Archive for June, 2012

June – July 2012 Newsletter

Hello everybody and welcome to my first newsletter of 2012. It’s great to be back and I have so many things I’d love to share with you including my new upcoming workshops.

I’ve been playing with soya wax, fluorescent dyes and black light and venturing out more into the world of beautiful wearables.  Those of you who follow me on Facebook will have seen some of these projects but I’d like to share some highlights and photos as well as some links to posts I made along the way. So…..where to start?


At the beginning of the year I made a departure from my traditonal gold resist mandalas and dived into creating some new ones with soya wax. These first ones were painted using brushes and it literally meant dipping the brush back into the hot wax for each brush stroke. That meant it took rather a long while to apply the wax and get the designs in place.

I created a first mandala which had a real shamanic feel to it and that inspired me to create a large wallhanging in the same style but several times the size.

The wall hanging really was fun to paint.

The batik dreamcatcher mandala is much bigger than I am

Dreamcatchers are normally quite a bit smaller but this one turned out enormous. I sewed panels of embroidered silk to each side which made the final piece really huge. It was so exciting to do that. I’d love to make more in this style but really need homes for them to go to as our house isn’t quite big enough to house them. I think I’ll get this one rigged up so that I can use it as a backdrop for my videos.

Here’s are 2 blog posts showing the creation of the hanging: How to Have Fun with Soya Wax and Silk Painting (part 1) and (part 2) .

I’m planning to use this wall hanging as the back drop to my future videos so watch this space.


My next fun was with the soya wax combined with fluorescent dyes. My lovely friend Don Baker who paints gorgeous bright flags on silk sent me some samples of glowing dyes to try out. When I got a second prod, I unpacked them again and got started on a piece of art.

I’m so glad I did. This is the mandala I made and in order to see the fluorescent effect, we had to go off and buy a black light. Here, first of all, is the mandala itself.

The fluorescent mandala ready to be steamed

Watch live streaming video from silkandart at

I then made a further jump into the world of batik. I bought some more soya wax and a couple of tjantings and got going.  The tjanting is the traditional tool they use in Indonesia to create layers on the fabric as they add the dye. It was fun making my first designs as I had to really pay attention using the tjanting as the wax tends to just keep on dripping. But I very quickly got the hang of it. For anyone who has had experience of using a bottle and nib with resist, it’s not that hard.

I chose the soya wax because it is a much healthier option than all the others although it doesn’t dry quite so hard and so the crinkle effects are not quite as spectacular. I love how there are no fumes and that you can wash out the wax afterwards instead of dry cleaning.

So what did I make?

A fuchsia scarf with various shades of pink and then a raw silk mandala.

I’ll share my adventures with the fluorescent dyes and black light in another newsletter as that takes us off in a completely different direction for now.


I now have 2 venues in Bristol where I can hold silk painting workshops and the first of these will be coming up in July. The first of these is Lincombe Barn out on the Downend edge of Bristol and the other is the Wilder St. Studios .  Here’s a link to all the details: July Silk Painting Workshop

And if you book within the next week, you can get an early bird discount.

I’ll keep you up to date by email of further workshops.


I recently ventured out into the world of painting on raw silk and had my first adventure with dupioni silk. I’ve often used this type of silk for other things and very often as the backing panel for my silk cushions. Because the fabric is so thick and full of slubs, it’s not ideal for using resist in the way I normally do. So I decided to work on it with soya wax using my tjanting.

It was an absolute hit, I must say. I gave the silk an undercoat of different shades of blue and then proceeded to create a mandala design on top with the soya. It was fun to totally lose myself in the process.

This is what the finished piece looks like:

Me wearing the raw silk batik mandala


At long last I’ve started exploring painting lovely silk wearables. So I began with some ready made blank silk chemises and camisoles. Right now as I write I am wearing the pink camisole with the batik lotus motif I painted first. Here is a picture of both this and the shibori lilac chemise I made with the gold lotus. I’m now painting commissioned silk wearable so if you’d like me create an individual piece for you, just get in touch:

Silk charmeuse camisole with batik lotus motif


For those of you who missed it, I had the pleasure of recently chatting with fellow silk painter Ron Gutman on Blog Talk Radio.  We had lots of fun talking about all things silk and what Ron’s inspirations and loves have been on his journey. The interview is in the archive and you can listen to it here: Ron Gutman Blog Talk Radio Interview.


Around Christmas I hung some of my mandalas in the Wilder St. Studios in Bristol and the pieces are still hanging there. The great news is that some of my workshops will take place there this year so watch out for more details. This link shows some photos of the space: Wilder St. Studios

And from June 21st – July 1st 2012 some of artwork is hanging in the Glastonbury Arts Collective (GAC) exhibition in Glastonbury as part of the first Glastonbury Fringe Festival. I put together a video showing clips of some of the exhibits interspersed with photos of individual artists. You can watch this on YouTube: Glastonbury Arts Collective Exhibiton 2012.

This is me posing in front of 4 of my paintings.

Me and my mandalas at the Glastonbury Arts Collective exhibition


A couple of months ago I gave birth to a new project. A friend shared a link to a video on YouTube describing an artform called the Zendala and it inspired me to take it a step further and collaborate with other artists in exploring this artform in a new way. Here’s a link to the original post I made: Create an Original Mantangle on Silk

When I set the challenge, 6 artists accompanied me on the journey and this post shares with you the beautiful results: The First Mantangle Challenge is Complete

The piece I created was with fluorescent dyes and this picture shows it in the daylight. Under black light it is extremely blue indeed and almost unrecognisable – but lots of fun as the colours really pop.

My fluorescent dye silk mantangle

Tomorrow I am going to be posting the details for the next mantangle challenge on my blog, so keep tuned for more information. I’d love as many of you as possible to join in and help the momentum grow. All you need to do is come and reply in the comments box under the latest blog post that you joining in. I will then add you to our group. See you there. :-)

And I think that’s it for this time. I’ll be keeping you up to date with the workshops and mantangles so that you can join in if you’d like to.

These are ways to keep up to date with what I am doing in my artist’s studio:

Silk & Art Facebook page

Silk & Art website (click on the link at the top or bottom of the page to get into the main site – thanks)

And of course if you have any questions for me, please email me any time: Fiona Stolze’s email

Please let me know if there’s anything I can help you out with. I look forward to hearing back from you.

Warm wishes and until the next time.


10 Responses to “June – July 2012 Newsletter”

  1. Judy Szabó says:

    Like, very much :)

  2. Sandy Hopper says:

    Love your newsletters! Such joy fills all of your work and play :)

  3. Colin Apple says:

    Beautiful looking work and website! x

  4. Ann-Marie Murphy says:

    Hi Fiona

    Greetings from Australia. I am here with Rosarii for a holiday visiting my Uncle . He is in a nursing home in a small town half way between Brisbane and Sydney. I was here in 1979 for 6 months. We flew to sydney climber the Bridge, visited the Opera House and did a trip on the Harbour . All was wonderful. Flew up here and are taking my Uncle out every day. It has been very wet but we are surviving. I met up with a friend who I taught with when I was here and it was lovely. We are heading up to the Whitsundays and out on to the Barrier reef for a few days hoping to get some sun. We return to Sydney and then to Honfkong for 4 days .

    I will need lots of clients when I get home.
    My friend here is also an Artist so I am going to show her your newsletter.

    Your work looks beautiful

    Hi to Michael and the boys. How is Peter . Hope he is at his art work .

    Have you all settled in to Bristol at this stage. My but the past year has flown . Will make contact again when i return to Ireland. I have not done my website yet . It is on my to -do list. Hope to get Skype soon

    All the best

    Take care


    • Fiona says:

      Hi Ann-Marie ,

      So lovely to hear from you again. I’ll look forward to connecting with you on Skype when you return. Take care and have a great time in Australia. xx

  5. Glad you’re having fun with the soy wax, Fiona! It’ really lets you work a bit differently than using bottled resist. The batik mandalas turned out beautifully!

    • Fiona says:

      Thanks Deborah. Lovely to hear from you. Yes, the soya wax is a lot of fun. I’m going to explore quite a bit more now. :-)

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