READING development officer Dionne Hood from Keighley Library came across the road to demonstrate silk painting to Keighley Art Club.

She had spent 15 years teaching art and design before redundancy struck, and club member Vivienne O’Connell resumed her acquaintance after recalling attending Dionne’s ceramic classes.

All materials were included in Dionne’s demonstration, such as gutta in several colours, pre-printed or as plain silk. There was freezer paper has backing, and specific silk prints.

Most of the members painted a pro-forma. It was explained that items can be framed, glued to greetings cards, or used to create silk, rayon or polyester scarves or ties.

Firstly, gutta outlines are added to the material in your chosen design, then left to dry fully. Adding silk paint gently creates a spreading action even more fluid than watercolours on paper.

The same techniques of wet-in-wet or layering can be used.

Colours can be mixed from the bright primary colours, and toned down with water for pastel shades.

When making your own work, the material is first backed with shiny freezer paper on the waxy side then ironed on. Strangely, hot irons are also needed for encaustic wax painting.

Once the painting is dry, it can be left on the paper or peeled off and discarded.

Completed creations, once totally dry, can be fixed with a hot iron. If adorning a garment, they can be washed. The picture should become permanent.

Using spray glue, or a glue stick, the artist can place shapes or full pictures on cards.

I have in the past made such Christmas cards with a further layer of gutta drawn around the cut-out Christmas tree or Santa Claus.

Birthday cards look effective with a rough silk-edged shape or with smooth finish. Framed wall hangings add originality and personal thoughtfulness to gifts for family and friends.

I thought our silk creations were stunning, vivid and colourful after only a few minutes of tuition. We produced flowers, trees, owls and other items, all within our two-hour slot, a testament to Dionne’s training.

This coincidentally is the same lady who created the Art From Poetry exhibition in Keighley Library, to which we contributed.

Dionne hopes to repeat this type of project at Shipley Library in the future, and she also arranges reading, writing and other events in the libraries.

Dionne can be contacted for further information at Keighley Library.

There are no more art sessions at Keighley Art Club until February and March. David Starley will demonstrate with oils and palette knives on February 24, and Jeanette Bray will host ‘table for two’ on March 19.

Well-known artist Pat Jones will give a watercolour demonstration on March 16 and club member Diane Bromyard will bring photos of sporting action on March 23.

We welcome visitors to see demonstrators such as David Starley and Pat Jones. Anyone interested should call on the appropriate evening at Keighley Healthy Living, Scott Street, at 6.45pm.

There is a small charge to help cover room rental.