25th Anniversary Special Workshops

We’re Celebrating 25 Years This February

To commemorate 25 years of proudly serving vulnerable communities throughout New York City, we’re launching a series of single-session Special Workshops. These classes are offered at no cost to participants 18 years and older with visible or invisible disabilities. Suggested donation of $10 for all other adult participants.

For registration, please click here.

Questions? Contact learn@alphaworkshops.org or call 646-692-8091

 

Schedule

FEBRUARY 10 – Fooling the Eye with Faux Bois (Wood Graining)

2:00-4:00 PM

FEBRUARY 10 – Making Faces

6:00-9:00 PM

FEBRUARY 12 – Weaving

6:00-8:00 PM

FEBRUARY 13 – Decorative Glazing Techniques: Ragging

2:00-4:00 PM

FEBRUARY 18 – Weaving

3:00-5:00 PM

FEBRUARY 18 – Decorative Glazing Techniques: Strie

5:00-7:00 PM

FEBRUARY 19 – Origami: The Art of Folding Paper

6:00-8:00 PM

FEBRUARY 20 – Decorative Glazing Techniques: Color Wash

6:00-8:00 PM

FEBRUARY 21 – Block Printing

11:00 AM-1:00 PM

FEBRUARY 24 – Insight Drawing

FULL
6:00-8:00 PM

FEBRUARY 25 – Weaving

6:00-8:00 PM

FEBRUARY 26 – Block Printing

5:30-7:30 PM

FEBRUARY 27 – Big Brush Painting

FULL
6:00-8:00 PM

FEBRUARY 28 – Insight Drawing

10:30 AM-12:30 PM

FEBRUARY 28 – Big Brush Painting

2:30-4:30 PM

 

Class Descriptions

Block Printing

Block printing, also known as Woodcut or Linocut, is a traditional method of producing repetitive patterns on hand-painted wallpaper. The technique is also used in artisanal fabric and paper studios. Block printing is used in roughly half of The Alpha Workshops’ Painted Papers collection.

Participants will learn how to transfer a pattern onto a block stamp medium, neatly carve the block stamp, and print a smooth and consistent block stamp pattern onto paper. Each participant will develop a unique block stamp, and combine this original stamp with Alpha archival designs to block print a set of greeting cards to take home.

Big Brush Painting

This class provides a very basic understanding of how to hold, control, and use a natural bristle calligraphy brush traditionally used for Chinese calligraphy, as well as executing a single bold stroke with a very large horsehair bristle brush on large paper laid on the floor. Both applications serve as centering practices bringing one more fully into the depth of the present moment and in touch with the guidance from within. Brush, ink, and paper invite unlimited creative exploration and self-awareness.

Decorative Glazing Techniques: Color Wash

“Glazing” is a decorative painting technique that uses different tools like brushes, sponges, cloths, or combs to obtain specific decorative effects on surfaces such as walls, canvases, or furniture. This introductory evening workshop will focus on color wash, a generally soft technique that uses a bristle brush in a cross-hatching motion through a translucent or semi-translucent glaze to create an active but subtle background in one or more layers on walls.

Students will practice the color wash technique on a high grade 12” x 15” piece of wallpaper prepared with a varathane varnish that allows the sample paper to lay flat and the glaze technique to be applied smoothly. Upon class completion, participants will have 2 finished sample pieces reflecting different color choices and scale of cross-hatching.

Decorative Glazing Techniques: Ragging

“Glazing” is a decorative painting technique that requires the use of different tools like brushes, sponges, cloths, or combs to obtain specific decorative effects on surfaces such as walls, canvases, or furniture.

This introductory afternoon workshop will focus on ragging, a technique that employs a cloth rag, wax paper, or tissue paper to apply or remove either thinned paint or a tinted, semi-translucent glaze medium to or from a surface in one or more layers. Higher contrasting colors of ragging are frequently used for accent walls, cabinets, and doors, while lower contrasting colored ragging is attractive in living rooms and bedrooms.

The student’s “rag of choice” will be applied to a high grade 12” x 15” piece of wallpaper that students will prepare with a water-based varathane varnish as a sealant, allowing the paper to dry flat and the glaze technique to be applied smoothly. At the class completion, participants will have 2 finished sample pieces reflecting their color and rag choices.

Decorative Glazing Techniques: Sponging

“Glazing” is a decorative painting term that refers to the use of tinted translucent or semi-translucent glaze mediums in one or more layers to create interest and a sense of depth on walls, furniture, or even ceilings. By using different tools like brushes, sponges, cloths, or combs, beautiful backgrounds and visual textures can be created to enhance an interior.

This introductory workshop will focus on sponging, a basic technique that employs a natural sea sponge in a stamping motion – turning the wrist and the sponge between dabs to apply (or remove) the glaze evenly to or from a surface to create appealing, colored textures ranging from very fine to coarse. Multi-colored sponging is often seen in delicate textures in foyers, bathrooms, children’s rooms, and more bold textures in casual kitchens, bistros, and boutiques.

Participants will learn how to prepare a high grade 12” x 15” piece of wallpaper with a water-based varathane varnish as a sealant, allowing the paper to not warp and their sponging techniques to be applied smoothly. Participants will complete 2 finished sample pieces of their color preferences and combinations by end of class.

Decorative Glazing Techniques: Strie

“Glazing” is a decorative painting term that refers to the use of tinted translucent or semi-translucent glaze mediums in one or more layers to create interest and a sense of depth on walls, furniture, or even ceilings. This early evening introductory workshop will focus on strie, a technique using a bristle brush in a dragging motion through a translucent or semi-translucent glaze in one or more layers.

Participants will apply this strie technique to a high grade 12” x 15” piece of wallpaper that they will first seal with a water-based varathane varnish, allowing the paper to dry flat and the glaze techniques to be applied smoothly. At completion of these two hours, participants will have 2 sample pieces, one illustrating straight strie and the other a linen or denim effect.

Fooling the Eye with Faux Bois (Wood Graining)

This is a beginners’ class where the various uses and techniques of wood graining are discussed and demonstrated for the student to easily learn.  Using water-based paints, glazes, and easy-to-find tools, students will learn techniques to render oak, pine, and mahogany grains.

Insight Drawing

The InSight Drawing Method, originally developed by two-time Prix de Rome winning sculptor, Susan Smyly, is known to radically increase hand, eye, and brain co-ordination. Anyone willing to follow this structured method can quickly learn a masterly level of observing and rendering what they see.  Students frequently attest to enjoying this centering process and the coherent influence on their thought process as a consequence.

Making Faces

Drawing is a key skill for all fine and decorative artists. This beginner workshop examines how an artist approaches the process of visualizing the face on a page. Artists will be encouraged to bring in face-front or three-quarter-profile images to use as a basis for their drawings.

Origami: The Art of Folding Paper

Like a musical composition or a living sculpture, origami lets one ‘perform’ an exquisite shape while adding individual creativity, just like a musician performing a sonata, or a sculptor shaping clay. Participants will learn the basic geometrical forms and techniques of paper folding, then let their own creative impulses flow as they bring birds and animals to life in paper.

Weaving

Hand-weaving is the traditional way to produce cloth all over the world. This textile art can be learned and practiced by people of all ages and skill levels. “Weaving” introduces participants to the basics of this ancient and rewarding technique. Alpha’s resident weaver will acquaint students with the essential ideas, tools and techniques of working with yarn, looms, and shuttles. The class will view examples of woven cloths styles and completed fine weavings, then progress to practicing basic weaving skills on small hand-held looms. In addition to their newfound knowledge, participants will take away reference materials for future discovery and their own weaving samples.

 

 

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