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Painting with Leaves, Rust and Stitches

Clarissa Callesen
9:00 - 4:30
Sunday, Monday June 27-28

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$ 340  

I would like to invite you on an adventure of using fabric and stitches instead of paint to create original works of art. I work primarily in abstract but these techniques are suitable for all different styles of expression and I always encourage my students to follow their own inspirations.

In this two-day workshop we will delve into fabric dyeing, composition, and mark-making with thread. The first day we will create our palette of “paint” by creating, one of a kind, hand-dyed fabric. You will learn the basics of eco and rust dyeing including equipment, materials, choosing plants, mordants, bundling, and so much more. Well on our way to originality with our stash of hand-dyed fabrics. Day two we will focus on composition, construction, and embroidery.

This is not your grandma’s embroidery sampler. We will be using thread as a drawing medium. Working intuitively, we will explore mark making through embroidery and applique. I am a strong proponent of experimentation and light-heartedness in making art. My job is not to tell you “how to” make art but to share techniques and support you in finding your unique creative voice.


Materials Fee $25 paid at beginning of class includes:

Equipment and propane for steaming 
All the plant material necessary
Rusty junk
Extra fabric 
Nitrile gloves
Fusible webbing
Glue sticks
And surprises

Supplies Needed  to bring for Class:

• Smaller pieces of white or light-colored fabric. Silk, wool, and cotton are the “recommended” fabrics, but I have had some striking results with synthetic as well. I am a big proponent of recycled textiles so feel free to bring some experimental fabric from the thrift store. Vintage handkerchiefs and lace are lovely to experiment with as well.
Dharma Trading Company is a good source for reasonable silk yardage and silk scarves if that strikes your fancy. http://www.dharmatrading.com/fabric/silk/silk-fabrics.html

• A pair of fabric scissors

• Supplemental small pieces of solid colored fabrics in colors to compliment the eco and rust dyed pieces we will be making. Make sure to include some black or other dark color

• Embroidery floss in black, dark brown, cream, white, and an assortment of other colors of your choosing I suggest leaning towards earth tones

• Embroidery needles

• Embroidery hoop and thimble if you work with those normally

• Straight pins

• A disappearing fabric marking pen: I prefer the ones that disappear with heat but the water or air disappearing will work also 

• Buttons, charms, or other found objects for extra embellishment
• Random local plant material to experiment with
• “Special” rust objects (there will be lots of general rusty objects provided for class use)
• Ott light
• Extra white embroidery floss if you wish to dye some

P.S. No stressing allowed, it is about the creative process, not the specific supplies. Please email if you have any questions. clarissacallesen@gmail.com

Click here for a printable page

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For your convenience, you may pre-order your materials for classes! Your materials will be waiting for you at the retreat. And you can always purchase additional materials at the retreat.

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