IF YOU GO

What: Batik class by Elaine Bakkenson

When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 3 and 5

Where: Three Rivers Art Center, 109 N. Allen Ave.

Price$37

 

What: Sumi-e class by Trudy Farrell

When: 6:30 to 9 p.m. Aug. 6, 8, 13 and 15 5

Where: Three Rivers Art Center, 109 N. Allen Ave.

Price$35

 

What: Stitching class by Cheri Atkinson

When: Aug. 20

Where: Three Rivers Art Center, 109 N. Allen Ave.

Price$10

All classes are limited capacity. Pre-register at Three Rivers Art Center.

More info: 505-716-7660 or @www.threeriverswomen.org.

Farmington — Three Rivers Art Center is offering various classes next month, ranging from beading stitches to Asian and Pacific Island art techniques.

Center members teach various classes throughout the year. August's class schedule kicks off Aug. 3 with a batik class taught by Elaine Bakkenson. Beginning Aug. 6, Trudy Farrell will lead a twice-weekly sumi-e class. And on Aug. 20, Cheri Atkinson will teach a class on stitching.

Batik is a type of fabric dyeing that uses wax to create patterns. It is a traditional method of dyeing used in Indonesia.

Bakkenson started her batik work after reading a newspaper article about the technique, which led her to take classes on the subject.

"I grew up in a period of time when people did their own clothing," said Bakkenson, who now weaves and dyes her own wool.

Bakkenson said one of her favorite parts of batik is working with fabric. The fabric has to be natural for batik to work, Bakkenson said. Synthetic fabrics don't produce colors that are as bright.

"I love working in silk," Bakkenson said, adding that it is the preferred fabric for clothing.

When doing the batik work, Bakkenson paints on the wax free-hand and uses three to four colors. Her primary palate includes gold, red and purple, and her designs include flowers, trees and landscapes.

Only days after Bakkenson finishes her batik class, Farrell will hold her first class on sumi-e. The word sumi-e means ink picture in Japanese, although the technique originated in China.

Elaine Bakkenson s silk/batik scarves.
Elaine Bakkenson s silk/batik scarves. (Augusta Liddic/The Daily Times)

Farrell, a former San Juan College art teacher, used sumi-e in her classes as another way of drawing.

"I used to make my students draw with sticks, too," Farrell said.

Sumi-e has four main brush stokes known as the Four Gentlemen -- bamboo, wild orchid, chrysanthemum and plum branch. Farrell said the theory is if you can do the strokes making up those four images, you can draw anything.

But there aren't a lot of bamboo forests in the Farmington area, so Farrell has her students gather local plants. She said they will learn sumi-e using both weeds and flowers.

"It's fun, and it's meditative and relaxing," she said.

 Mesopotamia,  a necklace by Cheri Atkinson.
Mesopotamia, a necklace by Cheri Atkinson. (Augusta Liddic/The Daily Times)

The final classes next month will be taught by Atkinson, one of the center's beaders.

Atkinson, who previously taught the peyote stitches, said the stitches she'll be teaching in August are more stitches people can add to their repertoire.

Students in Atkinson's class can make little charms that can be given as a present or hung on a backpack.

What prompted Atkinson to start beading?

"I like little things that sparkle," she said.

Hannah Grover covers news, arts and religion for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 and hgrover@daily-times.com. Follow her @hmgrover on Twitter.