Printing with plants & natural dyes
The new schedule will be posted in January 2019.
If interested, please forward your e-mail address and I will notify you directly
when the workshops dates are ready.
Explore the fascinating process of creating botanical monoprints – dying and printing fabrics with native plants.
Each two-day workshop will cover:
• how to choose and prepare plants for printing
• processes for mordanting protein and cellulose fabrics with natural metal salts
• techniques using tannins and other additives to enhance your prints
• different procedures of constructing and cooking bundles
Each three-day workshop will cover:
• everything in the two-day workshops plus
• learn how to resist-print with plants and discharge natural dyes with plants
• understand how each mordant brings out different colours from a plant
• in-depth exploration of natural dye techniques working with cochineal, weld, logwood and indigo
• practice of over-dyeing fabrics to create a wide spectrum of colours
Workshops are held in a rustic barn located on 23 acres of meadows and deciduous trees,
minutes from Tweed and 37 km north of Belleville, Ontario.
The setting is very tranquil, with plenty of botanical materials from the property and dyer’s garden.
At the end of the workshop, you will leave with one-of-a-kind, eco-printed silk scarves and
fabrics to use in textile art or sewing projects.
Workshops require a minimum of four students; registration closes at six students,
so there will be plenty of personal attention!
Register by e-mail and secure your spot by forwarding a deposit of $100 by cheque or e-transfer.
The balance of the fee is due a month before the workshop date.
Please, no post-dated cheques.
Cost (including HST)
Two-day workshop: $270 Three-day workshop: $400
(incl. $50 lab fee) (incl. $70 lab fee)
Packages With Fabric Included
Two-day workshop: $470 Three-day workshop: $600
(incl. $200 for fabrics, $50 lab fee) (incl. $200 for fabrics, $70 lab fee)
Fabrics included in the package:
• 2 yards of silk Habotai 16 mm, 45" • 3 yards of silk Habotai 10 mm, 45" • 2 yards of silk Habotai 5 mm, 36",
• 3 meters of 419 bleached, mercerized, combed cotton,
• 4 x scarves 11" x 60", silk Habotai 8 mm with hand rolled hem
If the workshop is cancelled (insufficient attendance) you will receive a full refund.
If you must cancel for personal reasons, refunds less a $10.00 administration fee or a full credit towards another workshop
are given only if you contact me by phone or by e-mail at least 7 days before the date of the workshop.
Friday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
(Three-day workshops only)
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m
River House Studio
843 Stoco Road RR4
Tweed, Ontario K0K 3J0
Located approximately 2 1/2 hours from Toronto and Ottawa, 45 minutes north of Belleville.
From Hwy. 401, take exit 544. Take Hwy. 37 north towards Tweed for 37 km. Just before Tweed (at a blinking yellow light), turn right onto Marlbank Road. Drive about 3 km. After crossing a bridge, turn left onto Stoco Road. Keep left and drive about 3 km more. 843 Stoco Road is on your left — look for a large, grey barn.
All fabrics should be PFD (prepared for dyeing) or pre-washed
— 2 yards of heavier weight 100% silk Habotai 16 mm or Silk Dupion 19mm
— 2 to 3 yards light weight 100% silk Habotai 10 mm
— 2 yards light weight 100% silk Habotai 5 mm
— 2 to 3 meters of 100% cotton or linen
Students have to bring old bed sheets (100% cotton only).
I have silk fabric available for purchase in my studio.
Please, place orders before workshop.
Students should bring
— sewing tape measure
— paper and pen for taking notes
— camera for recording steps
— 2 large bowls that can get dirty (metal or plastic, ones from Dollar store are good)
— rubber gloves
— fabric and plant scissors, knife
— some means to identify your bundle (strips of coloured polyester fabric workes the best)
— wear old clothes and shoes
Bring brown bag lunch. Coffee and treats will be provided.
All native plant materials will be provided.
Feel free to bring any specialty plants such as eucalyptus, which you can purchase at a florist (just make sure the plant material is not treated or dyed).
Lab fee includes
— variety of native plant materials
— assorted natural dyes
— mordants for protein and cellulose based fabrics
— plastic wrap
— stretch wrap
— medical gloves
— twine to tie the bundles
— rubber bands
— large zip lock bags
— paper towel
Fabrics available at River House Studio
Silk Habotai 8 mm, hand rolled hem, 11" x 60"
Silk by yards
Silk Dupion 19mm, 45" wide
Silk Habotai 16mm, 45" wide
Silk Habotai 12mm, 45" wide
Silk Habotai 10mm, 45" wide
Silk Habotai 5mm, 36" wide
Cotton by metres –
419-Bleached, mercerized combed cotton, 45" wide, weight: 120 grams per metre
" I have just had the opportunity to share in a most exciting workshop with MARTA MOUKA, Tweed area artist and educator. Marta posted her "Eco Printing" workshop at her Facebook page and a number of area friends were keen to attend. On arrival on the first morning of the two day workshop, we walked into Marta's barn, and found the most amazing set-up imaginable for a group of eager dye work loving students... the main floor of the barn was set up as a classroom - individual tables for each student, an huge array of freshly harvested leaves and plants that would be used to lay out the patterning for our silk and cotton fabric, scarves and more. Each table was equipped with plastic cover, and Marta supplied all of the wrapping poles, buckets, rubber bands and iron pipes Her excellent set-up for the dye pots was impressive - three large base heat stations equipped with individual propane tanks, large and safe pots chosen specifically for the task at hand and she had a nice supply of logwood and alum ready to go into the pots.
After a lovely sharing of her own beautiful eco-printed art pieces that would be our inspiration for the work at hand, Marta carefully led us through the soaking of fabric in iron water, the layout of the natural materials including leaves, plant roots, and named them individually for our reference as we worked. She shared the process of the rolling and tying of the dye bundles before they would go into the dye pots. Supervision and help along the way certainly assisted in our keeping up with the timeline for heading the work into the timed dye process. While we waited, lunch was shared at a restful, shaded picnic table and treats of tea or cool drinks helped pass the time.
Overall, the six students in our two day workshop group were thoroughly satisfied – thrilled in fact with our pieces as they were unwrapped – with many stunning results. I certainly highly recommend this workshop series to those who want to learn from a serious practitioner like Marta, devoted to perfecting her own eco-print work, and as someone who really wants to share her techniques and skills with others. I look forward to the promise of "Part Two" in summer 2016.
Textile and Dye/Paint Artist
Surface Design Instructor,
St. Lawrence College, Kingston, ON
What a fabulous and productive weekend. Marta, your organization, variety of materials, up front information and well labeled samples made it wonderful. Then you left us on our own to create but were available to handle questions.
This made it very conducive to our varying abilities.
Thanks for sharing your beautiful barn, property, specimens and mostly yours and David's hospitality.
First I would like to thank you for all you’ve done for us during the time we spent at your beautiful home. The workshop was well organized and productive and the method I learned works well. Since I came home, I made 3 or 4 small runs and so far everything was successful.
So thanks again.
Thank you for the wonderful workshop. Your preparation for this weekend made activities run smoothly and logically.
The knowledge you shared is very much appreciated. Here are a few pictures of our group.
Just wanted to drop you a quick e-mail to say a big thank you again for the wonderful weekend! I seriously enjoyed myself and learned lots from you. Such a good teacher. I washed all my “pretties” again this morning just to get out any residue dye, and hung them on the line....
it looked so nice, I couldn’t help but take a few pictures of them gently swaying in the breeze....beautiful.
Thanks again Marta.....hope you have a very successful sale in Toronto in a couple of weeks, and perhaps we’ll cross paths again.