Graphic Literature and the comfort of cats


Monk and white cat, illustrated by Sydney Smith, written by Jo Ellen Bogart. 


Have a look at this wonderfully crafted story, based on an old Irish short poem, written by a 9th century monk and scholar about the relationship between him and his white cat. The poem, titled 'Pangur Ban' has been translated into contemporary graphic literature through the beautiful illustrations by Sydney Smith and the writings of Jo Ellen Bogart. It adds some thought to the oft complex and unique relationship that man has shared with cats from ages ago and how each draws a degree of comfort from the other.


Last Updated on Thursday, 04 August 2016 09:33

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Book Restoration

About the Facilitator:

Liesel has worked full-time for Quagga Books in Stellenbosch for the last three and a half years. During this time she has been exposed to many fine antiquarian books and has identified the need for restoration of many of the examples that she has come across. With the support of Quagga, Liesel attended a short course on book restoration about two years ago. She followed this up with large amounts of research on-line and in various reference books made available to her. Liesel is now responsible for 90% of the restoration at Quagga Books, dealing in paper, cloth and leather bound books.


Course Outline:

The course will begin with a basic introduction of the anatomy of the book and paper conservation. This will be followed by a practical on two ways to fix a broken spine. Including lifting of end papers, attachment of head bands, creating oxford hollows, and making and attaching a new spine piece. Paper repairs, cleaning and general restoration will also be covered. At the end of this course students will go home with two fully restored books.


For more details or a registration form, contact Marika Bell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Last Updated on Friday, 24 June 2016 10:34

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3D Mold Making

Example of a cement relief cast of a life-size bee.


Course outline:

In this course, participants will be introduced to two basic mould making techniques namely plaster waste molds for cement casting and flexible silicone rubber molds that multiple materials can be cast in. No previous experience is needed and a brief visual presentation will provide participants with the necessary background and examples. The course will be divided into two parts:

  1. Making a plaster waste mould for a cement relief.

In this first part of the course participants will learn how to make a relief portrait out of clay and then make a plaster waste mold around it. The relief will be about the size of an A4 piece of paper. After the plaster has set the clay will be removed and the mold cast in cement.

  1. Making a flexible re-usable, silicone mold for multiple materials.

In this section participants will learn how to make a flexible silicone mould of an object of your choice. Bring along an object that is not too complicated and no larger than your fist. Once the mold has been completed, participants will be able to cast a variety of materials, for example, plaster, wax and cement into the mold.



What you will need:


The basic materials that you will need for this course will be provided at a cost of R200 per participant. These include; plaster, cement, wax, silicone.

In addition please bring along the following:

  • 2 x plastic ice cream containers

  • 1 x pair of plastic gloves

  • A high resolution photograph for the relief portrait. (This can be human or animal)

  • A sketch pad and drawing materials of your choice.

  • An Object of your choice for the silicone mould (not to complicated and no larger than your fist)


About the facilitator:


Isabel Mertz is a Cape Town based sculptor and object maker working in a wide range of mediums. She graduated in 2010 with a BA(FA) from the University of Pretoria with a distinction in her practical work. She is currently studying towards a MAVA at the University of Stellenbosch. In 2011 she received the Gerard Sekoto award, and a merit award at the annual Absa L’Atelier Art competition. She has participated in numerous group shows in South Africa and has exhibited in England, Paris and Amsterdam.

For more info contact Marika Bell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Last Updated on Thursday, 16 June 2016 07:57

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Oil Painting


Short course description:

The oil painting course will include a thorough introduction of oil paint as medium to provide a clear understanding of the paint surface, primers, pigments, paint mediums and brushes. Participants will be able to try their hand at some of the recipes of the old masters in making gesso and grinding their own oil paint. Practical work will cover the basic formal elements of painting: form, tonal value, colour, perspective and proportions.

About the Facilitator:

Klara-Marié den Heijer is currently doing her Masters at the University of Stellenbosch. Her work investigates the relationship between humans and their surroundings as perceived through landscape painting. She has 15 years of experience in painting with oils. Her work is held in various private collections in London, Texas, the Netherlands and South Korea.

What participants have to bring:

  • 100 ml Purified Linseed oil

  • 100 ml Artist Turpentine

  • X6 Paint brushes (hog hair, bristle): Flat #12, Flat #10, Flat #6, Filbert #8, Filbert #4 and Round #2

  • Oil paint: Titanium white, French Ultramarine blue, Alizarin Crimson red (or Cadmium Red), Arylamide Yellow (or Cadmium Yellow)

  • Cash for canvas and board
  • For more info please contact Marikat Bell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 June 2016 10:39

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Screen Printing

Jim Dine, Throat (1965). Screen print on paper, 76.2 x 61.3 cm.

Printmaking: Screen Printing

Around 30 000 B.C, the very first stencil prints were being made in the recesses of caves, where men and women would place their hands on the cave walls and blow onto them mixtures of ash and clay, leaving behind colourful negative impressions. Between 500 and 1000 A.D. in China and Japan, the stencilling process developed rapidly, later reaching Europe and parts of Africa. It was only until the beginning of the 20th century in America that screen printing evolved into the industry as it is known today. The diversity of the medium’s commercial applications are matched by those in the arts. From stencilling to photographic processes, oil to water-based printing inks, paper to fabric surfaces, and even three-dimensional objects, screen printing allows for an incredible range of possibilities and innovations that is still expanding.

Participants attending the screen printing workshop will learn how to handprint their very own editions of screen printed works on paper, comprising three or more colours, using a combination of stencil and photo-chemical printing techniques.



List of Materials

Participants are required to provide the following materials:

An apron

2 – 3 rolls of masking tape

2 large sheets (56 x 76 cm or 70 x 100 cm) of hot or cold-pressed paper.

E.g. Lanaquarelle, Arches or Fabriano paper

Paper is available at Unistat in the Neelsie Student Centre, Stellenbosch, or Deckle Edge in Cape Town

1 large sheet (A2 or A3) of black paper / cardboard

3 or 4 tubes of acrylic paint

NB: Participants may want to observe the printing process before purchasing their paper and paint

Black Rotring / calligraphic ink

Available at PnA, Unistat or Deckle Edge

General stationery (pencils, rulers, erasers, scissors etc.)

A notebook

Any other materials will be discussed during the course of the workshop or will be supplied by the studio.


Jessica Staple

Jessica Staple was born in 1991 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. She is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Visual Arts at Stellenbosch University where she also works part-time as the printmaking technician. In 2013 she completed her BA (Fine Arts) degree as a cum laude honours graduate, with an additional major in English Studies. Jessica works mostly in drawing and printmaking (lithography, screen printing and various intaglio processes). She has participated in and co-ordinated a number of group exhibitions, print portfolios and workshops in printmaking.


For more info or a registration form contact Marika Bell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Japanese stencil print (19th century). 

Last Updated on Monday, 13 June 2016 14:30

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