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[Workshopped]: DIY Scarves and Ascots at Lois Paint Bar

High fashion meets high craft at this little around-the-way arts and crafts workshop venue...
2023-03-14 10:00:00
"Workshopped" is a SmartShanghai column in which we try out different classes and workshops searching for personal growth, edification, and wonderful new skills with which to navigate these modern times."

If you're looking for a way to tell the world that you're a chap of a certain vintage and pedigree, probably a failed artist, and most likely more than a little pissed up, consider: the ascot.

Perhaps the best garment available to communicate "I'm breezy, I'm hammered, I'm slightly arty, I'm unhinged, you can take maybe 15 minutes of me before I'm absolutely insufferable, but I'm buying."

Now, just in time for the lovely and joyous weather in Shanghai here's Lois Paint Bar with a delightful workshop class on DIY marbling your own scarves and ascots. In just an hour or so you can custom create your own garments with your own colors and patterns, thereby giving you yet another opportunity to testify your own inner worth and richness to the world at large.

Marbling garments is the process of floating fabric paints on the surface of a thick cellulose solution, called a "size". You swirl these paints into interesting shapes and patterns before laying your fabric on top of it to dye it in said colors, shapes, and patterns.

It dries, you iron it, the whole process takes like an hour, and you have for your esteemed possession a personally crafted ascot or scarf for your own esteemed self.

Everything involved is organic, including the cellulose solution which was prepared the night beforehand. Lois said you could even drink if you wanted to. We didn't in fact try to drink it even though it was offered. The first step is choosing your three colors you want to work with. You could use more colors and Jackson Pollock the thing all to hell but proper aesthetics dictate three.

We did pink, green, and brown because those are the best colors, objectively speaking.

So, the basic process is deciding on your base color and you accent colors, deciding if you want to try to be geometric and discernible or abstract with your patters. Then, you lightly drop the paint onto the solution like an eye dropper. It's a delicate process with the colors expanding into each other like oil swirling on top of water.

You then manipulate your color blotches with rakes and metal sticks to create undulating patters and textures and arrangements and ....zzzzzz*

(It's very ASMR.)

You then gently lay your silk fabric into the solution, resting it on top to soak in the colors. You lay the middle down first and then roll out to the edges so no air is trapped underneath. Leave it there for a couple of seconds and then peel it up out of the solution slowly so it doesn't fold into itself.

Then iron and dry, iron and dry, iron and dry.

A triumph! Gorgeous! Elegant! Shuai!

Looking great and a little loaded but in a fun way for at least the first part of the evening.

(For real, it actually looks pretty good though, eh, like c'mon.)

So yeah! Lois Paint Bar is a bright and quaint little DIY art studio you should check out for all your DIY ascot needs. In addition to fabric marbling, they also offer a personalized glass painting workshop, and a fluid art-on-canvas workshop. Starting from 268rmb, each includes all paints, brushes, tools, aprons, fabric, canvases, and materials. You take your creations away with you at the end.

Great activity for kids, people with no artistic experience at all (hey, you can't screw this up), and for people in the mood for a really pleasant G-rated date.

Check out the venue right here and buy tickets to any of their three workshops right here.