Saturday, October 11, 2014

Screenprinting Silk Scarves

From time to time I revisit screenprinting scarves - I've tried only silk to date (which I'm sure I've mentioned in previous posts) and it is quite tricky because the fabric is so fine, but I guess it is only a matter of practice to perfect the technique (as it has been with my current printing on linen).

I keeping thinking scarves should be coloured and that lead to experimenting with dying the silk - using Procion dyes (but I hate these chemicals, and then I would have to try and match with screen printing inks). Then I tried painting the silk with watered down screen printing ink - a blotchy mess.

And then I had a light bulb moment - just today - why not just leave as white. And print using white inks. White on white - very cool.



A bit of a way to go before I am completely happy - in the mean time I'll road test this one. And also try printing on white cotton scarves.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Madeit Shop Closed

For various reasons (mostly the dramatic decline in activity and sales this year and last) I have decided to close my MadeIt shop and concentrate on Etsy as my online selling space (which conversely has seen a dramatic increase in activity).  It has brought home to me how very quickly the online shopping world can change - though I am not sure why. Perhaps shopping is now perceived as a global activity. And many shoppers no longer want to be constrained by physical and geographic considerations and are looking for a single global portal with sophisticated search and refinement options, rather than the time consuming activity of sifting through the multitude of local handmade shopping sites that have sprung up recently - at least here in Australia. Who knows - but it is a fascinating business to keep abreast of. Too bad about my hard copy business cards!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

New Colourways

Tea towels and placemats in new colours - a selection in my Etsy shop now


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Lino Printing on Paper - A Bit of a Disaster

I have been interested in trying some block printing on fabric so when the opportunity came up to attend a two day lino printing workshop I grabbed it. However it was lino printing on paper and the course focussed on reduction lino printing - where the lino block is gradually cut away as each layer of colour is applied. In the end nothing is left of the block, so totally impractical for multiple printing on fabric. Really a course for serious artists I think. Nevertheless I persevered - it is an interesting technique and taken to great heights by some printmakers, of whom I now have the greatest admiration. See the websites of Anna Curtis and Vida Pearson for example.

My original idea was to try one of my screenprint designs and see how it worked as a linoprint. I chose this one


I spent hours carving the lino - very hard on the wrists, and applying three different colours as is required for a reduction linoprint. Blue (background), green (foliage and flowers) and black (nuts and branches) - more carving in between each colour application. The block print inks are very sticky and so it seemed to get everywhere and even though water soluble it was quite hard to wash off. And I thought screen printing inks were messy!






I'm loath to show any closeups - they were all a bit too awful. Anyway I don't think I'll pursue a lino printmaking career any further, but am not giving up on simple block printing on fabric.

My next post will be showing some of some block print fabric designers I admire.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Table Runner and Napkin Sets

I've done a few of these lately. Most require a separate stencil for the napkin so progress has been a bit slow. Here is what I have produced to date..


There are a couple of sets in my Etsy shop now.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Few More from The Printing and Sewing Table


And this is what I'm reading for inspiration

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Fresh Is Best

I only sell my bags at retail outlets and the twice yearly Botanique Bazaar, primarily because I think potential buyers like to touch and feel such a personal item and that's very hard to achieve in an online environment (for me anyway). And besides there are so many such items for sale on a site such as Etsy (a "bag" search retrieved 620,000+ items!!). It's very easy to get lost in the maze'.

Even so I discovered it's very important to keep coming up with fresh new designs and variations and not fall into the trap of just keeping to the same old pattern, even if initially very popular, if the sales are to keep coming.

The bags in my previous post have sold already so I need a couple more for my "space" at the Samford Slab Hut.
This variation on this linen and denim tote (a bit larger than my usual pattern) features a front printed panel (kangaroo paw) and ring closure, an interesting finish to the handles and a printed fabric topped pocket (I didn't have enough printed fabric for the complete pocket).

And this take on the linen and denim folded clutch (tea tree). Straps are detachable so the bag can also be used as a tote and a hand held clutch as well as a shoulder purse making it quite versatile.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

New Bags

Well not really new. I have re-tweaked some of my existing patterns to get some fresh new looks. It's also very satisfying creatively to have the time to muck about and see what happens.

Meet the tote - linen and denim with denim straps. Inside is also printed with the native violet design, with a pocket and key ring holder.

And the "reversible" fold over shoulder purse/clutch with zipper closure.
This one has a removable shoulder strap and can be worn two ways - the fold over part featuring either the navy denim or the blue gumnut print. I've boxed the corners with this one. Next time I will leave them flat. Maybe close with a magnetic clip and perhaps try leather, and an adjustable removable shoulder strap with two positions - one for a clutch and one for a tote making it even more versatile. The possibilities.....

Monday, July 7, 2014

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Pinteresting

I haven't spent much time on Pinterest to date but am starting to add to two boards in particular - Favourite Aussie (and some NZ) Fabric Screenprinters and Botanically Inspired (Australian Flora of course). You might like to take a look for inspiration here.

I think I'll also start a board on fabric screenprinters from other parts of the world

Actually this post is just an excuse to show some photos of a beee...autiful eucalpt now flowering in the garden. It is Eucalyptus phoenicea - from northern Australia - the Kimberleys and north Northern Territory so a bit of an oddity in this south east Queensland garden.