CraftED Digital: Fabric Design using Earth Pigments with Josephine Clarke

November 18, 2023 - November 18, 2023

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The MCC is excited to be hosting a new CraftED Digital workshop with Josephine Clarke! In this online workshop students will learn how to dye fabric with earth pigments (clay, soil, minerals etc.). Clarke will provide clay from Prince Edward Island, as well as colourful earth pigments and clays from around the world like Cyprus green, vine black, and red or yellow ochre in your material kit (though students can try using local clays if they so choose). Students will have the option to make a stencil, or make a linocut stamp, or go freehand. A cotton bandana and sample pieces of cotton to practice on will be included which will have been pre-treated ahead of time with a mordant (the mordant will be discussed in class, to give students an introductory understanding).

The paints that participants will be making require homemade soy milk (store bought soy milk does not work for this). Dried soybeans will be supplied in the kits, and students will be required to soak their soybeans in water overnight before the class starts. Josephine Clarke will guide the students though making the soy milk (this step will require that the students have a blender or food processor at home). The instructor will also supply a pre-recorded video of this process in case students want to watch it before class, but that is not required.

Students will start by learning some basic print design theory, and some brief historical facts about the craft. Students will then practice their ideas on their cotton practice swatches, and the instructor will be available for questions and guidance. Students can choose to freehand paint, stencil, or block print their designs. Josephine will show students how to make natural paints with the soy milk and the earth pigments. If using a linocut stamp to block print, participants will be taught how to map out their repeats in a grid using string provided in the kits.

Please note, after pigment application, designs must be left to dry and set in a dark place for at least one week before they are safe to launder.

About the Instructor

Josephine Clarke is a textile artist practicing in West Arichat, Nova Scotia, Canada. She explores the use and tradition of botanical dyes, earth pigments, and rust. During her childhood in the Robson valley in BC, Clarke was surrounded by people who made things in their daily lives. She accredits her creative style as an artist to growing up in a community that fished, hunted, gardened, sewed, and made music.

After earning her Bachelor of Design at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Clarke was accepted as an artist in residence with the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design. She took a chance, and moved to the east coast to the beautiful island of Cape Breton, and has been practicing as an artist ever since. She is proud of my small studio by the Atlantic Ocean.

Josephine Clarke teaches classes for various community organizations and events, including for the Inverness County Centre for the Arts, Parrsboro Creative, New Brunswick College of Craft and Design, Cape Breton centre for Craft and Design, The New Dawn Centre for Innovation, and the Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival. She has exhibited her work at culture events in Atlantic Canada, such as Celtic Colours International Music Festival, Third Shift Art at Night Festival, and Lumiere Art at Night Festival.

Workshop Runs: November 18, 2023 online via Zoom

1:00 – 4:00 pm CST

Registration: $120

Registration is non-refundable
Registration fee includes a material kit which will be shipped to students prior to the class

Registration deadline: October 31st, 2023


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November 18, 2023 - November 18, 2023


Monday: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Tuesday: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Wednesday: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Thursday: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Friday: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Saturday: 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Sunday: 9:00am - 5:00pm

Cost - paid


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Posted By

Manitoba Craft Council

September 28, 2023