSW, Australia) 26th September to 1st October 2011.

One Day Workshop – Improvisational Screen Printing
Newcastle Printmakers Workshop Inc. (Newcastle, NSW, Australia) 5th November 2011.

One Day Workshops – Low Relief Screen Printing
Various classes within Australia.

Two Day Workshop – Disperse Dye and Transfer Printing
ATASDA (Sydney, NSW, Australia) 23rd to 24th June 2012.

MSDS Demonstration at Zijdelings
(Tilburg, The Netherlands) October, 2012.

Five Day Workshop - Disperse Dye and Transfer Printing
Fibre Arts@Ballarat (Ballarat, Victoria, Australia) 6th to 12th April 2013.

Two Day Workshop - Disperse Dye and Transfer Printing
EFTAG (Tuross Head, NSW, Australia) 13th to 14th April 2013.

Two Day Workshop - Disperse Dye and Transfer Printing
Zijdelings Studio (Tilburg, The Netherlands) 9th to 10th October 2014.

PCA - Celebrating 50 Years in 2016
Art Quill Studio 2016 Workshop Program (Newcastle, Australia).

Image Dreamings: Basic Silk Screen Printing Workshop - Part I
2016 Art Quill Studio Workshop Program (Newcastle, Australia).

Image Dreamings: Basic Silk Screen Printing Workshop - Part II
2016 Art Quill Studio Workshop Program (Newcastle, Australia).

In Pursuit of: Improvisational Screen Printing Workshop
2016 Art Quill Studio Workshop Program (Newcastle, Australia).

In Pursuit of: Low Relief Screen Printing (LRSP) Workshop 2016
2016 Art Quill Studio Workshop Program (Newcastle, Australia).

Art Quill Studio 2017 Workshop Program
2017 Art Quill Studio Workshop Program (Newcastle, Australia).

In Pursuit of: Low Relief Screen Printing (LRSP)
2017 Art Quill Studio Workshop Program (Newcastle, Australia).

In Pursuit of Complex Cloth: Layered Printing Approaches
2017 Art Quill Studio Workshop Program (Newcastle, Australia).

Melding Experiences: New Landscapes Using Disperse Dyes and Transfer Printing.
2019 Art Quill Studio Workshop (NCEATA, Newcastle, Australia).

Zijdelings was founded in 1986 by Karina van Vught. Starting with hand painting on silk, giving courses and selling silks and silk paints Zijdelings emphasis nowadays centers on Textiles and Surface Designs, using both natural and synthetic fabrics as well as employing mixed media.

Each year Zijdelings offers a wide range of workshops tutored by international or national teachers and/or artists. Techniques cover such areas as painting, screen printing, batik, dyeing, transfer printing, shibori, felting, fulling, punching, mixed media, (art)quilting and embroidery etc. These classes are held in Zijdelings’ studio.

Zijdelings has a specialist (web)shop where you can order fabrics, scarves, fibres, dyes and paints, books/dvd's etc. online.

I have known Karina for some years having given a talk and a demonstration there in 2012. It was a great pleasure to return and give a two-day workshop at Zijdelings on disperse dyes in October of 2014.

Disperse Dye Information
Disperse dyes are light fast, wash fast and produce strong hues on synthetics. They are produced in a powdered form and so you must wear a mask when working with the dyes in their powder state. The powders are mixed with very warm to hot water. The intensity of hue is determined by the amount of dye that is mixed with the water; that is, less dye will result in a pale color whilst more dye will result in very intense color. The dyes are transparent (i.e. printing a blue area over a yellow will produce green) and so lend themselves to layering and overprinting to build up rich and complex surfaces as well as create delicate and subtle imagery. The dyes can be intermixed to create your own suite of palette colors - see previous disperse dye posts for more dye information.

Two Day Workshop Synopsis
This workshop - “Melding Experiences: New Landscapes Using Disperse Dyes and Transfer Printing” - was organised by Karina van Vught, in Zijdelings' studio in Tilburg, The Netherlands. It was held on the 9th and 10th October 2014.

Tonia Gerrits (Netherlands), Agnes de Lange-Macdaniel (Netherlands), Corrie van Leeuwen (Netherlands), Barbara Meynell (England), Patty Muller (Netherlands), Olga Prins-Lukowski (Netherlands) and Marjon de Vroed (Netherlands) attended the workshop.

The workshop was an introduction to the dye sublimation process (transfer printing) and melded participants experiences as valuable resources to create new artistic landscapes using disperse dyes. The projects were structured so that the participants started with basic skills and at each level advanced to more layered and complex skills/imaging processes.

Participants created their own custom dyed fabric using disperse dyes via direct imaging, experimental and layering exercises. The participants applied painted, textured, printed imagery onto papers with disperse dyes and then transfer printed them to polyester and blended synthetic fabrics to create a suite of color and pattern studies via an iron or heat press. Participants were also introduced to the tutor's signature MultiSperse Dye Sublimation (MSDS) technique featuring multiple layering and resists employing flora as "the thematic" experience. The MSDS works imbue richly colored, textural and vibrant 3-dimensional imaging to the cloth surface.

In summary, it was a fun and exciting workshop, where instruction and experimentation forged the potential of each participant. With these new skills the participants could then include additional techniques such as collage, layering, applique, hand and machine embellishments to the newly made fabrics to create truly unique artistic expressions.

All levels were welcome to this two-day workshop. See the following images and enjoy some of the wonderful pieces that were created over the two days (all photographs are by Marie-Therese Wisniowski unless otherwise stated).

Workshop Participants and Their Outputs

The workshop was well organised by the very capable founder and owner of Zijdelings,
Karina van Vught.

Marie-Therese demonstrating one of the techniques to the class.
Photograph courtesy of Karina van Vught.

Tonia Gerrits with her body of completed works at the end of the two-day workshop.

Tonia Gerrits.
Repeat design study employing solid colour, stamping and line drawing techniques.

Tonia Gerrits.
Depth, colour and design study employing multiple resists and numerous printed layers.

Tonia Gerrits.
MSDS technique employing flora.

Agnes de Lange-Macdaniel with her body of completed works at the end of the two-day workshop.

Agnes de Lange-Macdaniel.
Personal exploration employing resist, texture and colour study.

Agnes de Lange-Macdaniel.
Repeat design study employing solid colour, stamping and line drawing techniques.

Agnes de Lange-Macdaniel.
MSDS technique employing flora.

Corrie van Leeuwen with her body of completed works at the end of the two day workshop.

Corrie van Leeuwen.
Repeat design study employing solid colour, stamping and line drawing techniques on transparent fabric.

Corrie van Leeuwen.
MSDS technique employing flora.

Corrie van Leeuwen.
Color wash, texture and overprinting study.

Barbara Meynell with her body of completed works at the end of the two day workshop.

Barbara Meynell.
Repeat design study employing solid colour, stamping and line drawing techniques.

Barbara Meynell.
Depth, colour and design study employing multiple resists and numerous printed layers.

Barbara Meynell.
MSDS technique employing flora.

Patty Muller with her body of completed works at the end of the two-day workshop.

Patty Muller.
Personal exploration employing batik style resist, texture and colour study.

Patty Muller.
Batik style resist, texture and color study.

Patty Muller.
Personal exploration employing color washes, stamping and solid color techniques.

Olga Prins-Lukowski with her body of completed works at the end of the two day workshop.

Olga Prins-Lukowski.
MSDS technique employing flora.

Olga Prins-Lukowski.
Depth, colour and design study employing multiple resists and numerous printed layers.

Olga Prins-Lukowski.
Color wash, texture and overprinting study.
Photograph courtesy Karina van Vught.

Marjon de Vroed with some of her body of completed works at the end of the two day workshop.

Marjon de Vroed.
Batik style resist, texture and color study.

Marjon de Vroed.
MSDS technique employing flora.

Marjon de Vroed.
Depth, colour and design study employing multiple resists and numerous printed layers.