Printing with Intent

I plan to print 40 fat sixteenths in this carved rubber, buta motif, series ( for 2.5 yards). So far, I have printed 25 of the little fatties. So, I need 15 more. When I am finished printing these, I will use up the remaining dye with a single color all over print for another 2.5 yards, for a total of 5 yards of cloth.

I am happy with the results I see, so far! I have carved 7 different blocks, and color separated each of them. In printing these samples, I have been quite pleased with the crispness of each color applied. I have one more 4″ red rubber block to carve for the series to be complete! I think I will change the scale of the motif with this last carve.

I have also gotten to the point where I can close my eyes and envision whether or not the next color application will play nicely. Bonus!

For a long while, I applied color in a willy-nilly fashion. This helped me build color preferences and understand the use of value within the layers of the multicolor print set. But because I wasn’t conscious of what was occurring, I printed many duds. Usable, and even pretty duds, but you know.

When you want pretty, and you get…interesting…. well.

So this was a steam and boil sort of day! My color retention was good and everything is hanging to drip dry now.

This photograph was taken just before the steam and boil. I will update this post with a follow up, so you can see the difference.

Are you interested in printing fabric to be used in your own quilts? If so, please let me know if you have any sticking points that impede your abilities. I would like to trouble shoot this with you! Please leave a comment. And join our Facebook Playful Fabric Printing Community.

 

 

 

Learning, taking notes and repetition.

Recently my friend, Lisa Chin came to NYC and we had two art playdates. Lisa is a fantastic printmaker and carver. Check out her website and her insta!

In playing together, Lisa wanted me to try out Inovart Eco Karve (and some paints too, though that is a post for another day). So, I tucked in and took some lessons. As I did so, of course, I took notes in my Moleskine.

In the Moleskine, I printed a strike-off (page 31, Playful Fabric Printing), made notes about the carving rubber itself. Then in true Melly style, I decided to carve several similar designs so that I could further improve my skill set within this new carving medium.

Repetition helps build muscle memory and similar imagery gives me time to explore similar lines and carving approaches. I printed them off using the same colors in order to evaluate them side by side. I think the white serves this design well in both versions. I am partial to the white dots at top right, but think both benefit by judicious use of white. White is often a bully of a presence in printed fabric, I feel this use of white creates balanced ‘pop’. I will write notes about this too!

As I create motifs and print, keeping notes along the way allows me to keep up with myself. I have been doing it for long enough that I have 4 journals worth of juicy notes. As a resource, dipping into these journals is really helpful. It can help shift your perspective on current work, provide new ideas, remind you of a new art material or perhaps a playdate with a good friend.

Do you take notes and track your creative efforts? Leave a comment and tell me what you do.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave