October Newsletter (1) 2012

Hi everyone. I’m really glad to be back and sharing my Silk & Art news with you in this latest newsletter. I’ve been sitting contemplating all the things I’ve been doing since I was last in touch and I realised that there’s been a lot happening.

As always, those of you who have been watching the SilkandArt Facebook page have had a chance to keep up to date with everything. So if you haven’t had a look yet, I’d love you to come on over and join in. It lets you keep pace with me and my artwork on a daily basis.

Okay, so let’s have a look at what’s happening.


I did a couple of mandala workshops recently and just loved the beautiful artwork that everyone created. The first one was in Lincombe Barn out here in Downend where we live and the second one was in Wilder Studios in Bristol City Centre. Here are a couple of photos sharing the gorgeous artwork with you:

Silk painting workshop in Downend at the end of July 2012

Displaying mandalas in the window of Wilder Studios in Bristol

One thing I really want to say is that most people sign up, assuring me that they have no experience and no real artistic talent. And at the end of the day I am always so amazed at how lovely their mandalas turn out. Everyone just joins in at their own level.

I’m going to be doing two more workshops very soon. The first one is in Glastonbury in St. Edmunds’s Hall in Chinnock Road on October 13th. And the next one is in Bristol on November 17th in Wilder Studios. You can find out more about these mandala painting events as well as take advantage of the early bird discount which is still open until Friday night by following this link: Create Your own Mandala on Silk.

Art Markets

I’ll also be taking part in two art markets in Bristol in the coming months. The first one is next weekend at Paintworks on Sunday 7th October from 10.30am onwards. You’ll be able to see all sorts of artists offering their work, as well as a variety of crafts. Here’s a link with some contact information as well as how to get there. Hope to see you. Paintworks Art Market.

And on December 1st I’ll be at the Trinity Centre taking part in their  Christmas Market. They are also putting on live music and there will be tasty snacks and warm drinks on hand too. It starts at 11am and goes on until 6pm. I’d love to see you there too.

GAC (Glastonbury Arts Collective)

For those of you who missed it, I recently joined the GAC and they put on a two week exhibiton at the Grail Centre in Glastonbury. I took part with a few of my mandalas and had the opportunity of making a short video to support the event.

And just last month we presented a selection of our work in a marquee during the A Night at the Abbey celebration. There was loads of hard work put in to get everything set up for the evening. And on the evening so many well-known faces showed up. It was lots of fun and I certainly got lots of inspiration too from the various people I connected with.

A glimpse into the marquee where the Glastonbury Arts Collective was displaying its art work

Gemstone Silk Scarves

Those of you who’ve been following me on Facebook will know that I’ve been playing a lot with recreating gemstone patterns on my silks. The first stone I was inspired by was the chrysocolla/malachite mix, a gorgeous semi-precious stone I found in my collection. I experimented with different layers and created a wax crinkle topping over a mottled green/jade/emerald mix. The final effect of a tapestry of darker veins stretching across the lighter shades recaptured for me the beautiful patterns on the stone.

Me modelling the chrysocolla/malachite scarf in the garden

You all seemed to agree with me as the original was sold very quickly and I’ve had the pleasure of being asked to recreate it a few times. In fact right now I am painting one for a client in the US. If you’d like to order one too, this link will give you all the details: Chrysocolla Silk Scarf. I have plans to create lengths of fabric to be sewn into bespoke pieces of gorgeous silk clothing. So if you are interested in having me paint some exclusive silk yardage for you, please just email me for a quote: info@silkandart.com.

4 shades of fuchsia and pink wetsculpted onto satin silk jacquard

This is a length of sumptuous jacquard satin silk which I base dyed in a very soft pink and then wet sculpted it and applied another 4 different shades of fuchsia and pink. It’s lovely how the light catches it and makes it shine.

Fun with Silk Painting and Soya Wax

Well, in case you hadn’t noticed, I have been painting recently with almost predominantly soya wax. I find something so thrilling about building up the layers and waiting for the wax to be removed to see the complete pattern when the painting is steamed and finished.

One piece I had particular fun with was my adventure into dupioni silk. As you may know, this is a very rough, textured silk compared to the silk satin I normally paint on. But I do love it too and couldn’t wait to paint on it. Applying the dyes to it proved  a little challenge since the fabric just kept sucking up the dye so I had to apply more and more to achieve the intensity I wanted. Then it was strange painting on the wax. I did it with a rough brush as the tjanting kept jumping on the slubs and uneven surface. And the dyes like to run past and through the resist, latching on to the threads and slubs, finding a way past the barrier.

My soya wax 'crop circle' dupioni wall hanging

But at the end of the day I loved it as it added to the character of this way of painting. I created a wall hanging with a mandala-like pattern that reminds so many of you of crop circles. The underlayer was a mixture of greens in many light shades. I then applied the soya wax before painting it over with a darker green which had to be reapplied twice to get it dark enough. After ironing, steaming and washing, I restretched the silk and added lots of gold accents. After heat setting, the silk went off to the drycleaners to remove the excess wax since I had used so much. But afterwards it was so super soft and slinky again. Delicious.

Special Offer: Rainbow Mandalas with Gold Embellishments

Rainbow OM mandala silk painting

Just a couple of weeks ago I had a great urge to paint a mandala in rainbow colours. So I painted the background in a graded rainbow, massaging the colours into each other to give a seamless look. When it was dry I steamed it and then stretched it once more. Next I batiked a simple mandala design on top in purple with an OM symbol in the centre. After that I added gold embellishments. The final result was a very happy and joyful image which I felt very inspired by. I will be exploring this direction more and will be offering this as a new service. Rainbow OM’s.

If you’re interested in having one, just let me know and we can set it in motion. I will be offering them for £150 but as a subscriber to my newsletter you can have a 10% reduction to £135 for the month of October. Just email me at info@silkandart.com for more details.

Clearance of the Mandala Silk Cushions and other Hand Painted Cushions

I have been going through all the work I have here and have been taking decisions as to what direction I want to continue in. And part of that process has been my decision to greatly reduce the stock I have here of the cushion covers and sell them off to make way for new projects that are now manifesting in my mind.

So I’m now listing them one by one in my Etsy shop and they’re all on offer for under £30. One or two of them are already spoken for but please take a look at the cushion section in the shop and if you see anything you like or fancy anything in the photo, just let me know and I can make sure you get a personalised link to the one you want. Here’s the link to the cushion cover section. I’ve listed 6 so far and there are many more to come, including some not in this photo: SilkandArt Etsy Shop Cushion Covers

The Silk Mantangle Challenge

A few months ago I started off the Silk Mantangle group which was inspired by a video I saw showing someone creating a black and white doodle pattern in a mandala form. She in turn had been inspired by Zentangles and she called hers Zendalas. I then got the idea of exploring new ground creating mandalas and coined the phrase Mantangles. I posted my ideas in a blog and invited other silk artists to come and join me to take on a painting challenge every now and then to create some exciting new artwork. Here is the link to the original post: Introducing the Concept of Mantangles.

And here are some of the Mantangles created by the group of lovely artists who joined me:

Mantangle Gallery 1

Mantangle Gallery 2

The group is just completing its third challenge and in a few days I’ll be sharing the results of it with you. I have created a private Facebook group for those of you who opt in and we can share our work in progress there leading to completion, as well as ask for support. If you’d like to join in with the next one, just let me know or respond to the next blog post with the latest Gallery. We’d love to have you come on board. Every challenge offers a new topic for the artists to explore. See you there.


Well I am sure there are so many more things I could be sharing with you. But then this newsletter would become serious competition for War and Peace. So I’m just going to share one last thing with you before I bring things to a close.

I am about to launch a new collaboration with a lovely friend of mine. We are going to pool our talents and create a special gift package for you so news of that will be released very soon now. Something you can treat yourself to or buy as a gift for someone you’d like to share the love with. There will be a special offer available for a limited period so again I’ll make sure you get all the details.


Well, that’s it for another newsletter. I’m so glad to connect with you all again and would love to hear back from you – whether it’s to say hi, or share any thoughts about anything in this newsletter or to ask me anything.

So take care, thanks for reading and I’ll be back in touch very soon to give you the details about upcoming gifts.

2 Responses to “October Newsletter (1) 2012”

  1. COLLEEN says:

    I love your newsletters. And I especially like your u-tube videos. I was having trouble with the wax dripping on my projects and it was driving me crazy. Guess who was the only one I could find on the internet with any GOOD info……YOU! Thanks for doing that. Wish I could come to a seminar, but Becker, Minnesota, USA is a bit far to drive. ha Thanks……..Colleen

    • Fiona says:

      Hi Colleen

      So lovely to hear your are enjoying being connected and lovely to hear I was able to help through my videos. I’m hoping to do some teacihng at some point via the internet so if I manage to get that up and running, you’ll hear about it through my newsletter. Thanks. :-)

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