From education to employment

Industry Professionals Deliver Creative Workshop at Alton College

An engaging and intriguing Shibori workshop impressed a number of hardworking A Level students at Alton College(@Be_HSDC)

Artist Helen Sill recently visited first-year A Level Art Textiles students to talk about her experience as a Textiles Artist and traveller in India and Uzbekistan alongside running a Shibori workshop with fellow artist Liz Mullinger.

Helen, an artist from Petersfield discussed her unique textiles journey to the students, exploring her past travels to India and Uzbekistan, and detailing their textiles traditions, history and cultures. Helen even bought along some beautiful treasures that she collected on her travels for students to see.

Helen, alongside friend and artist Liz then ran an incredible Shibori workshop, bringing along an array of equipment including two indigo dyeing vats, cotton fabric, drainpipes, and wooden blocks. Students were then able to work on Shibori stitching and dyeing to produce their own samples alongside learning some traditional techniques. 

Helen said:

“It was an absolute pleasure to engage with such a lovely group of enthusiastic students about my work – their insightful questions were fantastic too!   

Alton College Textiles

Liz and I also enjoyed sharing our expertise with regard to Japanese Shibori and indigo dyeing techniques as well as exploring the creative possibilities of upcycled textiles at the workshop we ran. It was great to be a small part of the student’s creative journey.”

Liz Henley, Teacher of Art and Design added:

“We spent the afternoon stitching, folding and tying, and watching as our fabric pieces were transformed in the dye vats. Indigo dye is green until it oxidises and then develops the characteristic blue which we expected. We were fortunate as the sun shone and we were able to work outside – which was great as indigo smells quite strange! 

Helen and Liz were brilliant and generous teachers, and everyone had a great time. We are very grateful to them both and look forward to a return visit in the future.”

A huge thank you to Helen and Liz and we look forward to welcoming them back to Alton College in the future. 

Related Articles