Saturday, August 21, 2010

More Art than Design

A couple of weeks ago I went to a screen printing workshop held in conjunction with the exhibition "ArtCloth: Engaging New Visions" at the Redcliffe City Art Gallery. The curator of this touring exhibition is Marie-Therese Wisniowski who exhibited a piece in the exhibition and was also the tutor for the workshop. I found it interesting the exhibition's proposition that an art metamorphosis is taking place with some contemporary fabrics now being cast as fine art cloths, and may be the start of a separate art movement. The exhibition consisted of works by Australian, European and North American textile artists. Each piece is  approx 1 metre wide by 3 metres in length and demonstrates a wide variety of techniques - the catalogue describes in great detail. I think my favourite piece is Treescape by Annie Trevillian - an Australian artist - clean and simple effect.  
The workshop explored some of the techniques used by the artists including use of materials to provide positive and negative space, producing ombre/blended effects using the indirect stencil method, creating colour and texture effects using a blank screen i.e. no stencil by overprinting, as well as providing some basic screen printing techniques which I am well versed in. There was also some info on colour basics. We ran out of time to try the cold wax technique so just saw the demo.

Here is my effort - not an art work but a tryout of some of the techniques - ombre effects and using a blank screen and overprinting - love the colours created...

What did I learn?

1. using acetate for the stencil - much prefer Eazy Cut stencil paper
2. using gloves during the process is not for me
3. that the quality of masking tape you buy these days is crap
4. that you don't need to iron to heat set the inks - just leave to cure for a couple of weeks (never heard of that before and don't know if I would ever trust not heat curing but I will test it)
5. Permaset inks are the best
6. there is a product called print paste which is used to make colours more transparent (and this is not the transparent white fabric ink)

In all it was a very well structured workshop and well organised. Marie-Therese is developing a website so once it is up and running I'll do a link.

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