Nunofelt Workshop at Pacific Northwest Art School

adams_nunofelt3.jpgLeah Adams, a member of SDA in Washington, creates distinctive fiber art with handmade felt. Inspired by textures observed in the everyday world, from leaded windows to roof shingles, each piece is at once sculptural, functional and whimsical. Learning from methodical exploration and happy accidents, Leah feeds on ideas gathered from the small people working at her side, students in her workshops and accomplished artists working around the world. Leaving the doors to inspiration wide open, her art grows with each suggestion and comment made by those in her surroundings.


Leah offers classes at her Spark Studio in Ballard (Seattle.)  Looking for a special treat? How about a weekend of felting on Whidbey Island?
Nunofelt Basics – a two-day workshop at Pacific Northwest Art School
Coupeville, WA
April 26 & 27, 20149-4pm
$255, material fee $40, registration fee $15
Felting wool through a base fabric creates a new cloth, both warm and flexible and often with a puckered or ruffled texture. Nunofelt offers structure and support to a thin piece of felt, allowing a fabric that is lighter than would be possible with pure wool.
In this two day workshop, students will create several samples to understand the method and textures possible using this technique. Using these samples as a point of departure, they will create create a scarf, shrug or wrap.

Upcoming Acrylic Workshops with Barbara De Pirro

Barbara De Pirro, a SDA WA member, is a painter, sculptor, installation artist and educator, sponsored by Golden Artist Colors, Inc. She works both two and three dimensionally, translating and cross pollinating her concepts from one media to the other. Her expansive knowledge of acrylic, combined equally with her broad understanding of a full range of media opens the door to vast possibilities. All of this, she generously shares with other artists in her workshops and lectures.

All products graciously provided by Golden Artist Colors for Barbara’s classes.  Most other supplies & tools provided by instructor.  Supply list provided.

Here are some of Barbara’s upcoming classes:


Encaustic Effects with Acrylic

Encaustic Effects with Acrylic

Encaustic Effects With Acrylic

APR 5 & 6, 11-4


Learn how to create the luscious effect of wax encaustic surfaces, both transparent & translucent, using acrylic gels and mediums. Explore layering in painted, collaged, drawn or transferred images. These techniques will create a mysterious & luminous depth, enriching your artwork!

Where: Artist & Craftsman   4350 8th Avenue NE, Seattle, WA

Contact for registration:



Collage & Mixed Media

Collage & Mixed Media

Collage & Mixed Media

MAY 11, 11-4

Discover methods of combining textile, fiber, paper, found objects and acrylic to create inspirational artworks.  Build up surface texture, imagery and pattern using both collage and assemblage techniques, combined with a range of textural acrylic products.  Gain a concise understanding of the qualities each product offers; in creating texture, for gluing and embedding.

Where:  Artist & Craftsman   4350 8th Avenue NE, Seattle, WA
Contact for registration:



Acrylic Essentials: Mediums & Gels

Mediums & Gels

Mediums & Gels

MAY 24, 11-4

Gain a working knowledge of one of the most versatile and durable painting options for artists today, Acrylic!  We will focus specifically on the vast array of mediums & gels, extending paints, altering viscosity, changing the sheen, slowing down drying time and so much more. Understanding each of the unique characteristics of the various products is the key that unlocks & blasts open the door of possibilities.

You will create samples of each product,  process & technique; each detail will be documented, creating a reference that will prove to be an invaluable resource for all future projects.  All levels are welcome.

Where:  Dakota Art Center  17873 SR 536, Mt. Vernon, WA

Contact for registration:  (360)416-6556 ext 5



Texural Surfaces

Texural Surfaces

Textural Surfaces

JUNE 8, 11-4

Explore a diverse and remarkable combination of textural acrylic grounds, pastes and gels. Discover the unique qualities each product

offers in its natural state, plus a range of techniques that can be used to manipulate the surface. Experiment with paint on each of these surfaces, extended with water, or mixed with various mediums. The same technique appears very different with each new product.

You will create samples of each product,  process & technique; each detail will be documented, creating a reference that will prove to be an invaluable resource for all future projects.  All levels are welcome.

Where:  Artful Touch   12437 116th Avenue NE, Kirkland, WA

Contact for registration:  (425)823-2336



For more about Barbara’s art, go to her website at:  or her Facebook page:  De Pirro Studio


An amazing opportunity for you to work with Lucia Neare

Lucia Neare is an acclaimed multidisciplinary artist: a classical singer, director, designer, sculptor, large-scale producer, and teacher. She is artistic director of Lucia Neare’s Theatrical Wonders, a Seattle-based company that creates large-scale site-specific works transforming familiar or forgotten urban spaces into ephemeral dreamscapes.  Lucia is Redmond’s Artist in Residence for 2014.
Check her website, it’s amazing!


For May 2014 Lucia is creating an outdoor extravaganza which will include mice on unicycles, swing dancing bakers, a May pole and 20′ golden eggs!!  Want to be part of this!  I certainly do.  She has specifically asked SDA  for our help, she needs creative people with a flair for fabric, us!  There are two opportunities…

1.  Lucia needs 6 – 10 volunteers to work on the day of the production, May 3, to help with set dressing, costume etc.  No special skills needed, just your artistic flair!

2.  Lucia urgently needs help to create large woven/knitted/crocheted (method is undecided yet) cradles in which the enormous golden eggs will be carried.  You will work in Lucia’s studio in Redmond, help design and create the props.  This is a wonderful opportunity to work on a large scale piece of public performance art.

If you are interested in either of the 2 opportunities, please email me as soon as possible.  Since the performance is May, I need to let Lucia know really quickly whether we can help her out.

Jacqui Calladine
SDA Eastside Group Leader

Natural Dyeing and Organic Indigo Vat Dyeing with Michel Garcia

The University of Washington School of Art in Collaboration with the Surface Design Association of Washington State and Earthues Natural Dye Company Seattle, WA are thrilled to present two workshops and an evening lecture with Michel Garcia!

Michel Garcia, natural dyeing expert

Michel Garcia

Workshop 1:  July 10 – 14, 2014, 9 am – 4 pm

Fundamentals of Color from Plants and Insects:  Exploring Wide Applications of Natural Dyeing and Printing on Textiles

University of Washington Seattle Campus:  Art Building Room 216

 Keen on sustainable development and ecology, Michel Garcia will teach special techniques for extracting dye from plants and insects and using these to dye and print on textiles. He will demonstrate a variety of mordants on cotton cloth, using various techniques to get a full range of shades in the same dye-bath! In this workshop, students will make different soluble extracts that can be used to dye wool, silk and cotton.

 In printing on wool and silk, the difficulties of using powdered dyestuff can be avoided altogether by using a natural extract. These extracts also present a wealth of opportunities as they can be applied directly to cloth. The class will use extracts to print directly onto wool and silk using blocks, paintbrush and screens. Michel will also present a variation that permits printing with indigo.

 Participant Experience: Dyeing experience required.  Natural dye experience preferred.

 Cost of the workshop is $575 including supply fee.


 Workshop 2: July 16 – 20, 2014, 9 am – 4 pm

Indigo: The Organic Reduction Vat

University of Washington Seattle Campus:  Art Building Room 216

Indigo has a reputation for being a difficult dye. In this class, students will discover some very simple methods to prepare natural organic indigo dye vats. These vats can be kept in the studio for a very long time and can be revitalized through readily available natural ingredients. Students will learn the mechanics of the vat and move beyond a single recipe to a thorough knowledge of the indigo process and the ability to select the appropriate vat to match the desired technique.

 Michel Garcia brings in depth experience and perspective to the vat process. His background in botany and chemistry and his intense knowledge of colorants combine with his enthusiasm for sharing this information! Students will learn about possibilities for making a natural indigo vat using henna, dates, figs, pears, or bananas as reagents. Students will be able to establish and to maintain a fast natural vat that can be used to dye any natural fiber.

Participant Experience: All dyers welcome.

Cost of the workshop is $575 including supply fee.


Lecture: Thursday, July 17, 2014, 7-8 pm, catered reception 8-9pm

Natural colors and even more

Center for Urban Horticulture

3501 NE 41st St, Seattle WA

Around the world, the rediscovery of colors from plants and insects is strongly linked with the concept of a “better life from natural substances”, of sustainable development, traceability and care for the planet.  From the point of view of Biology and “green” chemistry, it seems that the colorants from plants are bioactive components, with interesting protective effects on the body, even when they are used to dye a simple cloth. The plurality of biochemical effects of these colors is amazing. These natural substances are no longer considered as only ordinary colorants, but also as protective molecules. With the help of simple explanations, Michel Garcia will introduce the world of the bio-active dye.

A reception with wine and hors d’oeuvres will follow the lecture from 8-9 pm.

Cost of the lecture is $12.


Michel GarciaMichel Garcia short biography

Michel Garcia, a French national born in Casablanca, Morocco, has been interested in plants since childhood. He was a teenager when he first discovered a passion for natural dyeing and his study of plants and pigments over the decades has made him a leading authority on natural dyeing.  Author, collaborator, and founder of Couleur Garance and the Botanical Garden of Dye Plants in Lauris, Provence, he is a passionate advocate for the use of these dyes and for their many commercial and educational possibilities. His work includes professional consultation in West Africa, Tunisia, Mexico, United States, Canada, China, Indonesia, and Europe.  He has written 21 monographs and 3 books and is featured in three pedagogic DVDs.

Since founding his first company in 1988, Michel has continued in his in depth study of the biology and chemistry of plants. His generosity in founding the Botanical Dye Garden as a resource center for anyone interested in sharing in the knowledge of Natural Dyes extends to teaching philosophy.

He is an innovative dyer and hands-on teacher whose enthusiasm is infectious and knowledge extensive. He is interested in using simple methods to present the complex world of Natural Dyes to a wide public.

Registration for Workshop and Lecture


Registration for the workshops and the lecture will open at 9AM PDT on March 15th.  Acceptance into the workshops will be based on date of payment.  Class size for each workshop is limited to 15 each.  Participants can register for one workshop.    Please fill out registration form here (link will work starting at 9 am PDT on March 15):

 and follow the link for Pay Pal payment.  Registration is NOT complete until both the registration form has been filled out and payment has been received through Pay Pal.


Registration for the lecture and payment on Pay Pal can be found at (link will work starting at 9 am PST on March 15)

Lecture is limited to 200 people.  Registration is NOT complete until both the registration form has been filled out and payment has been received through Pay Pal.


Please email Layne Goldsmith

Presented by: University of Washington School of Art, Surface Design Association of Washington State, and Earthues Natural Dye Company.

Survey Results for SDA WA Dancing Surfaces Exhibition

In 2013, the Washington State SDA conducted a call-for-art for a juried exhibition, Dancing Surfaces, that took place at the Phinney Art Center in Seattle in August and September.  Thirty- one members from around the state submitted 50 pieces to be considered.  Thirty-two pieces were accepted from 23 artists.  Members were requested to complete a survey in the fall and winter after the show to determine the improvements that could be made to the show and the interest in shows, in general.  At that time, there were 266 non-institutional SDA members in Washington State and 72 members responded to the on-line survey.

The Dancing Surfaces Exhibition 2013 was put on by Washington State SDA and featured the work of 22 WA SDA members

The Dancing Surfaces Exhibition 2013 was put on by Washington State SDA

For the people who responded to the survey, seventy-four percent did not respond to the call-for-art for Dancing Surfaces.  The primary reason for not entering the show was that life events prevented the application (42%), could not prepare art in the timeframe allowed (41%), the time of year was not good because of other commitments (33%), time of year was not good because of other show conflicts (26%), and size restriction to only two feet or less was limiting (27%).  Other reasons that were important to some were:  a hesitancy to submit to juried shows (24%), restriction to art made in the last year was too limiting (22%), unfamiliarity with the venue (21%), not inspired by the theme (17%), afraid art would not be accepted (17%), have not made the step to submit to shows (15%), and venue was not the right caliper (13%).  Factors that were important to only a few were:  do not do artwork for shows (6%), application fee too high (7%), would rather enter a show for smaller sized art (6%), did not think the juror would accept art (4%), preparing the images (4%), and commission too high (2%).

For the 24% who responded to the survey and who did enter the Dancing Surfaces show, respondents felt that there was clear communication about the show (85%), good publicity (65%), and equitable arrangement of art (63%).  Forty percent felt the size restriction of less than 2 feet was limiting and 10% felt the commission was too high.

Interest in future shows among all respondents was high (89%), as was interest in juried shows (90%).  Many respondents were willing to provide samples of their art process (45%), give a lecture or presentation (35%) or demonstration (33%), conduct a class or workshop for adults (35%) or for kids (29%), and conduct docent tours (23%).

The primary reason members join SDA is to stay in the know about surface design events, people and activities (88%), to receive the Journal (74%), participate in shows (67%),  learn about surface design techniques and connect with people doing surface design (each about 60%).  About half of the members responding want to attend local meetings.

(Percentages are based on responses of agree and strongly agree with the statement.)

For detailed results, please contact SDA representative to WA- Barbara Matthews at