Last week I was back at West Dean for another module of my Foundation Diploma, I had an absolute ball screen-printing on plant based fabrics (cottons, linen etc), guided by Dawn Dupree. We had a fantastic group and everyone was happy but exhausted by the end of our magical 3 days together. These are some of the pieces I made:
These first few prints were painted onto the screen and then print paste was squeegeed through to transfer the image to the cloth, it opens up lots of opportunity for different mark making and generally produced nice bright colours but is limited in that it is essentially a mono-print technique.
These next two prints were made using the same method but the muslin (cheesecloth) was under the cotton scrim during the printing so that the excess dye was caught by the muslin. This produced a feint print on the muslin that I added to by painting dyes directly onto the cloth.
I am planning to felt these 2 pieces to make nuno felt hangings.
This little chap from Costa Rica was printed from a line drawing that I transferred to the screen using photo emulsion. I wasn’t happy with the colour intensity of the initial print so again hand painted with the dyes directly onto the cloth, I am planning to add at least one more layer of colour to add some more depth as it still looks a bit flat.
This print also used the spider-monkey screen but also used some direct dyes and paper stencils for the leaf and discharge paste with splashes of yellow pigment for the off-white background.
This print was onto some commercially dyed (blue) cotton, the fish were screen printed with discharge paste mixed with some red pigment and the ripples were discharge paste painted on with a paint brush. The white highlights are silver foil.
These last 3 pieces used a combination of the techniques, mono-printing, direct dye (printed and painted directly onto the cloth), discharge paste and pigments suspended in binder. I even managed to use the gecko and hibiscus stencils I made in Ruth Lane’s screen-printing on felt class. Click here for more information on that class.
Now the million dollar question… what to do with all these new pieces of fabric?
Just as a tadpole metamorphoses into a frog these screen prints have been evolving over the last two weeks to reveal a little Costa Rican, Red-eyed Tree Frog (Agalychnis callidryas).
I made a bit of a boob with this first set of prints, can you guess what it was?
This next series of prints should make my error a bit more obvious…
The orange is nowhere near as fluorescent in real life, the iphone doesn’t have a white balance function and seems to struggle with some colours.
Have you spotted the difference?
I used the negative instead of the positive stencil on the first layer of the first print, this made all the areas that should have been white a pale green. I cursed my stupidity at the time, even after I had written a note to myself about which stencil to use, but looking at them now I rather like the more subtle balance of colours in the first print, what do you think?
This is something I have been trying to pluck up the courage to try for some time, a little pot of photo-emulsion came with a screen-printing kit I bought at least a year ago but until last week I kept putting it back in the cupboard not quite sure what to do with it. The emulsion allows you to turn a black and white photo (printed on acetate) or drawing into a screen ready for printing.
After some internet research I made an “exposure unit” – a 400W light suspended from a frame of push-fit plastic pipes, all strung together with lengths of ribbon liberated from the cat’s toy box (sorry Pickle). All very Blue Peter* 🙂
Several tests later, I discovered that with my light set up, the emulsion only needed 60 seconds to harden, just a few seconds longer and the screen was ruined and I had to start again. Needless to say I spent a lot of last week cleaning my screens!
I hope you think the results were worth the effort? These prints are quite monochromatic and not my usual style at all, I wonder if my colour choices were being influenced by the snowy landscape outside?
The backgrounds are different on each print.
Unable to resist adding some colour, I added some red ink to the last few pulls so these prints migrate through black and sepia to red.
Now I am just waiting for an order of mount (mat) boards to arrive so I can get them ready for sale, if the boards arrive in time I might be able to include a few of them in the Oxmarket Gallery exhibition.
I hope you have been having a great week and the weather in your part of the world isn’t causing too much disruption.
*Blue Peter is a UK children’s TV show famous for having segments where they demonstrated how you could turn empty bottles, cereal boxes and other everyday items into the most desirable, home-made toys and gifts.
The last couple of weeks have been a whirl of screen-printing, trying to get a couple of new designs ready for exhibition at the Oxmarket gallery in March. The exhibition will feature a selection of new and established printmakers and will be open from 13-25th March, if you are in the area please do pop in, there will be over 100 framed prints on show and hundreds more in browsers. It promises to be a wonderfully ecletic exhibition of different printmaking techniques and styles.
This is a small sample of my prints (no two are the same, even though only 3 sets of stencils were used).
This series I titled “dinner time” and I’m sure anyone who owns a cat will be very familiar with this pose 🙂
I have struggled to come up with a title for this one (any ideas?), but I was trying to capture that fleeting glimpse of a fish beyond the ripples in the pond surface…
The address for the exhibition is:
St. Andrew’s Court
off East Street
Last weekend was the first module of my foundation diploma in art and design course. It was an intense 3 days but we tried out a wide range of techniques and I came away with some prints I feel proud of, here are a selection of my favourites….
This weekend has been spent cutting mount-boards for them all, the first of the Christmas fairs this year is on Thanksgiving, desperately trying to get ready for that. How are your holiday preparations coming along?