Dye, Surfaces & Stitch

Hello and Happy New Year to all of you textile enthusiasts I thought I would tell you more a little more about myself….and let you know about an exciting new 3 day course I am running this year in Portugal.

I have been teaching textiles for 35 years and since leaving the state education system in the U.K. and moving to Europe in 2005, I set up Texatelier teaching small groups of students from all over the globe and in a variety of locations about the wonderful and diverse world of textiles.

I taught myself how to use plants to create colour on cloth as I wanted to create textiles with fabulous colours while using less polluting methods of colouration than with chemical dyes.

My textiles specialism is surface pattern and particularly natural dyeing with plant colour, indigo and shibori, botanical printing, print and paint on cloth and paper, batik, and mixed media collage and assemblage on cloth and paper.

Our current studio is high up overlooking the river, and is set in the foothills of the Serra dos Açors, 1 km from the lovely and lively schist village of Benfeita in Beira Literal, Central Portugal.

The village has a small local shop, two cafes and a restaurant and lots of affordable accommodation mostly in the form of Airbnb. 

Coja is the nearest small town 6kms away with everything that one could need.

The area is largely unspoilt and the landscape dramatic with wonderful walks and glorious mountains to explore. We are just on the edge of a natural park of chestnut forest called the “Mata de Margarança” and the extraordinary waterfalls of Fraga da Peña, where the wild swimming is thrilling! This is an area where many people live off grid (as we do) and use the earths natural resources for power, making for a highly sustainable lifestyle.

As you know I run all sorts of textiles courses including all the techniques mentioned above and more.

However this May (12th-14th) I am running a new and exciting, experimental 3 day mixed media collage and assemblage workshop. You can find all the details of that on the Website.

The reason I am so excited about this is because currently nearly all my art work is made using mixed media collage and I have never actually hosted a commercial workshop using this method! 

So alongside the more obvious ways to create collage and assemblage I hope to be able to share with you some of my special techniques and secrets.

As a sneak preview; It will include creating your own stock of papers, card, fabrics and threads to work with using all sorts of painting and printing techniques.

This collection of samples will be used to assemble using collage, small artworks, cards, and textile pieces with glue, stitch, staples and even screws and nails!

It will be a fun but challenging workshop focusing on colour, pattern and composItion.

It is a workshop for any level of student aiming to build confidence and of course art/textile skills.

I really hope this is of interest to you, thanks for reading and maybe see some of you in Portugal!



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