From a Selfie to (Self) Portrait in Textiles


  • Maiwa Loft #6-1666 Johnston St Vancouver, BC V6H 3S2 canada

With Tilleke Schwarz

$295 [Includes $40 lab fee] Class limit 14. Sept 13, 14 (Wed, Thu) 10am-4pm.

The focus of this workshop will be designing a portrait (or group of portraits) on textiles. As always I very much like my students to work in their own style.

The workshop will start with a few quick collages on paper in which we explore translating a portrait (photo) to paper and we also see what happens if we design a self-portrait based on what we remember.  It will be fun to add to the collage a few personal items that relate to the portrait. These techniques on paper allow students to experiment and to try out new ideas—even without accomplished drawing skills. 

During the workshop I’ll demonstrate my favourite embroidery technique, which includes couching and appliqué. Couching is a kind of drawing with the needle—very useful for texts. Appliqué is suitable for covering surfaces as is the sewing machine.

Demonstrations and lectures will include my favourite embroidery techniques and inspiration. While students will focus on hand embroidery, it is perfectly all right to incorporate any other (textile) technique or to bring your own sewing machine.

Hand-stitching is fun and relaxing but time-consuming; students should not expect to finish a new work in the workshop. The aim is to leave with plenty of new ideas and a start for a new portrait on cloth.

Tilleke joins us from the Netherlands and will also give a lecture.

Supply List PDF


Tilleke Schwarz uses a mixture of text, graphics, and humour in her embroidery. The humour is typical for her Jewish background: mixing a laugh and a tear. She finds inspiration in daily life, graffiti, and traditional stitch samplers.

Tilleke was born in the Netherlands. She learned embroidery from her mother. For a long time she combined an art career with a professional career for the Dutch national government (policy development), but for the last ten years she has worked at her art full time.

Tilleke exhibits her work internationally, including at the Friesian Museum and Museum Rijswijk, Netherlands; Museum of Arts and Design, New York; Textile Triennial, Lodz, Poland; Fiber Art International, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; International Textile Triennial, which travels to Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic; and the Kaunas Biennial, Lithuania. She has won a few prizes. Pictures of her work have appeared in many books and magazines all over the world.

www.tillekeschwarz.com