Sunday, 28 October 2012

creating design on a screen using screen filler

A few weeks ago I prepared a design on a screen using screen filler as an example for a class I was teaching about screenprinting to a group of secondary school students.

The group had been studying textile designs from different cultures, so I took my pattern idea from a piece of African fabric.

I put the piece of paper under the screen and copied the design onto it with a pencil. Then I painted my design onto the outside of the screen (the flat side) using screen drawing fluid.

When the drawing fluid was dry, I spooned some screen filler onto the screen and swiped it across the whole screen (and over the drawing fluid) with a squeegee. Don't swipe the screen filler over too many times as you don't want to rub the drawing fluid away.

I waited for the screen filler to dry (overnight) then washed out the drawing fluid by spraying a hose from the inside of the screen (the back of the drawing fluid - and behind the screen filler, as the screen filler does not wash out with cold water).

Then I washed the front of the screen as well, to wash off any bits of screen filler that had come off in front of the drawing fluid, and that's it - when the screen dries, it's ready to print.  This is one way to screen print at home without needing expensive/bulky equipment (i.e. an exposure unit).

Monday, 17 September 2012

stencilled tote bag

I made a hand-stencilled tote bag yesterday, as a demo for my first Handmade Crafts class, which starts tomorrow evening in Forest Hill.  Here's how I made it...

I wanted to use the bag for carrying books, so I made some sketches about books and butterflies, which I used for the design.  I drew the butterfly/books on a piece of A4 card and cut out the shapes using a craft knife.  Then I sprayed a little glue on the back of the card and stuck it onto the blank bag.

I put some fabric paints out on a piece of acetate (a paper plate would be fine) and used pieces of sponge to stencil the design through the cut out shapes in the card.  It's better to dab the paint on gently and repeat the application, rather than blobbing lots of paint on, as the paint could get under the stencil and spoil your design.  When I had finished applying the different colours that I chose, I peeled the stencil off.

Then I sprayed some more glue onto the back of the stencil and stuck it onto the bag again, as I wanted to repeat some of the butterfly-books and fill in the bottom corners of the bag.  I got a bit of paint under the stencil by accident this time, but it can be fixed afterwards with a paintbrush.

When I'd finished (both sides) and the paint was dry, I ironed the bag on the reverse, to fix the fabric paint and make it washable.  Here's the finished bag again:


Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Handmade Crafts classes starting soon!

I will start teaching two new 'Handmade Crafts' classes at the Ackroyd Centre, Forest Hill, on Tuesdays, and Pat-a-Cakes coffee shop in Crofton Park on Thursdays.  They will start on Tuesday 18th and Thursday 20th September then continue weekly.

The classes will be an hour-and-a-half long, and in each session participants will make a different craft project to take away - for example: a stencilled tote bag, felt necklace or handmade notebook.

Classes will be drop-in (no need to book) for any level of crafter, and I hope they will have a relaxed sociable atmosphere.

Both classes will start at 7pm until 8.30pm, and the cost is £10 including materials.  Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about this new class!

p.s. The first class will be stencilling a tote bag (reusable shopping bag) with your own design...

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

t-shirt workshop

I taught a t-shirt printing workshop on Saturday at the Ackroyd Centre, Forest Hill.

Eight children attended the workshop and printed t-shirts either with their own design or using pre-cut stencils from Ed Roth's book 'Stencil 101'.

The workshop went well - I was very impressed by the participants' designs and their quick grasp of how to do stencilling.

It was an enjoyable morning! 

Friday, 6 July 2012

t-shirt printing workshop

I will be teaching a t-shirt printing workshop for 8-15 year olds in Forest Hill, London, on August 4th.

I stencilled a couple of images to make a flyer for the workshop...

The first image was a pre-cut stencil from the book "Stencil 101" by Ed Roth.  It's a great book with lots of cool images ready-made (and cut out) for you to use immediately.

The second stencil was one that I designed and cut out of card.

This image was made using 3 stencils - one for the cloud, one for the raindrops (simply because the card wasn't big enough to fit the cloud and raindrops on), and a separate one for the eyes and mouth (because it's a different colour).

I used some repositionable spray glue to stick the stencils to the fabric, then fabric paint and a sponge to stencil them.

In the workshop on August 4th, participants will also print one t-shirt with a pre-cut stencil from the book "Stencil 101", then will make and print their own design on a second t-shirt.

Feel free to email me at: if you have any questions about the workshop.

Thursday, 10 May 2012


I had fun recently printing a picture for the East London Printmakers' summer exhibition, "Printathon"...

The exhibition is Olympic-themed, and I made a print about monkeys riding bmx bikes on a snake.  I used a stencil, bicycle tyre, block printing, screenprinting and embroidery to make the picture.  I started off creating a texture by using a stencil and a tyre from my bicycle to print with:

First I practised on this bright blue polycotton to see whether the bike tyre would work as a print, then later I printed it again on a pale turquoise linen for the final print.  As you can see, I printed it on the kitchen floor (perhaps my blog should be "kitchenfloorprintmaker"!), with my baby waiting patiently in his standy-thing while my husband took these photos.


After the stencil-tyre print, I block printed bmx-tyre marks on the snake, then screen-printed the monkeys, and machine embroidered then hand embroidered on the textile.

Here are some sneak previews of the final picture, which I called "Play!"  If you want to see the whole piece, it will be on display at East London Printmakers "Printathon" exhibition from 8th June-1st July at Foreman's Smokehouse Gallery, E3 2NT (see for details).

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

berries print

I carved and printed a new design recently, of berries, made up of 2 lino blocks...

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Camellia card

I made this stencilled Camellia print as a card for Mother's Day recently.  This was my process...

I photographed then sketched a Camellia plant which was blooming in the garden of our house.

I separated my sketch into 4 layers, by choosing the parts I would print in different colours.  Then I traced each layer onto some stencil card and cut out the shapes with a craft knife.

I stencilled each layer onto card, using a sponge and some fabric inks (produced a bit of a blobby effect, rather than using drier paint, e.g. acrylic, and a brush, but I had some nice colours already mixed in the fabric inks, and didn't mind the slightly blurry outcome).

Here are the printed cards (not yet folded) drying on a clothes horse...

...and here's the card I sent my Mum: