Welcome to Rita Silk - Hand dyed accessories, clothing, fine art wall hangings, and sculpture by Rita Bernstein


Play of Colors - Classes & Workshops with Rita

As artists storytellers we endeavor to plant a seed, and then nurture the opportunity with a follow-up “Hands On” event that will fulfill the purpose of both Entertainment and Art Education. It’s a wondrous show of “the art of making ART” bringing together performance and information. The “HOW TO” together with humor and Joy!

In the style of old world raconteurs, The “Play Of Colors” is about engaging people, students, guests, all witnesses are participants’ including the incidental passerby. Explanations are simple yet capture the personal imagination of the listener. Often it is about Clay, Silk Arts, Mask-Making as well as numerous other forms including Gourmet Cooking or the making of Potpourris.

It’s fun, it’s user-friendly and smiles are abundant! The rewards are heart-warming.

Rita is on the faculty of the Indian River Charter High School, Vero Beach FL., Vero Beach Disney Resort, Art Educator and Entertainer., McKee Botanical Garden, also recently on staff at the Vero Beach Museum of Art, Vero Beach, FL. and Dasie Hope Center in Wabasso, FL.

Silk Textile Design

Textiles are an ancient and venerable Art and Trade expression of all cultures. The course will begin with a brief overview of Textiles and its development and usage. A practical aspect of pigmentation of fiber and fabric becomes the artist media, and Silk specifically. Some history of silk itself as it is one of the most easily pigmented of natural fibers with spectacular results. Application of Colors to Fabric include; Printing Stamping, Folding, Tie-dying, Shibori, and Resists such as Gutta and Batik.

Includes some basic information on Design elements with a focus on specific ideas having to do with textiles; repetition, and contrast. This practice continues towards process of these principals in Black and White (or Indigo and White) designs. Here everyone sees the power of shape and space. Color Theory Introduction is both vital and exciting including the use of the color wheel and some other ideas on color including the use of color as active, passive presences and their interactive behaviors of colors.

Participants have opportunities to experiment with colors and designs in small project pieces, concluding with larger project addressing the use of several different techniques.

This workshops needs to be several hours in an introductory form, or several days for the more advanced/ and more in depth experience. Excellent for groups of beginners and can be modified to suit the needs interested artists/textile artists. The product outcomes can be expressions of larger works for textile artists; a final project can definitely be collaborative, as in a collage/quilt type of completed project.

Advanced Silk Textile Painting and Dying

Excellent course opportunity for people who have previously studied and practiced various textile techniques, such as printing, stamping, hand painting on silk, fold and tie-dye, Batik, Gutta application, and for those seeking critique and advanced information on color and compositions of visual effects. The class will be focused on larger wall hanging, yardage production and challenges that come into play after basic skills have been accomplished in other classes/experiences. Intense exploration of color and design.


Introduction to Casting

Basic Principles of casting: Step by step building concepts of casting. Will introduce simple casting techniques, and eventually complex approaches to the use of casting as a creation and multiplication opportunity for artists. The immediacy of elementary materials and approaches is an inspiration to further exploration of casting possibilities.

Introduction to Casting: with techniques in sand, muds, & clay, are cast into creations produced of plaster of Paris, quick set cement products. All of these principles can become highly sophisticated art expressions, or “foundry ready ideas” to be cast in industrial facility for artists. These procedures which illustrate reversal of images, can be converted into wax prototypes for larger ideas in permanent materials, Initial works can eventually be multiplied or made ready for aluminum, plastics and other metal/bronze casting. Other material such as glass, shells, recycle, mosaic, beads etc. can be integrated into products.

Casting in Plaster and Cement

Sculpture and Bas Relief Arts can be achieved by use of basic low cost materials providing experiences to adults or children. Can be worked indoors or outside; at the beach, in the garden or in any workroom with a floor covering. The idea of the third dimension, looking at many sides of anything, and the transformation of one idea /image into another material, are just a few of the joys and expressions that come from this direct artistic expression. This usually grows more satisfying after initial results are harvested; The reversal of images into more permanent materials can be better understood. This project also can become group assemblages or individual art works.

Initial explanation of 3-D and its presence in all Art and Architecture, as well as the opportunities available to the artist/practitioner to make something happen in space rather than literature or 2-D. Information on procedures and techniques introduced so that an initial basic small casting experience can be made within an hour. Variations of this idea is then used and expanded and more techniques introduced. Further explorations of castings that have objects inserted are then better understood. Applications can proceed in the casting of sand, clay and mud.

Found Objects, Sea Shells, Beads, Glass, and even household items become implements for shape stamping and can also be part of the actual art. Shapes and depths of forms are determined by casting vessels.

Recycled food containers, pails, buckets, and cardboard boxes of different dimension will determine the sizes of finished objects. This is a good example of ecological use of items in the daily culture.

Harvesting of forms from sand/mud is almost like an archeological digging or exercises in detailing. Can be utilized in classrooms, or community usage. The entire activity is possible to employ the imagination and labor of few or many and can be useful even with preschoolers through graduate school.

Polymer Clay; New Media for Entertainment and Decoration

Colorful Finger Puppets, Jewelry, Holiday Decorations and Theatre Props, appropriate for adults and children. This can be an introduction or a completed event that includes story building, character typing and naming, and theatrical expression in voice and visual arts.

Begins with demonstration of color mixing, shaping and construction techniques. This event can employ the suggestions of the audience and includes their ideas, design choices. It is a visual skill builder and inspirational for all.
Next, the participants begin their own characters and products to enable them to create a project, which includes the completion of a Puppet Theatre and Show.

This course or introductory course can be made available to teachers for the purpose of enlarging arts curriculum, or it can be a model for classroom use so as to enable an ongoing project in the arts with products and group outcome. Can be a fun competitive project with possibilities of small student groups producing different plays to be enjoyed by community. Stories can be new, or classics designed for puppets, good for integrative courses of arts and literature.

Adolescents love making boxes, frames, jewelry and secret vessels. This media although somewhat costly for extensive use can be introduction to Sculpture, crafts and even holiday gifts therefore very flexible in many arenas.

Recording Natures Season’s Colors and Designs

The observation of all natural phenomena in every scenic aspect includes; waterways, flowers, forests amongst many others. The viewer is able to learn new ways of seeing, and new ways of expanding one’s sight. The insights and the illuminations can be appreciated and recorded. This experience is available during all seasons, and locales and can be useful for young artists developing as well as nature lovers. Work that is created to document experiences has a lively and authentic quality. Work in many media reinforces the quality of learning through observation, and studying hand-eye coordination.

This activity has many interpretations but is a happy departure from “copying” from photos or other people’s images in the media. It develops the skill of drawing and employs the sensibilities of texture, depth of field; while enabling a non-technological talent for being the conduit between art and expression.

The initial work is the instruction of some basic recording techniques using paper, pencils and pastels. The possibilities for later works in printmaking, collages and painting techniques on paper or fabric are continuous. After the opportunity to scribble outlines, the students begin to detail their indoor practice works. Speed increases and lack of inhibitions drop away from initial practice techniques. Student develops quickly from the Croquis. Very basic and informal color and design enable groups to go for outdoor sketching sessions using the new media. Some repetition of the practice is required but most people begin immediately to see their visions come to life on the page, and they gain confidence sufficient to take on more complex projects.

Any source of stimulation, the animals at the zoo, an aquarium or hiking in the woods becomes much more memorable when art in part of the creative journey. Progressions in natural occurrences can be recorded as a science or art project. Topics like: How the garden grows, what happens visually during autumn, or spring; these are evolutions for the eye of the keen observer.
This project is best suited for young adults and adults rather than younger groups. It can be a preparation for some mural work, integrated studies of science, and geography, will always serve the students due to its rich outcome of beautiful work.

Aromatherapy Introductory

The introduction of essential aromatic substances can be sources of pleasure to the senses, but have great potential for healing, and enhancing personal pharmacy of natural remedies. Every essential oil has specific properties that can enable subtle alterations of health and clarity, relaxation or stimulation. High quality oils can also be dispensed into the air through air pumps, thereby cleansing environment, uplifting environment of homes and workspaces. They can be blended into shampoos, conditioners, body emollients, or blended into specific and create excellent quality cosmetics. The oils are fascinating to smell, study and discover and are potentially foundation for greater health and healing.



Content & images © Rita Bernstein