Natalie Stopka

October 7, 2015

marbled notecards

Filed under: marbling,paper — Tags: , , , — Natalie @ 9.12 am

New in the shop:

natalie stopka: marbled notecards

natalie stopka: marbled notecards

August 10, 2015

fall workshops

Filed under: workshops — Tags: , , — Natalie @ 12.42 pm

Fall workshops are now open for registration! You can check them out here, or register directly.

large scale fabric marbling

August 6, 2015

natural dye exhibition

Filed under: goings-on,natural dyes — Tags: , , , — Natalie @ 10.05 am

The Mendocino Art Center will be holding a reception for their Natural Dye Showcase this Saturday, August 8, featuring a discussion with the artist and juror Yoshiko I. Wada. I am honored to have work included in the exhibition, and wish I could be there myself!

natalie stopka: the plant-lore and graden-craft of shakespeare

Natural Dye Showcase

August 3 – 28, 2015

Mendocino Art Center, Main Gallery

45200 Little Lake Street, Mendocino CA

Gallery Talk: Saturday, August 8th, 4:00

Opening Reception: Saturday, August 8th, 5:00-8:00


June 10, 2015

new suminagashi scarves

Filed under: goings-on,marbling,textiles — Tags: , , , , — Natalie @ 12.23 pm

suminagashi marbled scarf xxiv

A number of new suminagashi marbled scarves are now available in the shop! Many of these received experimental techniques in their creation, resulting in an unusual array of form and line quality. The scarves are printed on a diaphanous silk/cotton blend, and some have been naturally dyed in subtle base tones. Each is a unique, permanent monoprint created by hand. Find them all here.

suminagashi marbled scarf xxiv

suminagashi marbled scarf xvii

suminagashi marbled scarf xv

May 20, 2015

rebound: The Plant-Lore and Garden-Craft of Shakespeare

Filed under: binding,goings-on,textiles — Tags: , , , , , — Natalie @ 8.47 am

rebinding: the plant-lore and graden-craft of shakespeare

I found this second edition of the Rev. Henry N. Ellacombe’s The Plant-Lore and Garden-Craft of Shakespeare, published in 1884, fallen to pieces at Mercer Street Books & Records. I took it home with me, immediately determined to design a new binding for it. Something to save it from further damage and do justice to this wonderful tome.

rebinding: the plant-lore and graden-craft of shakespeare

Admirers of Shakespeare may already be familiar with the Reverend Ellacombe’s work, as well as the many other books on Shakespeare’s use of gardens and wildflowers in his writing. The text can be read in its entirety here, and the beautifully illustrated third edition can be viewed here – as well as Ellacombe’s argument for Shakespeare as an Angler.

rebinding: the plant-lore and graden-craft of shakespeare

The book was in lousy but not terrible shape when I acquired it. I purchased a french edition of Madame Bovary along with it, which is also destined for rebinding but turned out to be in somewhat poorer condition and is still awaiting my attention. I simply disassembled and re-sewed Ellacombe’s work, and replaced the tattered pasted-on headbands with hand sewn silk ones. The very vast majority of my work went into the embroidered cover.

rebinding: the plant-lore and graden-craft of shakespeare

I laid out the cover in formal symmetry as a nod to the embroidered books gaining popularity during Shakespeare’s time, as well as Elizabethan era garden design with its symmetric ‘thick-pleached alleys.’ Each quadrant depicts a plant prominent in Shakespeare’s writing (and thus Ellacombe’s) of particular symbolic meaning: honeysuckle, calendula, burdock, and rose, as well as a pansy on the spine.

The linen book cloth as well as embroidery threads and headbanding silk were each naturally dyed with plants foraged in upstate New York. These include oak and birch leaves, apple and cherry barks, and willow fronds.

rebinding: the plant-lore and graden-craft of shakespeare

rebinding: the plant-lore and graden-craft of shakespeare

A labor of love -  especially the needle weaving.

April 27, 2015


Filed under: goings-on — Tags: , , — Natalie @ 9.20 am

Erin Fletcher of Herringbone Bindery was kind enough to interview me as April’s Book Artist of the Month on her blog, Flash of the Hand. You can read the interview series here to learn more about the process behind my work, and check out the other artists and bookbinders featured in her wonderful ongoing series. Thanks Erin!

book artist of the month

April 10, 2015

natural dye workshop

Filed under: natural dyes,workshops — Tags: , , , — Natalie @ 9.46 am

Join me on May 2-3 at the Center for Book Arts for an Introduction to Natural Dyes, a weekend-long workshop for book artists and crafters to learn the fundamentals of botanical dyeing. Bring the beautiful and subtle colors of the natural world into your work with techniques for mark- and pattern-making on both paper and fabric. The questions of materials choice, mordants, and permanence will the addressed. This workshop runs just once a year, so register now!

introduction to natural dyes

April 2, 2015

suminagashi prints

Filed under: goings-on,marbling,paper — Tags: , , , , — Natalie @ 9.17 am

Continuing my exploratory suminagashi series, I have some new prints on paper. Like the recent fabric pieces (and don’t worry, there are more of those to come – I know some of you have been waiting), these are an experimental melding of traditional technique with some heterodox contemporary additives. The process is very unpredictable, but also freeing. It’s just what I need after a 4-month stint of intense freelancing. I am so happy to get back in my studio, with renewed focus and an ambitious list of projects.

suminagashi print: floe

suminagashi print: floe

Some of these suminagashi prints will be on view at the upcoming CBA exhibition Then & Now: Ten Years of Residencies at the Center for Book Arts, opening April 17. The show includes an impressive roster of past residents exhibiting contemporary work alongside pieces from the CBA archive created during their time in residence. It’s going to be a jam-packed show and quite the reunion!

Then & Now: Ten Years of Residencies at the Center for Book Arts

Center for Book Arts, 28 West 27th Street, 3rd floor

Opening Reception Friday, April 17th, 6-8pm

Roundtable discussions with the artists will follow on May 1, June 5, and June 19

suminagashi print: ablate

suminagashi print: vesiculate

March 21, 2015

spring workshops

Filed under: goings-on,workshops — Tags: , , , , — Natalie @ 11.28 am

The long list of spring workshops is now posted and open for registration! In addition, the Sewing Seeds program at TAC is now accepting applications to its summer residency. The residency is a fantastic 6-week opportunity to access local natural dyes, use the studio, and engage the community by creating site-specific work in the natural dye garden in Bushwick. What could be better?

sewing seeds: bundle dyeingimage courtesy of Sewing Seeds

March 16, 2015

marbling patterns: feather

Filed under: how-to,marbling — Tags: , , , , — Natalie @ 9.52 am

Now we come to some exciting compound patterns in our series of marbling pattern tutorials. These rely on a series of basic patterns repeated one after another. For the most uniform results, use a set of marbling combs and keep your hand steady, with your eyes focused on the movement of just one tine through the pattern in the vat. Of course, you can achieve similar but more organic results by drawing with a stylus. Remember, the diameter of the stylus will impact the line quality, and the spacing of the pattern at each step will influence the outcome, so feel free to play with the scale along the way. And, lastly, remember to take your paper grain into account when planning out the pattern.

The feather pattern begins with a getgel, continues with the nonpareil, and is completed with a widely-spaced getgel.

nonpareil diagramThe getgel at left is followed by the nonpareil.

feather diagramThen follows a widely-spaced getgel (about 3″), perpendicular to the nonpareil pattern.

marble pattern: feather

Having completed the getgel, the nonpareil is now drawn with a stylus or a nonpareil comb.

marble pattern: feather

Perpendicular to the nonpareil stripes, this is followed by widely spaced parallel lines.

marble pattern: feather

In the spaces between these lines, another series of parallel lines are drawn running in the opposite direction.

marble pattern: feather

And the feather pattern is complete!

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