The Workshop Mixed Media

For Sunday 24th a workshop on textile arts was planned and announced through local papers and the Hovinkartano Facebook page. The workshop was to be conducted by myself, Pirjo Heino (curator of the exhibition) would support (translating Finnish <> English) in the event.

It was my objective to make the participants acquainted with the materials and methods I apply in the pieces of art I make.

From home I brought the basic tools and materials I expected to need, Pirjo showed me the materials which were already available in the “Ateljee” while additional “gems” from nature were sourced locally like small stones, leafs, wooden sticks and a few bricks.

And there is always a marketplace to find things:

In the country side, at Saturdays, starting very early in the morning you will find local markets – torri – where local products, household gear and used goods (the flea market part) are for sale.

I visited the one in Hauho and gained a few very old items of the “Me Naiset” magazine, published in the nineteen sixties and perfectly useable for the workshop on “Mixed Media”.

With the photo camera we took copies of nice pictures from these magazines and managed to print them – with help of a privately made available inkjetprinter and locally purchased ink cardridges – in a sufficient amount on Lesley Riley’s TAP paper (Transfer Artist Paper), one of the techniques I wanted to demonstrate.

Sunday 24 showed to be a nice day with much sunshine and a high temperature, conditions for going out in the nature and the lakes. So the number of visitors for the exhibition was limited and so was the number of participants for the workshop. But the people who showed up were very positive and interested.  One of the participants showed us a new way of using the TAP paper by cutting the transferred image in several pieces, adding her own drawings direct on the TAP paper and bringing it all together on a printed fabric background she made.

Roomspace for the workshop was created in the “Valkoinentalo”, the white house which is one of the oldest –still originally equipped – buildings at the manor. The main room is still being used for events. Last week there was a lunch served in the traditional manner with traditional food.

During the workshop which started at 2 pm and lasted till 5.30 pm we had twice a break with coffee and Finnish cookies, served in the “Castle”.

Techniques I showed included colouring white cotton, washed before use because of the ‘extra’ layer that is nowadays on the cottons you can buy. I myself prefer to use pieces of old fabrics taken from tablerunners or bedsheets. It seemes as if the colour of the paint goes deeper into the cotton or  the linnen. Another basic technique we applied was the making of a collage in the size of a newspaper using multiple kinds of paper.

I also demonstrated photo transfer by either using the gel medium or the TAP paper, both yet unknown methodes as I discovered from the comments I got on the works I brought with me. The magazines I bought from the Hauho marketplace were good “instruments” for showing this. A demo and instructions on how to ‘layer-it-up-all-together” by rubbing materials, transferring words or quotes, stamping with the found objects or templates, using transfer dyes and the gelli-plate were also on the agenda.

Off course time was too short to get it all done, but the participants went home with a load of new ideas and inspiration for doing there own creative work at home. And a skype-call or email is also a willing instrument to get feedback on the work you have made at home.

What is your favorite method or technique in your creative work … ?

Do you dare to investigate the unknown route or do you prefer to work within proven frameworks?

What does it take to get you “out of your creative box” ?

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