705 Court C in Opera Alley had definitely changed from when I had last been inside some twenty years before. Remembering a large retail space, I was instead greeted by a long hallway bordered by artists’ studios and shops as I rechecked the address and opened the door. A figure silhouetted by light greeted me with a familiar voice from the doorway at the end of the hallway, before vanishing from sight. A murmur of voices beckoned me.
Afternoon light poured into a spacious work area filled with just over twenty people, three of whom were busily facilitating a two day PSBA workshop. Divided into three rotating groups, to generate interaction between participants, “On the Surface,” was actually three workshops conducted simultaneously by three different PSBA artists.
It was nothing short of remarkable. From MalPina Chan’s demonstration of paper lithography, allowing the transfer of images to paper or fabric using nothing more than photocopies and gum Arabic to Deborah Greenwoods use of gelatin plates and pressed plants to created designs emphasizing both negative and positive space, to Lucia Harrison’s tutorial on how to make book cloth backed with Japanese paper, as well as an introduction to fabric painting, it was all beautifully orchestrated
Even more impressive was participants were encouraged and given the opportunity to experiment and to push boundaries by combining techniques and processes. An Gates used plants and monoprinting to create fabric designs while Carletta Wilson used monoprinting techniques on antique handkerchiefs. Maura Dunegan used paper lithography to print one of her grandmother’s recipes onto cloth, while Dorothy McCuiston chose to create lively overlapping designs. Afterwards, as they drank in what they had accomplished over the last two days, resonate was a word Carletta Wilson used to describe the workshop. It applied to how the instructors worked with the participants, to how the participants interacted with each other and most importantly how the finished work affected everyone in the room. Resonate; it’s a good word.
Blog: Deborah Greenwood, Lucia Harrison & Mark Hoppmann
Photos: MalPina Chan & Mark Hoppmann