Thursday, August 13, 2015

Shanghai workshop (1) 上海工作坊

Just back from a week teaching in Shanghai, China where internet is limit or banned.    During my days in the rural outskirt in the 1300 years old ancient water town Jinze, I have no facebook, no blogging and no internet.    Arts or crafts of botanical imprints and wool felt are quite new there.  Opportunities emerging for artisans beyond China.  I was brought there by Hong Kong textile expert Edith Cheung.  This was my second  teaching in Jinze Arts Centre in five months. It's encouraging that my students from far provinces  just flown in to learn the comtempory skills.
We immersed ourselves in the tranquil campus......
獲香港紡織專家張西美邀請, 在上海市郊古樸水鄉金澤鎮的連串植物移印染及羊毛氈教學活動剛剛完滿結束, 一星期在沒有互聯網資訊如詩畫意境進行, 第一天到埗與聰敏助手開始實驗. 設備齊全的金澤工藝社為多位來自不同省份學生準備就緒......

The arts centre surrounding is poetry

Will post more pictures of the town in a separate post. 
Here's mainly about the workshop in the interior of the campus.

   On the first day arrival, my assistant,  a UK
intern helped collecting the local leaves for my experiments to make sure which plants work for the prints.  Walking in the area with typical traditional buildings was so pleasant.

We used only the simple and eco materials.  We made iron solution in the hot sun of 37 degree just in 2 hours.  We made the reusable paper cores for bundling and local leaves collected in the  campus.  The only leaves bought from florist are eucalyptus silver dollar which are planted in China also.
I tested the prints in different ways with all sorts of leaves picked, the peach, mulberry, melon, maple, cotinus, rose, onion and a few unknown. The outcomes are impressive.  They're marked for students'  reference in the next session.
The pictures speak themselves............

The summer leaves are quite well for the prints

My sample prints display in the studio for student's reference

Final touch of the wearable  of all natural prints

My assistants prepared materials packing for the workshops.

Everything well set and ready for the workshops.
Mext will be students' prints, make it into wearable and wool felt purses with textures.....
Will be fabulous ....... stay tuned.


  1. An inspiring set up. I'm sure your students will have a wonderful time!

    1. The nice set up truly inspiring for students' creation. Thanks Rachel.

  2. I just found your blog it is very inspiring. I am a beginner in ecobundle dyeing. I have some questions. Do you mordant the afbric before adding the material ? Or do you use the iron solution as a mordant for the material? If so do you put the material completely in. The solution for some seconds? I a hope you will find some time to answer my qeustions. Thanks in advance . And i am looking forward to see the students result'

    1. Eco printing is fun. You can do some with mordant and some not. In my experiment of this piece, some dipped in iron solution, some in alum, some not. They're all mixed. Will have the next blog to show more.

  3. There is an advantage to being in a place where the outside world is not allowed to disrupt the days and nights. But alas, we are so spoiled these days to have all our modern conveniences, even a short period is like withdrawing from a drug, we take for granite what others are not allowed to have. But you have a common bond for your love of the fabric and the supplies that nature provides to make beautiful wearable things. The old city has charm, I bet it is a calm place where one can think clearly. Glad you made it home safely.
    (((HUGS))) Susanne :)

    1. Immersed in the old town is inspiring to do creation. The natural resources just made the beautiful things you'll see in the next post. Thanks for stopping by.


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