Helen Mortimer – November 2013


It is not very often that our speaker arrives with an easel ready to do a demonstration during their talk. Yesterday Helen Mortimer, silk artist from Newbury talked about her background and how she became interested in working with silk.  She had a Fine Arts background and then worked at Sotherby’s & Dreweatts where she was surrounded by artistic things.   In 2000 she went to Newbury  College where she passed her PGCE and then  had various jobs teaching adults and children alike.   In 2007 she took the brave step of resigning from her job and concentrating on her own work. In  time she had sufficient pieces to exhibit and joined the Newbury Open Studios.  She has now ventured further afield and belongs to Made in the Hood which is based in Hampshire.

Helen then demonstrated the technique of painting on silk using steam fixed dyes where she wetted the silk first and then applied  various silk paints creating a flower design or in wide bands. Finally she sprinkled rock salt and after about half an hour we were able  to see the amazing effect. Helen  also talked about using gutta as a resist for the iron fix method of painting on silk.


To end her talk Helen explained the technique for various pictures, scarves, handkerchiefs and cards that she had designed.

Thank you Helen for a most enjoyable and informative afternoon.

The next meeting of the Guild will be on Monday 2 December (12.00 for 12.30) when we will have a “bring and share” lunch and a “surprise” event/speaker – have to wait and see!

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