Learn the art of painting silk

Posted June 28, 2010, at 7:53 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 12:54 p.m.

Hand-painted silk — how wonderfully romantic. Envision a graceful garment or scarf embellished with gorgeous colors floating in the summer breeze, an item that draws all eyes and elicits from observers smiles of envy and admiration. So get ready: Mount Desert Island artist Jeanne Seronde Perkins will offer a silk painting and nontraditional batik workshop 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday, July 6, at the Woodlawn Museum in Ellsworth.

Participants will learn how to paint silk with salt and water using a water-based resist method. The morning hours will be devoted to creating a hand-painted scarf and the afternoon hours will cover nontraditional batik techniques.

Traditional batik, Perkins said, involves dyeing the cloth first or painting on wax to resist the dye; it is an immersion method, layering the colors.

“We’re not immersing the cloth the dye, we’re painting it on,” she said of the workshop she will conduct. Participants will use brushes of different sizes to paint dye directly onto the silk fabric.

“I always liked playing with hot wax and batiking,” Perkins said, and that led her to form an interest in painting on silk. “I love the way the color travels through the silk.”

Workshop participants will try out several different types of dyes used specifically for silk.

“It’s very lush and irresistible,” she said of hand-painted silk. “I’m interested in showing how the dyes can leave a softness. Part of the attraction is exploring the way the dyes can work.”

Perkins advises workshop participants to “leave your [inner] critic at home. Play and discover. Wear old clothing, it’s not the most tidy thing [to hand-paint silk].”

Perkins said ample amounts of lightweight silk fabric would be provided as part of the cost of the workshop.

The cost of the workshop is $75 for museum members, $85 for others. Bring a bag lunch.

Advance registration is required by calling the museum at 667-8671.

As an artist, Perkins does collage with hand-painted paper and silk, makes drawings, paints in watercolor, paints landscapes, seascapes and portraits, works in 3-D to fashion papier-mache stars and creatures and makes baskets. “I like to try new things,” she said. Her work will be on exhibit as part of the “Wingspread Legacy Show” July 29-Aug. 24 at the Courthouse Gallery in Ellsworth.

Snippets

Fresh from speaking at the American Quilter’s Society annual quilt show, author and quilter Marie Bostwick will speak at 6:30 p.m. Friday, July 9, at the Cotton Cupboard Quilt Shop, 1213 Broadway, Bangor.

Bostwick will present “When the going gets tough, the tough turn to quilting,” which illustrates how women have turned to quilting during times of personal and national crises.

When she’s not speaking at quilting workshops and festivals, Bostwick shares her passion for quilting with her new “daughter-in-love.” Her daughter-in-law has so taken to quilting, she already has made eight quilts for family and friends.

Bostwick also has combined quilting with her other love, writing. The New York Times best-selling author has written “A Thread of Truth,” “A Single Thread” and her most recent, “A Thread So Thin.” The series follows several friends of various ages and stages of life who gather at the Cobbled Court Quilt Shop.

The event is open to the public. Copies of all three Cobbled Court novels will be available for purchase. Bostwick also will sign copies of her books.

For information about Bostwick, visit www.MarieBostwick.com.

The Native American Festival and Basket Makers Market will be held 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, July 10, at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor. The event is sponsored by the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance and the Abbe Museum. It features ash and sweet grass baskets, wood and stone carvings, jewelry, beadwork, dolls and other handcrafted items that reflect the culture of the Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot people.

The event is free and open to all. Free transportation from many locations around town will be provided by Island Explorer electric buses.

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