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!