10/24 The Alchemy of a Brushstroke: Painting with Tannins + Iron


Monday-Wednesday, October 24-26, 4-6pm at The Provincetown Art Association + Museum

Learn a magical plant and mineral painting process!
This technique results in bold, black mark making, thanks to the alchemical reaction between plant tannins (gallic acid) and iron (ferrous sulfate); their interaction is what the brushstrokes leave behind.

When painted onto prepared fabrics, this application is permanent and washable.

Many plants contain these transformative tannins; it is the astringent quality found in tea and witch hazel, and may act as a natural pesticide and protection for the plant. Tannins are found in oak galls, oak bark, staghorn sumac, black walnut hulls, acorns, and more. When combined with iron, the tannins react and blacken; a discovery that led to iron gall ink, the standard writing and drawing ink used in Europe from the 12th – 19th centuries.

In this 3-day workshop, learn how to prepare fabrics and ingredients, and how to apply them to yield permanent, washable works of art. Participants will leave with two, hand-painted cotton bandanas. And if you would like to use some of your own material as well, please refer to the materials list for directions on pre-treating fabric for this painting process*.

*Please note: It is recommended you bring your own brushes, all other supplies are provided via the materials fee.

Register at PAAM here