Friday, 26 September 2014

registering prints

I have an old two-colour lino block which I use to make a print I call 'berries.'

I've always found it hard to register the two colours when printing (to get the second layer to fit in the right place on top of the first colour) although the two pieces of lino are similar shapes. So I tried gluing the lino blocks onto pieces of wood the same size, and putting a pencil dot at the corner of the block (on the fabric) each time I printed, to try and line up the second block in exactly the right place on top of where the first had printed. But that didn't work - the two prints were often still offset.

So I decided to make up a screen with the same design, to see if that was easier to register...

I made two screens on mesh stretched in embroidery hoops, and painted with screen drawing fluid then coated with screen filler. When they were dry, I washed out the drawing fluid under the tap.

Then I printed the first layer using fabric paint and a plastic card to spread the ink. That printed fine.

Then the second layer, placing the outlines of the berry shapes by eye on top of the blue dots of the berries, by looking through the holes in the screen and wiping the screen with a cloth in-between each print.

It did work. The outlines of the berries are a bit thick - this was ok in the lino prints but looks a bit crude somehow with the screen print. I could paint the second design on a screen again, with a finer paintbrush, but at least this way I was able to register the outline (pink) on top of the blob-shaped berries (blue).

Friday, 19 September 2014

meditation and art

In 2012 I made this small print, 'body scan':

It's about how meditation anchors me.

I think meditation is helpful in life and art. I try to meditate every morning (but don't always succeed!). I like to meditate either on developing compassion or noticing the breath, and sometimes just a grounding body scan meditation where I focus my attention on my body and its connection to the earth, its weight on the ground.

It's relaxing and it increases my awareness. Part of making art is noticing and recording experiences and feelings, so increased awareness helps with this. Also, for me, art is transformative. When I express the thing that I'm trying to say through art, I can move on from that subject, in a developmental way.

Meditation or mindfulness and art are very much linked for me.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

some things I made this week

Banana and walnut cake (nearly all eaten in this photo!)...

Shell block-print make-up pouch...

 Knitting some grey cardigan and small blue mobile phone pouch...

Friday, 5 September 2014

block print tunic

I made a tunic dress/top at the weekend, with the help of my mother-in-law. I used some nice Indian block printed fabric that I bought a while ago at a great shop on Broadway Market called Our Patterned Hand. I checked their website and found that sadly they have since closed down.

I wanted to copy a tunic top that I already have, so drew around the outside of the existing tunic and made a copy out of an old bed sheet, to check that it would turn out alright. It looked ok, so we didn't bother to sew up the practice fabric, but traced it straight onto the block printed fabric that I wanted to use, and cut out the pieces.
We had to measure and guess a bit with the sleeves, as I didn't want to unpick the tunic I already have.

After a bit of sewing (and a lot of help with this from my mother-in-law), here is the finished tunic:

I'm really happy with the outcome as I like to wear long tops over jeans, and would like to make some more of these, perhaps out of fabric that I block print myself.