Saturday, November 26, 2011

New link added

Welcome to the British Members - Chrissie Day (UK rep for the SDA) has started a special UK blog.
pls visit our fellow European members'blog at

Saturday, November 5, 2011


While writing this report, I realise i should have written and published this much earlier. But somehow blogging is not yet a true part of my daily and digital life. But I think I owe it to all participants to do so.

In spite of the fact it was only a small group it was a very successful, pleasant and informative gathering. But let me start from the beginning...

We started on Wednesday 19/10 with a 2-day class about Encaustic Fiber Art led by Cherilyn Martin (UK/NL). 5 persons joined us in my studio, of which 1 actual SDA member: Judy Alexander, Canadian but also living partly in he UK.  NOTE: This class could not have run without the outsiders.

On Thursday 20/10 I took a small group (8 persons) to VLISCO and the Lace Museum. Visiting them was on my wishlist for a long time. Especially the visit to Vlisco since they have a very strict policy in letting people in. It was amazing to see their production facilities: starting at the washing, bleaching and mercerizing, via printing the wax with big rollers on the cloth, the indigo dyeing  (7 dippings), removing the wax and printing on top again,  to the quality control and making up department..le veritable wax hollandais arose for our eyes. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take any pictures. We also visited their private museum, where they keep all their designs on paper, the actual wax rollers and the print swatches - in fact a hughe library but not open to the public normally - and their shop where we could buy their amazing fabrics, but also their accessories (scarves and handbags). And guess what, we all spent some money there! I definitely want to go back to the shop to buy some more farics. Every 3 months new designs are offered for sale.
an example of a
vlisco boutique in Africa

loads of printing blocks

print swatches library

Around noon we went to the Lace Museum in Horst, where we enjoyed an excellent lunch and got an extensive tour thru the museum with an English speaking guide. He showed us how lace was made in former days - a very informative afternoon!

overview of old
bobbin lace machines
needle lace machine

Next day - Friday 21/10 - the conference started in my studio at 10 am. We had 35 participants: 16 SDA members, 6 NON members, 6 lecturers, 5 demonstrators and 2 staff (myself and Judith, my assistant).
The level of the lectures was very high and related to the theme ECOVISION. We started with Anco Sneep, owner of Rubia who started to grow madder again here in Holland. He explained the route he had to take to get where he is nowadays: on an industrial production level, serving large industries.
Next came Nan Groot Antink who showed us her amazing path in working with natural dyes. Just the opposite of a large scale industrial production: for those of you who are interested in her work I would advise you to check BLOOM magazine nr 20 (Tinctorial), Li Edelkoort's trendbook. Nan is mentioned in that special and beautiful edition. The morning ended with a lecture about discharging natural dyes from Leentje van Hengel, owner of Tinctoria, a studio / shop in Amsterdam.

After lunch Rosalie van Deursen (art historian) gave an excellent lecture about African Art and Mali in particular. Followed by Linda Hanssen (curator at the Wereldmuseum in Rotterdam) with a talk about Okinawan textiles: local materials and natural dyes. The last inspiring lecture was from Frieda Sorber, curator of the Fashion Museum in Antwerp about old textile printing techniques in Europe, in particular the Voortman collection the museum holds in their archives.
Around 3pm we moved to the AUDAX Textile Museum, where we were met by Caroline Boot (curator of the museum) who explained how the museum works and a.o. commissions artists, and let them produce work in their magnificent digital textle laboratory, followed by a guided tour thru the new exhibition i-FABRIC, showcasting experimental recent work from European Textile Artists.
The day was concluded with an informal reception and buffet  at the museum cafe to enable members to mix and mingle and continue networking.

On Saturday 22/10 we started in my studio again with a show and tell / trunkshow from 10am till noon. After lunch everybody moved again to the museum for 3 very different demonstrations given by Magie Relph(UK):African blue/hands on lecture, Olga Prins (NL) cutting and fusing polyester fabrics and nonwovens with a special soldering iron, and Eszter Bornemisza (Hungary)a watersoluble demo called Thread traps.
Around 3pm we went back to my studio where 2 other demo's were held: printing with natural dyes by Emily Halvorsen (Norway) and encaustic monoprinting by Cherilyn Martin (NL/UK)
The conference ended around 6pm.
Magie Relph -
African blue talk and demo

Olga Prins demo

Eszter Bornemisza explaining

Emily Halvorsen demo

Cherilyn Martin Encaustic Demo

The week there after  two more low tech workshops were held in my studio, related to the conference.
On Wednesday 26/10 Rosalie van Deursen came back again to teach a class in BOGOLAN, printing with mud. And on Thursday 27/10 we had Wieteke Opmeer with a workshop Eco dyeing and printing with Eucalyptus. Both days were very successful. We had 11 participants for the Bogolan (of which 4 were SDA members) and 7 persons for the Eucalyptus (also 4 SDA members) - so these classes could also not have run if we did not have non members who signed up. A sad conclusion if I may say!
student examples bogolan

student work bogolan

Wieteke Opmeer explaining
eco dyeing with eucalyptus

eco dyeing color sample range
from a student

student work eucalyptus
hanging to dry

My studio feels empty now, waiting for another group to come and work. The smell of the eucalyptus is still in the air. It will fade and go away, but I do hope to be able to continue to act as a rep for the SDA in Europe. I must say I still feel disappointed about the fact we only had 16 members signing up. I had hoped for more.

So for those of you who came - thank you! Also a big Thank You to all the demonstrators and lecturers who shared their knowledge. And for those of you who could not make it this time...I hope to meet and greet you at the next SDA EU conference.
As from now...suggestions are welcome!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Changes around Ecovision

Unfortunately Ana Lisa Hedstrom will not be crossing the ocean to come and teach 2 workshops as announced. Registration for both her workshops was so low that we agreed to cancel them.

This means however that she can not lecture on the first conference day. The cost of a ticket from LA to AMS is too high a burden on the actual conference budget. I do hope everybody will understand that.

We still need some 10 persons to sign up and let it work. Hopefully we will succeed.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Deadline Ecovision

The date of the conference is approaching fast. There comes a moment that we have to decide to continue or to cancel. Deadline is now set on September 30, since the museum cannot extend the option any longer. I do hope I will get more people to sign up: we need 30 people to let it work.
That is the minimum. A solution might be found in having the conference in my own studio instead of the auditorium of the museum (in case I get a few less). But I keep my fingers crossed that this will not be necessary..

Please, spread the word, it is in our mutual interest that the conference will take place. It is about networking and sharing ideas, meet and greet so to speak, the lectures are a bonus and all very interesting, the ambiance inspiring, and there will be a great exhibition around that time in the museum, called i-FABRIC.

i-FABRIC is about young design talent in pls come and enjoy. Have a look at the website of the Textile Museum for more information .
Kate Goldsworthy - who will be teaching a 3-day class called Upcycling Textiles with Laser Technology shortly after the conference - will be one of the speakers at the opening of i-FABRIC: her students work will be included in the show.

There are still places available so you can join us for this wonderful high tech workshop. We are going to cut, etch and melt polyester fabrics or non wovens using the laser equipment at the Textile Lab. Students will learn how to prepare files and use the laser for future projects. Have a look at Kate's website to see her own work and get an impression of the workshop we had earlier this year
students working in the
classroom of the museum

work Kate Goldsworthy

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Update Ecovision

There is good news for non SDA members:
you can bring a guest or your spouse!
Though the conference initially was set up for SDA members only, we decided to open up the registration for NON members as well. So as from today anyone interested in Textiles and Surface Design is welcome to join us in Tilburg.
This also goes for the Fiber Tour on Thursday.

For information regarding the fee/conditions,
please check my website since non members pay a bit more.

I got a few new images from Ana Lisa Hedstrom and
from Malene Kristiansen, to spice up their workshops.

These 2 renowned and well experienced tutors offer very different workshops:
Hedstrom's Shibor-re-cycle workshop is a sophisticated, shibori based but low tech workshop.

Kristiansen's workshop starts low tech, but has a surprising hi tech finish: starting with monoprint via transferprint to digital print, after which the result can be embellished with foil, flock or embroidery
For your information:
unfortunately we are facing a deadline (=decision day)
for the conference which is September 18.
So please sign up by return if you are interested in joining.
Do not wait any longer!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Surface Design at the FoQ

Well, back home again from Birmingham. It is always a pleasure to visit the Festival of Quilts. Lots to see as usual. Unfortunately I could only visit for a day and a half: to see it all I would have needed the whole 4 days. So many quilts.....overwhelming.  Below I will highlight a few artists/groups whose work I found interesting.

My first meeting at the FoQ was with SDA member and full time studio artist Regina Benson (USA): her exhibition "Personal Landscapes" showcased her own surface designed cloth, with her signature rusting, burning and discharge techniques. Excellent work, some of which I already saw in the US but their was also new inspiring work
Next I visited Jette Clover, an old time friend, SDA and SAQA member - born and raised in Copenhagen (Denmark) but who has lived for many years in the Netherlands. Before she became an artist, Jette was a journalist, owned a gallery, a jazz club and worked for the Dutch Textile Museum in Tilburg,  where she curated the very first European Art Quilt Exhibition (1997). Her quilts are collage constructions, exploring physical and mental layering and she uses a variety of surface design techniques on both paper and cloth.
TeXui - one of the outstanding Fiber Art Groups in the Netherlands - also had a wonderful exhibition, showing recent work of all 10 members. Unfortunately it was not allowed to take pictures of their work, so I have to refer you to their website.

Studio 21 - Continuum - a Sense of Place -showed beautiful artwork, a continuing story made by all members. They collaborated together to create a continuous work of 30 metres long,  which explores each members' approach and connection to their personal Sense of Place. Visitors were encouraged to step into the gallery and connect with the work by contributing their own memories ad stories.
Sandra Meech - who taught a class at my studio -  was present, as well as Jill Flower, who will come to Tilburg to teach a class next year. I wish I could invite the whole group but that unfortunately is not an option. Below 4 Show pieces:

Michel Garcia and Yoshiko Wada were demonstrating at the Virtual Studio, where Michel also gave a 3day class in natural dyeing, called Quick Organic Indigo Vats.
I was able to see some sample work and watched his demo.
For those of you who are interested I have some hot news: I brought back several copies of the new DVD Yoshiko has produced featuring Michel Garcia's natural dye workshop AND Michel has agreed to come and teach a Masterclass next summer @ my studio in Tilburg.
I am thrilled and already looking forward to host him.

Grietje van der Veen
also had a show @ the FoQ. I already met Grietje (Dutch born but living in Switzerland) when she attended the first SDA EU conference, called Crossing Borders in Tilburg (2009). So it was nice to see her work now. Her quilts reflect the visual aspects of nature. Trees, flowers, rocks and water are recurring themes in her artwork.

The Graduate Showcase
For me this is always the most exciting and interesting exhibition.
Ten graduates from colleges around the UK displayed their innovative and stunning work.
I cannot mention all of them but I was very impressed by:

Victoria Johnson -
ceramic artist, designer and maker who almost fooled my eyes since I was sure she used felt for her work, which in fact appeared to be ceramics
Rose Wood - she showed beautiful pleated work:
as a shibori afficionada I am very pleased to see this.

Alice Fox -
presented great woolen felt pieces, cut, printed, manipulated..
Jillian Hurst -
with fake leather and shiny plastic table cloth, beautiful adorned and embroidered:
Of course there was more!
I was also impressed by
the Textiles of the Islamic World, a magnificent overview of  beautiful textiles from three continents - put together by John Gillow, renowned author of many seminal books on folk textiles from accross the Globe.
Padmaja Krishnann showing traditional Kantha work, a recycled hand quilting craft of Bengal (Eastern India)
Mohamed Dendon - the Tentmakers of Old Islamic Cairo -  a disappearing craft.

To conclude: One could spend easily more time (and money) to explore the full potential of this yearly event. And I am not even a quilter...

Hope you enjoyed my report!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Festival of Quilts

In a few hours I am off to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham. Meeting Yoshiko Wada & Michel Garcia as well as Claire Benn and Leslie Morgan. I will be picking up a stack of the wonderful dvd about natural dyeing and bring back also the latest book from Committed to Cloth Making your Mark. I will also meet and catch up with Regina Benson (SDA's former Rep of Reps) who has a wonderful exhibition at the FoQ and of course will stop by the TeXui exhibition.
I will also meet Brenda Boardman and have a coffee with her. It will be good to connect with UK members as well. So if any of the European or UK SDA members are visiting the FoQ on Thursday or Friday pls contact me: I would love to meet you. Maybe we can 'use' Regina Benson's exhibit as the SDA meeting point. Next week I will post some images and a short review of the Show.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Encaustic & Fibre art

Last weekend we had a wonderful workshop with Cherilyn Martin, all about working with Encaustic Wax Medium, Paper and Fabric. Since Cherilyn will teach a similar 2-day class as a pre conference workshop I want to give you a sneak preview of the work that has been made by her.
As you may know, encaustic is an old technique, already used in Egypt and Greece in ancient times.
The wax preserves the colours and drawings beautifully. Nowadays there is a revival, especially in America where a lot of mixed media artists are using encaustic wax in their work. Examples are Daniella Woolf (she came and taught a class at my studio in april last year), Cari Hernandez, Paula Roland and Patricia Baldwin. Recentely several books and dvd's are published about working with wax (and for sale in my studio). But here are some nice pictures to inspire you.
I hope you will consider to join us in October for this exciting workshop.
For more information about this workshop pls check my website

Monday, July 11, 2011

Background information regarding the ECOVISION fiber study tour

Unfortunately the website of the lace factory is in Dutch.
That is why I am posting their Press Release / information in English
I hope this encourages members to sign up for this special tour.
The visit takes place in the afternoon (Thursday October 20) after the visit to VLISCO.

From Lace Mill to “Museum the Lace Mill”
The last operating lace mill in the north west of Europe is currently being converted to “Museum the Lace Mill”. From June 2009 you will be transported back to the last century’s textile industry.

Rattling machines in a monumental mill create a 1930s atmosphere. Of course there are also attractive exhibitions and inspiring activities like workshops, courses and public lectures for young and old.

Through the website you are kept up to date.

Operating lace-making machines in a monumental mill.
Until recently the almost antique lace-making machines were used in the daily production of lace from thousands of the finest threads. A nuber of these machines have been preserved and can be seen working. They provide a special experience. 

The history of textile manufactore and the origins of textile industry.
“Museum the Lace Mill” shows how textile manufacture once was the basis of the economy in the North Limburg region. Farmers grew flax to weave their own linen fabric. Nowhere else in the Netherlands were there so many home looms. Out of this a knowledge area for textile manufacture and textile industry grew whose traces we can see today.

A unique collection of old and modern textile art and manufacture.
Where textile manufacture developed the most beautiful examples of textile art and manufacture appeared. “Museum the Lace Mill” has a special collection of old and modern objects that can be seen in permanent and temporary exhibitions. Hearing, seeing, reading and doing alternate to make a visit to “Museum the Lace Mill” a fascinating experience.

Group arrangements.
Groups are more than welcome in “Museum the Lace Mill”. They receive a personal welcome and different arrangements for their visit are possible. There are guided tours for example, and in the Lace CafĂ© visitors can have a nice cup of coffee or a copious lunch. Furthermore, groups can use special rooms for their own programs, lectures or workshops.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


SDA European Meeting
Planned for October 18-28th, 2011, in Tilburg, Netherlands

ECOVISION, the second meeting for the European membership of the Surface Design Association, will be presented by Karina van Vught (SDA EU representative) at Zijdelings (van Vught’s textile design studio) and the AUDAX Textile Museum in Tilburg, Netherlands on the following dates.
Pre-Conference Workshops (2): Tuesday, Oct. 18 – Thursday, Oct. 20.
Fiber Study Tour: Thursday October 20.
Conference: Friday, Oct. 21 and Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011.
Design Academy Graduation Show
& Dutch Design Week: Sunday October 23.
Post-Conference Workshops (5): Monday Oct. 24 – Friday Oct. 28.
The conference and accompanying events will provide a setting for textile artists, teachers and practitioners to meet in an informal way, and to share information under the umbrella of the Surface Design Association*.

The theme is Ecovision, inspired by an issue of the Surface Design Journal, similarly titled.
The first day of the conference will be filled with inspiring lectures, including
Rosalie van Deursen - African Art ‘Cloth, Clothing and Identity',
Nan Groot Antink - Dyeing and Painting with Natural Colors,
Linda Hanssen
- Okinawan Textiles from Local Natural Materials and Dyes,
Ana Lisa Hedstrom
- Folding, Unfolding,
Leentje van Hengel/Tinctoria - Colour Discharge Printing
with Natural Dye-extracts and their Light fastness,
Anco Sneep - Rubia Natural Colours,
Frieda Sorber
- Textile Printing, Old Techniques Revisited,
and the Audax Textile Museum
lecture followed by exhibition visit and buffet dinner. 

The second conference day will feature a trunk show and demonstrations by members including Magie Relph (UK) - African Blue - a Hands-on Talk,
Eszter Bornemisza (Hungary) - 'Thread Traps' - a Recycling Technique,
Olga Prins (NL) - Upcycling Synthetic Fabrics:
Cutting and Drawing with a Soldering Iron,
Emily Halvorsen (Norway) - Screen printing with Natural Dyes,
and Cherilyn Martin (NL-UK) - Encaustic Monotypes.

See website for more information on two pre-conference workshops, Fiber Study Tour, visit to Design Academy Graduation Show & Dutch Design Week, and five post-conference workshops.

Start of an european SDA weblog

While at the SDA conference in Minneapolis (USA) it was suggested to me to start an european blog for the Surface Design Members in Europe. So here it is: hopefully this weblog will contribute to a better networking between existing members but also gain new members for the organisation.