Teaching the basics of eco printing

After a whole eighteen months of experimenting with natural dyes on textiles and paper, I am daring to share some of what I know in classes as well as on this 'ere blog.

In the fall, I did a quiet little workshop at home here for fun with a couple of my talented colleagues from the local chapter of the Canadian Bookbinders' and Book Artists' Guild. They were kind enough to be my guinea pigs – I plan to I post some photos of their quite lovely prints

I have received quite a few requests to Reach eco printing as well as a number of requests related to my blog posts. Readers are wondering if they can find a quick summary somewhere without having to slog through the blog…I do understand need because I have trouble myself sometimes finding the info I wrote up on my own blog…one forgets…

Below is the link to that “Anti Blog Slog” article you may have been looking for. It first appeared in the wonderful Hand Eye online magazine (I subscribe to the print magazine, too). I am planning to make a blog page of basic instructions that will amplify the info in the Hand Eye article.

However, I would like to insist that no quick fix is available for learning about the eco print processes. You have to work at it, folks. BUT love it so much it does not seem like work. Check out the books I recommend and the list of artists I admire to find some you can learn from, as I have done – and then pay it forward. No one artist will be able to answer all your questions. Rely on the ones who appeal to your learning style and your passions.

This year, will be getting my feet wet in teaching what I have learned. I am doing presentations, demos and a Master Class in England in March and then something similar in Italy in October. As for local classes: well, I had been hoping to be able to offer a Master Class at the Moon Rain Centre near me in Quebec as part of an international festival of textile arts, but they are slow to get it organised so I may not be available by the time they are ready to tell me Yes or No. Meantime, a new co op gallery I belong to may allow me to teach there.

I am not a novice teacher. I taught all my professional life at the universiy level where my specialty was teaching academic communication skills to professors and grad students whose first language was not English.

And as a reward for having read all that texty bit above, here is the bit with the pictures:



17 thoughts on “Teaching the basics of eco printing

  1. ah, all those who think that with a one off of reading instruction, they will have the same results and the easiest time of it 🙂 aren’t we glad for the ones who are *not* the Instant Gratification Girls 🙂 (or Boys, PC!) Wish i could take a class with you!

    1. Indeed, you are right, arlee about the Slow Learning. I feel strongly that one teacher will never reply to all one’s questions or supply all the guidance and info one needs to move on as an artist. Some teachers are trainers, in the room, stuff the info in, out they go and on to the next pay cheque. Nothing wrong in the paycheque. The real teachers, the caring ones, they care about why you are there, more than they care about why they are there, they want to know where you are in your art pilgrimage and how they can help you get to your goals. Julia Caprara was that kind of teacher and so isJane Dunnewold.

    1. Hope I can get to it soon! have had the wicked flu and now I have a lot of projects delayed so I must catch up. But you little birds keep chirping at the feeder – I cannot resist a hungry bird!



  2. Wendy, thank you again for the basics of eco printing, it is much appreciated.

    Arlee – i am a textile artist too who knows well that a one off reading instruction will not produce instant gratification (would put a smiley here, but don’t know how!) Though there is nothing wrong with a bit of intant gratification every now and again don’t you think! (another smiley)

    Best wishes both


    1. We bloggers are instantly gratified by your interest, Annette! We love those little messages of appreciation in the inbox! I wonder why? Do we need a lot of assurance all the time? I always think there is a reason ..

    1. Never have, Darcy! Not sure what is involved, tnough years ago I did Workshop on the Web with Maggie Grey. I would probably want to TAKE an online class to see what I like and dislike about the methods before I offered one. Classes with the real bodies are for folks who prefer the hands on and the direct feedback. I tend to be a book learner, devouring everything on the subject which is not possible in a class situation, plus I get distracted in classes…I am a solitary worker. I like to focus, no music, not phone or computer or bench mate either. So online might work IF we do not have to SKYPE!!!OY I hate that skyping, I always feel so ugly in the photo!

      Thanks for the thought behind the suggestion. You are a power of enthusiasm.

      1. Shibori Girl (Glennis Dolce) did an online class. I didn’t participate but she then posted the summary as a separate class later for a reduced price since there wasn’t the interaction involved.
        Not sure how you feel about video, but YouTube, Google Plus and other apps make it easy to post content. And there are ways to have it so the videos aren’t accessable by everyone.

        Hi Glennis!

        Those are really interesting options for me. I admit to being an early adopter of educational technology and it does mean one need not travel. There is a definite allure. But am feeling these days, after lots of blog posts, that I might get back into teaching with a class of warm bodies…maybe keep up with class attendees by internet means? IOW, to know the students as actual people first.
        Thinking it through and thanking you very much for the ideas


        SORRY! KIM!!!Forgive the jumping eyes here!

      2. I have taken several online classes and enjoyed them. They are usually at a relaxed pace. The instructor sets up a virtual “blackboard” or a community so everyone in the class can “talk” to each other. By now, there has to be info out there on how to conduct a virtual class.

        Videos are always good. Make sure they are able to be downloaded.

        They are a great way to teach to an audiance that does not have physical access to the instructor. It could be a win-win.

        The only time I skyped was when I bought some products from a fellow SDA member. It was ok.

    1. Hello to LaGriccia

      The address is in the Arte Studio Ginestrelle link on my last blog post. The dates are not yet decided but the info will be on their blog in due time. The residence opens in March, I believe. My class will be in October, date TBD. I am not sure yet if the Director wishes to open the class to the general public. Another TBD! Thank you so much for the inquiry.


  3. I have just realised that you mention a master class, demos and presentations in the uk in March, i was wondering where these are going to be. I’m so interested in what you do, i print but have never tried eco printing before – would never have thought of it, it’s really grabbed my attention.

    I thought i read something about the master class when i first found your blog, but i lost it and couldn’t find it again – i can’t seem to get the hang of this blogging!

  4. Perhaps a way to combine the in person class and an online one….
    What about doing an in person class for just a few people, with the understanding that it will be recorded. But more as an interaction than just a lecture. Then posting that video and instruction while allowing/encouraging feedback and discussion. I think the interaction with students during the class would better illustrate what you’re teaching and give the online students a more engaging experience. But then it would probably be quite a bit more work for you.

    1. Thank you, Kim, for the teaching ideas. YounTube certainly looks a helpful option. Combining it with real facetime classes is good idea especially if you have to learn a technique with several steps. Good camera work and voiceover takes effort, though. One sees a lot of very poorly done videos on You Tube. Thinking things over!


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