I have dipped my toe into the school system again - a friend is an art teacher in a primary school and invited me to work with small groups of grade 3/4 children to teach them silk painting. I have the grand title of Visiting Textile Artist.
My previous experience has been as a generalist teacher but I had done some silk painting with some of my classes and with multi-age groups on theme days. However, it is several years since I have ventured back into a school, so I was feeling rather nervous.
It is also quite a few years since I have done silk painting. Dare I admit that it could well be 15-20 years? We did do a little in my Textiles and Design course but that was using a screen and Manutex, not the way I was used to and not the way we did it this time.
I had forgotten how much time is spent in preparation and cleaning up - and how little time there is between classes. Actually, I have not had to cope with that latter problem very often, it is more relevant to specialist teachers and now I have a much greater appreciation of how hard it is.
So far the lessons have been a success. The children have produced some lovely work, using limited resources. Really, all you need is the silk, the dye and some embroidery hoops - and a space.
Here are pictures of some of the pieces as I have been ironing them.
I am not sure why I call it silk painting when we use dye, not paint. Maybe because we use a brush to put the dye onto the silk.We used heat set dyes from Kraft Kolour, very easy to use.
I decided to limit the colours to red, blue and yellow and the dyes mixed on the silk to produce the other lovely colours.
We also used table and rock salt to produce some of the patterning you see.