Essex Guild of Silk Painters
Essex Guild of Silk Painters

Workshop & Tutor Details: Sunday 14th

Below are details of each workshop and the tutor or tutors who delivered it.

Tutor biography:

Margaret Dunning










Tutor biography:

Sue Thomas









Temporary photo from Melinda Berkovitz's work

Tutor biographies

Elitta Fell and Delva Robinson
























Tutor biography

Clare Bullock











Tutor biography

Julie Winnard










Art Cloth- Embellishing the Surface: with Margaret Dunning


Sometimes that beautifully dyed piece of cloth yearns for a little or a lot more. This workshop transformed the surface by layering various techniques to create a cohesive design: think stunning infinity scarf, very special cushions or a beautiful piece of wall art.


Attendees were be trying out discharge (colour removal), stencilling, applique, masking, screen print and hand painting on a piece of pre-dyed silk (140cms by 50cms) in various paints and other media.


A passion for Textiles started when I was about 11. Silk Painting came much later by chance visiting an in-store demo in Germany.  I am self-taught but completed City &  Guilds Surface Design and Silk Painting just to confirm I had got it about right. A long standing member of the Guild I served on the committee during which time I have run workshop sessions in many venues. I now help run Staffs & Shrop branch of the Guild, and a Silk Textiles Group with the U3A.


Boats Beaches & Barnacles (Batik): with Sue Thomas


We used wax as a resist and a variety of traditional tools, stamps and brushes to create a design to celebrate being Beside the Sea and our coastline. This whole day workshop enabled us to have time to experiment and develop our designs using wax and steam fix dyes to build up the layers of colour and pattern.


Sue Thomas is one of our founders at Essex Silk Painters, is our Resident Artist, and a textile artist based in the Ongar area of West Essex. She helped run Essex for many years and runs both local Guild and her own classes, as well as selling her beautiful batik works at Guild stalls. She also has a Facebook page “Pure Silk Originals” and is particularly known for her lovely multi-layered batik work. She does many other things besides this!


Shibori workshop: with Elitta Fell and Delva Robinson


Shibori is a Japanese technique which produces patterns on fabric. There are an infinite number of ways one can bind, stitch, fold, twist or compress cloth for Shibori. This workshop covered three simple basic Shibori techniques: pole wrapping, clamping and binding. Participants were shown how to fold silk to the appropriate sizes, manipulate it for the different pattern effects, apply and fix colours. Students ended up with at least two completed silk scarf lengths.


Elitta Fell

She is the Guild’s Journal and website editor, having been a graphic/web designer for many years, and is also the Guild’s membership secretary.

As a silk painter for over 20 years artist based in Westerham, Kent, she is very active giving talks to various WI and craft groups, running workshops and selling silk items at craft fairs and Guild events. She offers group lessons and will happily undertake commissions.


Delva Robinson

Delva started learning silk painting at classes in a converted garage studio 25 years ago where the emphasis was on accuracy in copying designs and pictures, gutta outlining and precise mixing and measuring of colours.  Following this, and under the instruction of an artist friend she was able to move into looser flowing colour techniques using wax resist or dispensing with resist altogether. Delva has attended numerous courses and workshops on all aspects of silk painting.  She has exhibited Shibori work at exhibitions and craft events, finding it ideal  for her enthusiasm for creating wearable art. 


Nuno Travelling Cloth: with Clare Bullock


Attendees worked on a nuno-felted “Travelling Cloth” of their own under the direction of Clare Bullock, Feltmaker. Clare says of her own Travelling Cloth: “It is a personal journey, a visual diary, in other words a cloth that contains my joy, my tears, my fears, my strengths. Every stitch has an emotion, every pieced fabric a memory recorded.”


We used light weight loosely woven fabrics; the best kind of weaves for Nuno are silk chiffon, georgette, cotton scrim, muslin cheesecloth and light weight cottons. Silk headscarves or previously painted silk with a pattern were fine, the fabric does not need to be plain! The fibres and fabrics reacted with each other creating beautiful textures.


Clare’s love for all things woolly started when she was a small child. She has always been a maker, and has tried her hand at many things, but wool is her passion – a fascinating medium only restricted by the limits of imagination. She is a traditional wet feltmaker and textile artist. She completed her City and Guilds in Feltmaking at Missenden Abbey in 2013 and has been teaching and lecturing on the subject ever since. Apart from teaching at her own studio in a Sharnbrook, North Bedfordshire she also delivers a variety of workshops at other venues across the country.


Sea Textures: (1/2 day Beginners Iron Fix) with Julie Winnard


Beginners and developers had fun exploring iron-fix silk painting, using freehand techniques along with salt gutta and fabric paints to create sea textures. We cut pieces of our silk along with other papers, cards and embellishments to make finished sea-themed greetings cards to take home. This workshop was suitable for beginners or those not familiar with iron-fix paints. No drawing or painting skill was needed, nor silk-painting skill!



Julie is based in the Billericay area of Mid-Essex and sells both painted silk and other textiles, upcycled goods and crafts as Jez Designs. She has two online stores: jezdesigns which has jewellery and accessories and jezdesignscrafts where she sells crafting and sewing supplies and gifts. She also sells at fairs occasionally and offers bookable tutored sessions in her small studio in silk painting and textile related crafts for adults and children. She also runs the Essex Guild website!


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