Mark Making & Mandala Magic at Empty Spools Seminars 2024

Oh my goodness--this past month has been such a whirlwind that I haven't had a chance to document my week of teaching Mark Making & Mandala Magic at Empty Spools Seminars! So without further ado, join me for a look into an incredible week of teaching.

Teaching a 6-day workshop involves lots of packing and prepwork. Thankfully this was my second time teaching this class so I already had checklists for what to pack and prep--but it is still an involved process! Phew--everything seemed to fit with plenty of visibility to drive down to Pacific Grove!

Here's the Asilomar Conference Grounds' welcoming committee waiting to greet me outside of my dormitory and classroom building!

There were 4 fabulous creatives in my workshop...and boy did we enjoy the VIP experience of having all that space to make marks on fabric!! Suzanne, one of the co-organizers was surprised to see how much space we were using when she stopped by our classroom! The first two days were spent learning a variety of techniques to make marks on fabric using different acrylic paints. Making marks on fabric is so much fun, so having all that space meant that everyone was able to play and produce lots of incredibly patterned fabrics! Here are some sneak peeks into everyone's design walls filled with their growing collection of mark making fabrics...
  • Top left: Debbie
  • Top right: Denise
  • Bottom right: Michelle
  • Bottom left: Pam

It's always fun to see which techniques each artists gravitates towards. Stamping was especially popular with this group! As the fabric palettes started to really grow, it was time to shift our attention towards incorporting those beautiful fabrics into an original mandala design. Over the last 2 days, it was so much fun to see everyone's mandalas blossom and bloom into brilliant art quilts!

Pam was the first to fuse down her ethereal mandala embellished with a few feathered friends! Her specialty was careful color placement with the sun prints!

Debbie was already in the mandala spirit as she made this beautiful apron for herself and her friend Michelle. Her monochromatic blue mandala was absolutely beautiful and filled with a wonderful selection of the many techniques she explored!

Michelle excelled at creating repeat prints which you can see her in action below! Transforming her solids into amazing printed patterns added so much visual interest to her aqua mandala!

Last but not least is Denise, who was our classroom host extraordinaire! She brought so much enthusiasm to the various techniques, especially when it came to making block prints! Her fused mandala glows and radiates beauty!

The final afternoon schedule is set aside for open studios where attendees visit the various classrooms to see everyone's progress and projects. It was so much fun to see the visitors ooh and ahh over the fabrics and mandalas on display around our classroom. I wore my new mandala dress (complete with pockets!) to celebrate the occasion!

Asilomar is a beautiful venue filled with so much natural wonder and inspiration--which I spotted along my walks to and from the dining hall.

Here are some of my fellow instructors who were teaching during Session 2. It was wonderful to celebrate our week together with an evening out at Fish Wife restaurant.

Of course with these instructors and the surrounding beauty, you can imagine all the creative energy flowing at Empty Spools Seminars! I'm glad I packed a travel kit of my favorite art supplies to channel my own creativity each evening as I worked on creating Artist Trading Cards as part of my 100 Day Project of Making and Mailing ATCs

Here are some sneak peeks into my evening ATC creations...

Many thanks to Gayle and Suzanne for inviting me to teach at Empty Spools Seminars this year. Special thanks to the other instructors and attendees for all the spirited conversations during meal times and evening programming! And many thanks to my fab four participants for stretching outside of their comfort zones to try a variety of new-to-them techniques!