Batik and indigo dyeing workshop in Vietnam

And so 2017 ended with a last-minute trip I made to Hanoi, Vietnam for a batik and indigo dyeing workshop!

indigo workshop.jpg

What better way there is to travel than with the objective of immersion in a local, textile craft.

The 2 days workshop in the high hills of Pa Co in the beautiful Mai Chau valley of Hoa Binh, 150km west of Hanoi, was a culturally immersive experience. Not least for the amazing fellow textile lovers that I met on this trip, what a bunch of passionate, inspiring, creative women! 

Check out the Textile Linker website for more details of the craft-based workshops that they organise in Vietnam. Really glad that there are locals like Nguyen with a real love of the crafts who is also passionate and knowledgeable about sustainable development. 

Last workshop in Hong Kong for 2017!

This is a bit of a belated post but I've been meaning to post pics from our last marbling workshop at Makerhive in HK! Again it was fully-booked and I was lucky enough to have the help of Ana, who co-hosted the event with me. It was such a joy to work alongside happy, creative, inspired people passionate about crafts. A very therapeutic 2 hours that was, full of artistic discoveries and surprises. The beauty of marbling is its accessibility as an art form. It never fails to amaze me what variety of prints we pull in each class, all different in their approaches to colour, composition and style!



Night owl

It was so satisfying to put on the finishing touches to this commissioned piece. As I was sewing up the hem, I couldn't help noticing how the print rolled over onto the edges, lovely detail of a hand-made piece.

There is something quite thrilling about working at night, late into the night. With winter approaching, the night air is cuttingly crisp and clear. It is deep, intense yet peaceful.


Autumnal blaze

I've been meaning to post this for awhile now. A recent forest fire on Lamma left some amazing hues in its wake. Nature transforming nature, colour palettes that are beautifully coherent without any human intervention. Apart from putting out the fire, that is.

I'm hoping these will inspire my next colour stories.



I've been working more with colours of late, and the colour story of the month is turning out to be a violet/cyan one. Preliminary marbling on this 8mm silk chiffon scarf turned out rather nicely, love the way the silk chiffon captured each fine, tiny line and is beautifully translucent against light. I've ordered another batch of scarves to work on, following some interest from potential buyers! 


Troubleshooting Suminagashi

I've recently been asked this, and since it's also taken me a few trials to grasp Suminagashi marbling, I've decided to write a post on this relatively easy yet incredibly therapeutic printmaking technique. If you follow these steps, you should be able to ALWAYS achieve nice, clearly defined concentric circles. The fun then comes with manipulating and experimenting circles, colours etc. Preparation and having the right material is key.

Suminagashi is possible on water (I think), but I do it as a marbling technique simply because marbling on a thick viscous base gives you better control over how the inks spread.

4 points:

1) The base - I use Carrageenan marbling base (Carrageenan is a seaweed extract to thicken water. It comes in a powder form that you blend with water. Prepare and refrigerate this 24 hours ahead of printmaking)

2) Brush A dipped in ink. (I use Jacquard marbling ink, it is concentrated, spreads well and fixes onto fabric or paper)

3) Brush B dipped in dispersant/surfactant (to disperse the ink) (I use Jacquard synthetic gall but it is very strong, so use it 50% diluted).

4) Alum. Preparing your paper or fabric with alum solution prior to pulling your prints will ensure that the inks do not just slide off. Having said that, I used no alum in my first marbling trial and still managed to pull some prints, just with less definition.

Alternate between dipping brush A and brush B onto the surface of the water. It's a practice in steady-hands, my idea of meditative fun!


- To get darker circles/rings, you need the ink to be concentrated. And the more times you dip the inked brush tip onto the water surface, the more ink there'll be and the darker the resultant rings. Do that a few times before dipping the dispersant brush.

- Shorter time interval (faster dipping) between the dipping of inked brush vs dispersant brush will lead to tighter circles. For bigger gaps between rings, either increase concentration of dispersant on the brush or dip dispersant brush longer/more times onto the water surface.

Hope this helps! Happy printmaking ~~



Another farewell night on Lamma

Night-time on Lamma island, particularly in remote Pak Kok, feels special and intimate.



Even after almost 3 years of living here, I'm still in awe of how wild this island is, a mere 25mins away from bustling Hong Kong island. Ingrid's farewell night, engaging conversations as usual between a few close Lamma friends, something quite magical in the mix of external environment and interesting people. Eric said, living in a house with a view like this gives one perspective. 

And since marbling is the theme of the month, what better farewell gift than a marbled card & envelope set!

Hand-marbled card & envelope set