Tag Archives: fabric paint

I never said I was an artist…

…but I’ll have a bash at some freehand stuff when the need arises. The need just did, when one of my favourite customers phoned to ask me for a blue bird in flight on the corner of a pillow case for her granddaughter. For tomorrow. Yikes. I don’t have a screen with the right kind of bird to use, so it had to be a quick work-around.

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Print picture of bird. Cut out shape. Add bits of paper here and there where you don’t want the ink to go through, including the background, stick it all together with tape, have a practice run on a piece of waste fabric (actually, is there ever such a thing?) and give it a go! You get this:

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Then you play around with some different shades of blue and a teeny weeny #1 paintbrush…

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Okay, it’s true that this resembles no bird in the real world, but I think it’s fair to say that it most definitely is a bird, and it’s blue, and it’s on the wing.

Right, back to sewing. The October Made in the Cape artisan market opens again on Thursday, so I need to have everything ready by Wednesday night. I never learn, and I always panic…

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lino – second instalment

Lesson #2: Rob put in extra practice time during the past week and had these designs ready for printing on Tuesday. I love them both, but especially the first one.

Me? No, no “homework” got done at all. I was thus forced to come up with the simplest of designs I could think of, in order to get any printing done during the evening.


I’m especially pleased with my leaf because I’m going to attach it to a block of wood so I can use it for “stamping” on fabric. The flower is printed in silver, because another student had just used some so it seemed silly to waste the leftovers. Two experiments using fabric paint and an old sheet below, one with the fabric laid on top of the lino and the second done the other way round.

fuchsia

Now I have birds on the brain, that’s going to be my next design.

block out

I read about a screenprinting technique where you use powder paint to apply your design to the screen, and then bituminous paint as a screen filler.  I scoured the hardware shops for the right paint, but nothing seemed anything like what the author had used.  Googling and YouTube led me to products made by Speedball and Jacquard in the US, but none of the online stores delivered exactly what I wanted to South Africa.  Not even Amazon, the rats.

I had to wait for the 4th of January to contact local screenprinting suppliers because they were all closed for the week between Christmas and New Year.  Mighty frustrating. When I want something, I tend to want it right now, so this was a real test of my patience…

Anyway, to cut this short, I managed to find a place in Maitland that stocks Saati products imported from Italy. The most likely thing was stuff called Block-Out, but the guy couldn’t be sure that it would work like my book suggested.  Only one way to find out!

I laid the blank screen over the image I wanted and, using quite a fine paintbrush for the fiddly bits and a thicker one for the big bits, painted out the background with the block-out.  I let it dry overnight.

saati    drying

I hadn’t realised that the block-out would penetrate the screen enough to make the paper underneath stick to it, which is what that white stuff is. Lesson learned!

Here is the first print:

red bird

I was really pleased with this, but if you look closely you can see two tiny areas where I’d missed bits.  Second lesson learned.

This block-out stuff is water-solvent, so I was worried that it would all wash away under the tap when I cleaned the ink off the screen after printing – in which case, this process would be the opposite of useful – but it didn’t…happy dance :-)  The screen definitely looks pretty mucky, though:

screen

but I ignored the muck and made another print, which turned out just dandy:

bird1

While all this was being done, I had another idea about how to make a positive instead of a negative along similar lines. I’ve prepared the screen and it’s drying outside tonight, so if the idea works you’ll get another scintillating post tomorrow.
xx

introduction to silkscreen printing

I’ve always wanted to try my hand at this, and when I heard through the Cape Craft & Design Institute that Yda Walt ((her website here)) was going to be taking a couple of workshops in Cape Town I signed up immediately. Today was the day.

sp 3 sp 1 sp 2

Here are my first efforts. We started off learning how to make a design with ordinary paper and a blank screen, using standard fabric inks, and then using a photographic image on a prepared screen, and getting used to the difference between normal and opaque inks. I was far too busy to take any photos, but I will next week at the second workshop. Everyone came up with completely different interpretations of a single brief, which always fascinates me. People are generally more creative than they realise!

Yda also showed us how to combine different colours, either in a single layer or in mixed layers – so if you’ll excuse me, I need to go clear my dining table right this second so I can continue experimenting….

purple boots

Boots – purple – with fringy bits – on sale – what’s not to love?

boots 3

But I felt they needed more. As one does. I got busy with glitter glue, shell buttons, shiny thread, gold and silver fabric paint, and my glue gun.

boots 1

I’m undecided about the outcome. It’s possible that more glitter is required. Or beads. Yes, they need beads. Maybe even glitter beads. But even as they are, they’re just the sort of thing to wear guaranteed to repulse one’s offspring.