As previously documented, I’m stuck on block printing. It seems to be a make that’s stuck–I keep trying new things, experimenting, and envisioning new blocks.
Here’s a small block I made of a circle with an x through it. I played with light to dark colors here, with a mix in between. I’m actually quite pleased with the result and want to print it again, on a larger scale or a different color cotton. Dark fabric, light print would be amazing.
Eventually, I’m thinking of turning these into little zip cases for notions and other bits and bobs you carry around in your purse. What do you think?
I have a lot of sketchbooks. Ones that are half filled, ones that are entirely filled, ones never touched. I start them, I stop them, sometimes, I finish them, whatever that means.
But, nothing is more special to me than the way I conceive of my music podcast, available at my other love, P+C. It’s a labor–and a form of art–to pick the list of potential tracks, to draw out what I think the artwork should look like, and to eliminate and create the final track list.
Occasionally, that book also turns into a sketchbook or a space to dabble–with new, small scale block prints, or quick little drawings.
What kinds of lists and sketches do you keep?
This is one of my latest block prints that’s got me thinking and wanting to print it everywhere. It just needs fabric.
I tested it in my First 1oo Days sketchbook, which is a project I am working on to help me process and make art as part of my creative resistance. I call this one “Which way?”
What kinds of things are you doing? Making?
After my first go around with block printing back in November, I’ve been taking to it in the last few weeks to explore printing blocks on top of one another, and determining how to create pattern.
I’m getting in a lot of studio practice, thanks in part to a little space set up for me in work by a brilliant artist friend and co worker of mine, Rebecca. As an extension of having this space, the students can see how we work, our process, and we can demo different techniques.
The first block I made featured the No DAPL slogan. If you don’t know about Dakota Access, know that its one of the most important issues facing Native Americans right now; our sacred land and water are threatened and you should get involved. I decided to make this block print because I could easily replicate it a million times to spread awareness.
This is our civil rights moment as indigenous peoples. I will use my craft and my art to spread the message.
I recently took a block printing class, and despite my obsessive compulsive tendencies getting in the way of carving a perfect block, I learned a lot about the process and my work habits, too.
One of the most important things I learned about my own making adventures has to do with how much I have changed perspective throughout the years about what I’m creating, why I’m creating it, and how I’m creating it. When I was a teenager and in my early twenties, I desired to make certain things. The end product was what I coveted and I would learn whatever skills were needed to create that thing. And while I learned a whole bunch during the process, I didn’t focus on process.
This fabric block printing class showed me how much I’ve changed. While most in the class had a concrete idea of what they wanted to make and why they were taking the class (“I want to make hand printed napkins for my Thanksgiving table”, for instance), when it came time for me to share I hadn’t a plan in mind–I just wanted to gain the skills and come up with the ideas later.
I think I spent as much time in my sketchbook coming up with ideas as I did carving and printing on muslin.
This type of printing is pretty meditative. As a child, I loved stamping and took a number of classes, became and embossing expert, and developed a pretty robust set of stamps. Now, I can make those stamps.
And while my initial block featured a really small pattern that was hard to execute on the first go around, I learned a lot about manipulating the materials to do what you want and need. It’s challenging. But I think I’m going to do more of this.
Have you ever tried fabric block printing? What have you created?