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  Selected Makers

Mandy Southan

Mandy Southan's exquisite silk scarves and wraps are created using a combination of hand-painting, dip-dyeing and shibori techniques. Each piece is unique and draws on Mandy's extensive knowledge of traditional Japanese resist techniques and her skills as a colourist and silk painter. She mixes the dyes for each scarf individually, blending and over-painting to create the extraordinary shades and colour combinations that are the hall-mark of her work.

The underlying pattern is painted in several layers, using wax and gutta resist to reserve areas of the design. The dyes are steam-fixed and the silk is then finely hand-pleated or bound and over-dyed, using a variety of shibori techniques to create 3-dimensional textures which are set using a process which Mandy has developed to achieve semi-permanence. Quality, and care and attention to detail is evident in every step of the process; hand-rolled edges, tiny hand-dyed silk tassels or beautiful, colour-matched lampwork glass beads (which Mandy also makes herself) add finishing touches.

Mandy's pleated silks have a sculptural, dynamic quality when worn, opening and closing with movement, revealing and concealing the underlying pattern. Her inspiration comes from the natural world: "I love all things speckled and spotted, streaked and striped; dappled light, moving water, fish and animal markings, all the complex and diverse patterns found in nature".

Mandy is author of 5 instructional textile books, including bestselling 'Beginner's Guide to Silk Painting' and 'Shibori - Designs and Techniques'. She has contributed work to numerous publications, including 'Textiles' by Mary Schoeser and 'Textiles Now' by Drusilla Cole. She teaches at West Dean College and at her home studio. She is president of The Guild of Silk Painters and is a member of The Sussex Guild. Mandy's work is available to purchase on her website (see below) and at Sussex Guild shows throughout the year.

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"So long, and thanks for all the fish"

After very many years of craft&design we've decided that we'd like to retire and so in 30 days we will close the craft&design website, including craft&design Online and the craft&design Selected Makers and Craft and Design Month websites. We've had a brilliant 35 years and would like to thank all our readers, advertisers, writers, contributors and website visitors for their support throughout that time. Our very best wishes to you all for the future - Angie and Paul.