Home > Japanique Boutique > Artisan Profiles > Eloise Malinsky

How would you describe your art/craft?

I love working in watercolor, creating encaustic monotypes, making books, doing traditional Japanese shibori and katazome, and dyeing with indigo and other natural dyes. I even grow my own indigo! I enjoy combining many of these. For example, I may use indigo dyed paper or fabric as covers for books and include encaustic monotypes as some of the pages.

What kinds of items do you sell? What is the price range?

I have never tried to sell any of my work. I create purely for self-satisfaction. I enjoy surprising friends with some of my creations, some which I made specifically with them in mind.

How long have you been doing this?

I had a wonderful 37-year career teaching chemistry. When I retired, I started taking my very first art classes. I was fortunate enough to have some wonderful teachers who inspired me. One in particular always encourages me to follow my interests and continue to explore new areas. I consider myself very lucky to have been fully engaged in my studio during this long pandemic.

Have you travelled to Japan?

I have been to Japan twice. The first time was a typical tour. The second time was a textile tour where we spent 10 days in Kyoto interacting with traditional textile artists. What an amazing experience that was. I found the entire process of making a beautiful kimono fascinating. I came back home and started doing some of the textile artistry I saw there. Many, such as working with katazome stencils, are very time consuming. But I find using these time-honored techniques to be very satisfying.

What is your favorite thing about working with kimono fabric?

I first bought some of the Kyoto Kimono fabric samples at the Smithsonian during a special kimono exhibit. Once I started making books with textile covers that I had designed and dyed, I realized that the vintage kimono pieces would make interesting covers. They work extremely well because the fabric holds its shape. I don’t have to worry about it stretching when I glue it to the cover. The designs are also quite unique.

What is the most challenging thing about working with kimono fabric?

or my work I have not found any challenges. The only disappointment has been when a really lovely salvaged piece is too narrow to use as a cover. I just may have to make a few tiny books so I can use them.

Here are some of Eloise's creations: