When Orly Avineri’s art workshop, “Dresses,” was announced this summer, I knew I had to take it.  This was not my first workshop with Orly so I knew it would be full of art, heart and spirit.   The theme, “Dresses”, excited me because of their symbols, uniqueness, and familiarity.   As you can see from my dresses throughout, I had a great adventure.

Tiny Flapper Dress
Dress made from bits of white paper
Tiny Gauzy Dress

Orly is a different kind of art teacher:  she doesn’t focus nor spend much time on supplies or techniques.   As she says, 

“I got no skills or techniques to teach, no new materials to introduce, nor supplies and tools to boast about.

All I can and want to offer is the option of a new thought, an alternative to deep rooted stagnant stories, and a reconciliation between comfort and discomfort….”    So there you have it.  I got all of that and more.

Simple Dresses

We were asked to bring mixed media supplies that would fit into one tote bag:   personal papers, photographs, ephemera, gesso, brushes, glue, scissors and acrylic paint.  

First, we wrote about dresses and talked about dresses before we made them.  What do dresses mean to you? Most of us had stories of our mothers sewing dresses for us:  Some we loved and some we hated.   We talked about dresses that made us feel at “home” and those that never fit.  We explored the mood, sensuality and ownership of dresses.  From this conversation, we began to embody our subject matter.

Everything in Orly’s classes is sacred and thoughtful and joyful.  Creativity, she emphasizes, must be personal, honest, authentic and raw.  It’s about you and your process, no one else’s.

These sacred bundles on the left (in front of Orly) are soaked papers and cloth.   They became a rich resource for making dresses as in the one below.

Stained Dress





I came home inspired, not just to make dresses, but to create what is personal to ME.    May you do the same in whatever way pleases YOU.

Wirefly Dress


Letting Go in Orange

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