1. Where did you learn how to paint on silk?   
After I finished my United States Peace Corps - Philippines tour of duty, I went to Java, Indonesia.  There I studied the ancient fine craft of Batik.  I was most fortunate to meet and study under a Master of Batik, Bambang Oetoro.  Today, he is considered a national treasure of Indonesia.  The experience was life changing.  As you see I am still painting on textile today.

2.  How long does it take to paint a silk scarf?
 Well, it varies.  A large silk tapestry commission may take three weeks to a month.  Where as, a painted silk scarf can take from 4 to 5 hours.  Sometimes when finished and reviewing the scarf, I repaint it to making it more colorful or more complete.

 3. I would like to take you class but I can’t draw a straight line.  What do you say to people who are not artistic?   Believe it or not, my classes are for people who don’t want to draw straight lines.  Silk is magical especially the way it takes colors.  The results are often breath taking.  Because silk painting is tactile and more intimate it offers participants a relaxed and enjoyable experience.  It’s easy to to paint and with encouragement it’s great fun.

 4. How long have you been painting on silk?
I starting working in batik in 1970.  Now I’am giving my age away.I started silk paint in 1975.  Doing batik on a good cotton is like a good wine. Painting on good silk, brings out the beauty of color and elegance. It was more like a fine French wine.

5. Where do you teach and do you have people with no experience  take a beginner silk class?    Yes I do!  I teach classes at my studio in Sarasota.  I also offer classes at art centers and botanical gardens around the country.  Recently, I had a wonderful class at Art Ovation Hotel in Sarasota. I have three  different classes.  A two to three day class that teaches the art of textile design on silk. This is my favorite.  I also offer a two hour class that’s great fun and people come away with a great looking designer scarf.  The third is making scarves from a motif.  It offers a quick way to paint a scarf.  If you’re interested call me at 941 284 7277 or jamie@kirkellsilkstudios.com

6.  I would like to buy silk.  Who do you recommend?
Art stores having limited silk supplies I recommend contacting Dharma Trading Company asking for their brochure.  You can purchase silks, dyes and much more. They’ve been around fo 50 years.

7.  I live in (insert state here). Do you teach there?   Yes, I would be open to teach in your area.  If you can contact your art center  or give me a contact name, I would be happy to contact them.  This makes it possible for the art center to consider a class and it often works out very well.