I taught a two-day workshop at the Encaustic Art Institute in Santa Fe, NM on March 24 – 25, 2018. My max is usually a low number since I like a having a lot of one-on-one time with the students. I had four students for the two-day workshop. Everyone was ready to get started right at 10 am Saturday morning so I started off by doing a demo on eco-printing. If you're an artist and enjoy working with natural material in your art making you might enjoy eco-printing since it involves working with plants. The process is taking plants and transferring whatever colors are in them and getting them to imprint onto silk. It's kind of like an image transfer in a way. The thing that I really like about the process is that each bundle is going to have its own unique markings. The plan for the day was to have the students make three steamed bundles which they would use in their art making the next day. Since the steaming of the bundles takes an hour we had no time to waste so after the short demo I had them start on making bundles. Eco-printing is taking plants like flowers, leaves and wrapping them in an absorbent material so the whatever’s in them are steamed out and transferred into the silk. It’s a great way to make art material that you can work with since each one is going to have its own pattern. The timing of doing three steams was perfect since we got done right before 3 pm.
The next day the students had to take their eco-printed silks and use them in making an encaustic painting. I started off by doing a demo on how to put encaustic on a cradled panel and wrapping the eco-printed silk on top and all four sides of the panel. Wrapping a panel can be changeling but with a little help, they were able to get it done. The second project they did was wrapping a floating panel with an eco-printed silk. I had told them at the end of the first day that if they think they’re going to be quick at finishing the two panels for the next day to bring some extra panels if you choose to do more. And again like the first day the students finished their second paintings right before the end of the workshop. So it all worked out great and they were happy to have finished two pieces from making an eco-print to a finished painting ready to hang and the end of day two. It was a productive workshop and the students were very engaged which is always nice.
I always enjoy doing workshops and I try to drill my students with as much information as possible during the sessions but I don’t do that many workshops since they take a lot of time to prepare for. It usually takes a week of prepping for a workshop. Getting all the panels cut, gathering material they’ll be working with and the tools they’ll need, email the group with a reminder and an outline of what’s to be covered and planning out the days' schedule.
I'll be teaching a couple of workshops at Buffalo Thunder Resort in Santa Fe in conjunction with the Artisan Materials EXPO on September 28 and 29, 2018. The workshop is going to cover eco-printing and incorporating it into encaustic like the one in Santa Fe but done it one day. So I'll be teaching it as two all day workshops covering everything each day.