Thursday, May 3, 2007

Glorious Textures Pro Chem Class

I taught a five-day class called Glorious Textures on Painted Fabrics at Pro Chemical & Dye Corporation in Fall River, Massachusetts April 25-29th. Seven strong, accomplished, talented women attended my first class there; and in a small class you have the advantage of getting to know each other very well. That's a big plus.
Pro Chem's offices and warehouse are located in an old, converted textile mill. Since I am drawn to aging, time worn structures, the exterior was a treasure trove for me. Look at this wonderful, sculptural piece.

The class dove into experimenting and by the end of the week had painted lots of materials and started layering and hand stitching some great samples. Betsy dove into the experimentation -- she was bold about experimenting and loves texture so she didn't hold back! She also started exploring different combinations of stitching -- combining different stitches adds even more interest to a surface.Those long straight stitches on the green shapes work especially well, don't you think?

Val arrived with a definite focus-- she has learned numerous surface design techniques and she wanted to carry her work to the next step and work on how to combine and use those techniques in compositions. Her thoughtfulness about her work and love of surface design is evident. Her eyes glow with delight as she works. She accomplished a lot as she explored a variety of compositional and layering ideas. Val is starting the master surface design course with Jane Dunnewold --talk about being in good hands -- and brought in some exceptional surface designed cloth she had made in a previous course with Jane.

Karen Q. (way more attractive than this photo, sorry, Karen!) doing some stitching on one piece and another several other incredibly lovely pieces she painted and layered for stitching. I couldn't take my eyes off them on the wall and wanted to start stitching them myself. Karen gave me the push I needed to start blogging, so thank you Karen!

This piece is very Gustav Klimt like, can't wait to see what she does with the stitching. Lots of possibilities.

Cheryl has a strong art background and has returned to textiles after many years working and selling her work as a painter. She has a great love of line and creates wonderful calligraphic lines in many of her paintings.
She's putting us all on her mailing list so we will get updates on where she's showing and selling her work and how she transitions from painting on paper to painting on textiles.

Janet is beginning her artistic explorations. She has great passion and spirit and spent a wonderful week painting components to create a small, very meaningful piece for her personally. Her sharing and wisdom touched and inspired the whole group. She did a small, very powerful piece based on an emotion -- unfortunately my image of it didn't turn out. She is truly a Butterfly Woman, emerging from her chrysalis in beautiful colors.

Karen R came with some ideas and imagery that really resonated with me from photographing Buddhist temples. She keeps excellent sketchbooks and spent the week working through -- and abandoning -- some of the ideas she first thought would best express the temple imagery. By the end of the week she had worked through a number of ideas and samples and hopefully will keep working with this theme. This is a piece in progress where she is exploring adding the temple elements with stitching. Check out the wall behind her picture -- she produced a LOT.

Pam, as this sample illustrates so well, loves color and loves to hand stitch. Since she is also a fabric designer, author and quilting teacher, I took several deep breaths when I found out she was coming to my first class at Pro Chem. She was great -- no surprise, she's a fellow Libra and loves playing with color and textures in the same improvisational way that I do. Look for her new quilting fabric designs for RJR Fabrics this fall!

Finally, here's Vicki Jensen, Pro Chem's amazing technical consultant and workshop director, who joined us for a few demos during the week, showed us some wonderful techniques with wax and then settled in to stitch with us on the weekend. Here she is working on layering and stitching gorgeous felted pieces she made in Chad Hagen's class (and Chad will be teaching at Pro Chem in August, check out for more information).

My experience at Pro Chem was wonderful in every way -- the lunches were EXCELLENT -- and I can wholeheartedly recommend taking classes at their facility. I'll look forward to returning there again to teach in 2008.


  1. Really enjoyed your blog - look forward to reading more. Have added it to may favourites!

  2. I'm teaching there in '08 and can't wait! Looks like you had a wonderful and productive workshop.
    Do you think we will ever cross paths???