Friday, 2 September 2011

tobias and the angel

Last June (2010) I went on a great block printing one-day workshop at Tobias and the Angel's workshop in Surrey.  They have a massive range of print blocks which they purchased from Yately industries for the disabled, and they now use to print their own hand block-printed cloth and products, and to teach workshops with.

On the day, the workshop participants chose a dye colour and we were shown how to brush it onto a felt-topped dye pad, stamp the block onto the dye-pad and print it on the cloth using a mallet to hit the back of the block with pressure.

We also used a weight on the fabric, to start printing at one edge of the fabric and move it away from us as we printed, ensuring the inky area wasn't touching the printer and the fabric didn't slip off the table.

The blocks I used had repeat designs that connected end to end, and I was shown how to mitre the pattern at the corners using a folded piece of paper to block off the print in the correct place in the corner.

I really recommend a workshop at Tobias and the Angel.  I was very satisfied with the print I made and the learning process, and the workshop is in beautiful surroundings with inspiring equipment and people.


  1. Hi there,

    what a great blog. I was particularly interested in this post. Was it worth your money you would say? And are you carrying on any of your newly acquired skills?


  2. Hi Charlotte,

    Thanks a lot for your comment. Sorry I'm replying so late - maybe you won't get this - I didn't think to check previous entries for comments until recently.

    Yes, I thought the Tobias and the Angel workshop was worth the money, though pricey, as it was so inspiring and the people running it were definitely living a whole lifestyle integrating this kind of handmade creative philosophy.

    I wouldn't say I'm using the skills I acquired there directly - for example I still print with pigments and textile binder rather than dyes, as I don't have facilities to steam my fabric to fix the prints, and with the textile binder and pigments I can just heat fix them by ironing. However I think the inspiration of the block printing and their studio has stayed with me and was well worth it.