Monday, July 4, 2011

Workshop with Radha Chandrashekaran + The Pulse!

Last Saturday I attended a fun and fascinating workshop given by printmaker and mixed media artist Radha Chandrashekaran.  She taught three separate techniques: acrylic gel image transfers, kalamkari fabric painting, and takuhon stone rubbing.

Kalamkari is the ancient art of decorating cloth using a kalam (pen) to draw patterns; the tradition dates back to at least 3,000 B.C.E.  Above, Radha demonstrates how to make the kalam by winding woolen cloth around a bamboo stick, then wrapping the cloth in yarn or thread.

A piece of kalamkari- decorated cloth from India.

Radha demonstrates drawing with the kalam.  The wool reservoir holds enough ink to make a long line without "re-dipping" the pen.

Participants get to try it out...

and see what happens...


Here Radha explains takuhon, a traditional stone rubbing technique invented in China about 1900 years ago.  Rice paper is sprayed with water and placed over the surface to be printed,

then rubbed with a seed-filled cloth dipped in ink.

Workshop participant Kathleen Piercefield working on one of her pieces.

This was so much fun that I got quite involved, and didn't take too many photos from this point on.  It's not that easy to participate in a workshop and photograph it at the same time!

A couple of the rubbings I did using Radha's laser-cut wood blocks.

This is a piece Radha was using to demonstrate gel medium transfers.  Please visit her website and take a look at her gorgeous work.

No, it's not the sound of fireworks (good guess, though).  Nope!  Guess again...

It's the sound of a PULSE!   More precisely, the 5th edition of The Pulse -- The State of the Art -- "a survey in words and pictures of the online artist community [masterminded by Seth Apter of The Altered Page]. The Pulse is a collaborative project that aims to introduce you to new artists, help you get to know familiar faces even more, and allow you access into the creative hearts and minds of a very talented crew of individuals."  What could be cooler than that?  Get on over there and check it out!


  1. mmmlooks like a great way to spend a weekend!! I will go check out her website for more inspiration. I spent the whole weekend painting poppy fields and getting all bit up from biting flies...oh joy....we should collect hazard pay!!
    I also read your interview...fabulous art you show and very interesting read.

  2. What very cool processes! Love those!

  3. It all looks very interesting..... the seed filled cloth, the kalam .... and I love that piece at the end.

  4. The end pieces have the feel of collage work- glad you shared the photos up until you were too busy... Thanks for sharing-

  5. Illuminating. I can't say I've heard of kalamkari before. I'm already wondering what other things the pen can be dipped into for special effects.

  6. awesome! my blog post about the same workshop:

  7. absolutely beautiful... thanks for sharing:) i love your altered book too. xo jennifer


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