Thursday, August 25, 2011

Print Play

I'm rather a novice in the surface design department.  Sure, I've bought a lot of books, and I've got a lot of supplies -- but I don't get in there and actually DO it all that often. I chalk that up to laziness, really:  I don't have a convenient set up, so I have to store everything in the garage, then pull it all through the house outside to the back patio when I want to experiment.  So the spontaneous "I'll just print up a quick piece of cloth" doesn't happen around here.

(And yes, I KNOW there are industrious artists who are making exquisite pieces of cloth in their bathroom sinks with 4 square inches of counter space.  So I am glad to have the patio, even if it means that a few garden plants take on the cast of whatever colors I'm working with for a few days.)

So.  Last week at Festival of Quilts (just last week!) I bought a few thermofax screens for screen printing.  I've done that once, and it was, as they say, dead easy.  And I've got this orange quilt to make for Twelve by Twelve, and I'd been thinking about background fabric, and it dawned on me that I could PRINT the background fabric... et, voila!

I was experimenting with printing a big-textured screen and then over printing with a small textured screen.  It looks weird here as a piece of cloth but I think it could have interesting possibilities cut up.

My happiest surprises involved printing on fabric I'd dyed previously and hadn't liked all that much.  I had a batch of weird maroon-ish shades and I screened some Decolourant on that, then set it out in the sun for the afternoon ... and I really like the result.

They are still not colors I'd be inclined to use, but at least they are now in the category of "might use" instead of "Yuck - never." 

I even discharged onto some old dye prints I'd done last summer, and they turned out well, too.  (The only one I photographed looks a little weird, but you get the idea....)

All in all, it was worth the hauling stuff back and forth.  And it might even make me want to do it again.


  1. Love the screenprints you made! Orange and text, two of my favourite ingredients!

  2. I am with you....I have lots of books and supplies but when I get down to it I never do it. I love what you did though so it has inspired me to try it. :)

  3. Love what I see! It sounds like you need to invite a friend over and have an all out play day or two, then maybe it would feel worth it to get all the stuff out?

  4. Great prints! And I like how you did the prints with discharge.

  5. I like your prints--so many possibilities! I'm enjoying your blog and especially your post on the Festival of Quilts. I appreciate that you show links to other artists.
    best, nadia