Thermofax 101, Screen Printing Made Easy by Lyric Kinard, dvd review

Thermofax_Lyric

I first met Lyric Kinard at a QATV taping in Ohio. I was immediately taken by her presence and we have remained friends through the years. I own a copy of Lyric’s book, Art+Quilt, which is very detailed with artistic concepts and approaches, and illustrates how these can be applied to work in the quilt medium. When Lyric asked if I might consider reviewing her most recent, self published DVD Workshop called Thermofax 101, Screen Printing made easy, I jumped at the chance. 

I do not own a Thermofax machine, though I wish I did. I am grateful that Lyric maintains a service where you can purchase Thermofax screens and supplies using your own original artwork, or you can purchase a selection of hand picked, royalty free designs. Knowing I would be reviewing Lyric’s newest offering, I went to town creating a few designs to print with, and I bought several screens using my own original designs.

The DVDs and supplies came promptly to my door, I ordered 6 screens, 6 frames, and I chose to mount my own designs after watching the DVD. Everything was packed tidily, no dents, folds or problems.

Now, I am not a total Thermofax newbie. I have bought screens from various friends and services, I have used these screens (to death), and I know the general framework of the process. I have not specialized in the use of Thermofax screens, because I do not own one. Also, and this is an odd one, I have found using Thermofax screens to be a bit of a challenge in terms of how to manage all of the items needed on my small work surface. More on this later.

So, I popped the DVD in my player, sat and watched the 65 minute, 4 chapter video. Lyric did a fantastic job covering each aspect of the technique. Her delivery is well presented, energetic, informed, and engaged. Lyric unpacks the essentials of what you need to know, but she also delivers additional information to help you envision, for example, how to make motifs that speak to one another in a unified manner, she talks about media you might screen-other than paint, and she touches upon using Thermofax screens in mixed media too.  

 

One of the things I really like is that Lyric shows a foible that she experienced when working with the wrong type of paint for the job. she corrected her mistake and discussed that too. We all make mistakes, it is great to learn how to recover from making artistic mistakes and Lyric is not afraid to discuss this. This is one of the things that makes a great teacher.

  

The thing that impressed me the most is, Lyric even offered a suggestion as to how to manage the screen, squeegee and paint while working! She discussed an issue that I have, in using screens! I thought I was just being persnickety! But no, this is a concern and Lyric addressed it.

  

So, yes. I highly recommend Lyric’s newest offering, Thermofax 101. I confidently suggest you purchase your own copy and support my good friend, and, do not hesitate to use her screen making service. Printing with Thermofax is a great way to easily print repeatable imagery on cloth. 

  

(Here you see, I have used a freezer paper resist over a previously printed floral dot. I am using thickened dye, which is not a focus of Lyric’s DVD. Dye is a love of mine and I have more of it available than I do paint, so I went for it. One of the nice things about dye is that it does not dry into the mesh of the screen, making it easier to clean. )

I am also quite happy to say, Lyric will be giving away one copy of her DVD to my readers. For a chance to win, please comment on this post for your chance to win. I will email the winner on May 13. Lyric will ship overseas too! Please comment.

Check out what my fellow bloggers did to support Lyric’s new endeavor:

April 24 Cheryl Rezendez  http://www.cherylrezendes.com

April 25  Leslie Tucker Jenison  http://leslietuckerjenison.blogspot.com  

April 28  Sue Bleiweiss  http://www.suebleiweiss.com/blog/

April 30  Judy Gula  http://www.artisticartifacts.com/about_us/contactus.htm

May 1  Susan Price & Elizabeth Gibson  http://pgfiber2art.blogspot.com/

May 2  Judy Coates Perez  http://www.judycoatesperez.com

May 4  Linda Stokes  www.lindastokes-textileartist.com

May 6  Jane Davila  http://janedavila.blogspot.com

May 6 Melanie Testa http://melanietesta.com/blog/

May 7  Liz Kettle  http://www.textileevolution.com/index.php/our-journey

May 8  Carol Sloan  http://carolbsloan.blogspot.com

May 9  Kathy York  http://aquamoonartquilts.blogspot.com

May 11  Susan Brubaker Knapp  http://wwwbluemoonriver.blogspot.com

May 12  Desiree Habicht  http://myclothesline.blogspot.com

May 13  Jamie Fingal  http://JamieFingalDesigns.blogspot.com/

May 14  Deborah Boschert  http://deborahsjournal.blogspot.com

May 15  Sarah Ann Smith  sarahannsmith.com/weblog

And the winner is…

Tesuque! I do have a fair amount of spam on my blog, so I am hoping this is a real person, lol!!! Congratulations Tesuque.

Intentional Printing by Lynn Krawczyk: it gets my vote.

Intentional Printing - jacket art

I have been friends with Lynn and have been watching her mature as an artist for a few years. When I heard she was coming out with a book, I was not surprised. In Lynn’s capable hands and with this fabulous surface design manual, Intentional Printing, you will learn about using paints on cloth in several techniques, using different tools and approaches to designing interesting cloth. As a textile designer and an artist who works in cloth, I was very interested in seeing what, how and why Lynn works with her chosen media.

This book is quite interesting to me as well because Lynn likes to hand stitch portions of her work. I too love stitching and working my own printed cloth by hand, so you can see there are strong points of interest between our different approaches to working printed cloth. I was happy to receive a copy of this book for review and to jump on a blog hop about it. I sent Lynn a list of questions and asked if she would please send some pretties to dazzle your eyes. This coming post highlights Lynn and her amazing accomplishment, Intentional Printing.

Lynn K art close up

1. Let’s talk about the concept of stashing. Do you “stash’ hand printed cloth or paper or are you in the habit of making per project? For myself, I prefer to make per project and am trying to whittle down the stash I do have. Please discuss your thoughts and approach to keeping a stash (or not).

I love this question!  I think stashes reveal so much about how an artist works!

I print fabric only when I’m working on a project, I don’t print it to stash. With that being said, I do have quite a bit of “blank” fabric lurking in the studio. Since I work on fabric that already has color in it, I’ve got reserves to choose from when it’s time to print.

And the scraps? I have a lot of scraps and since I make collages, I tend to hang on to nearly everything. The piece has to be super tiny for me to toss it. I keep those in clear boxes, I love the riot of color and pattern they create when they all mix together. It’s really inspiring! 

Lynn K question 1a

2. Embroidery seems essential to your methodologies, can you please discuss why this is? Do you print with ideas of stitch work in mind or is it a free for all?

Hand stitching is one of my biggest loves. The first kind of fiber art I got involved with was crazy quilting, which features hand stitching prominently. So I developed a strong connection with that kind of stitching right out of the gate. It’s something that has stuck with me even while the rest of my interests evolved.

I don’t really print the fabric with the stitching in mind. But at the same time, I always leave gaps in the printing. Meaning that unless I’m making art cloth, I leave it unfinished so that I can add other things in as I continue to work on it. A lot of times that other thing ends up being hand stitching.

And I’ll use any type of thread – perle cotton, sewing machine thread. I relish the long periods of time it takes to stitch something to within an inch of it’s life. 

Lynn K question 2b

 3. You work in several media, how do you manage this? Do you have a favorite media, or is your favorite media the one you are presently engaging in. I too have several medias and I often use them to cycle through and to help move blocked or stalled projects forward. Please discuss.

I do have other interests but they nearly all revolve around fiber. I’m really into knitting and crochet. I decided to learn to knit because I had used some yarn on an art quilt once and loved it so much, I wanted an excuse to buy and use all the pretty yarns!  😀

I think it’s a good thing to have more then one type of activity, it lets your creative mind rest. And I often find that in those breaks from the big projects, things shake loose that you might be stuck on.

Besides, there’s so much to explore! I always come back to my paint and fabric and collages but I don’t keep my muse on such a short leash that it can’t just have some fun.

Lynn K question 3

 4. Is there one technique that is your ‘Go To’ method? If so, do you try to challenge yourself to move away from it, or do you go with it and see where it takes you?

I have given this question a good think. Because I can’t say that I am faithful to any one technique. I do love Thermofax Screen Printing a lot but I do so many other printing methods that get equal billing.

Instead I’ll say that I’m dedicated to using paint. I do dye my own base fabric to work on but the pattern that gets created on the fabric? Always paint. I love working with it and the different effects you can get with the opacity of it. The challenge, in my mind, comes with sticking with it and learning it’s boundaries and how far I can push it. 

Lynn K question 4b


I think Lynn’s book is a great primer on both printing cloth using acrylic paint and combining this with hand stitch.

Seeing as I work predominantly with dye, the immersion into the use of paint did me good, and I understand that some people are hesitant to use dye, in which case, this book is especially geared toward you. But even if you have no problem mixing up some concentrate and printing with it, you will find interest and divergence from your preferred methods in this book. I think it is a solid artistic offering and that the techniques and projects are approachable and well presented. 

I am always interested to see how other surface designers approach layering, using color to best advantage while exploring concepts of design and composition. Lynn is gentle in her guidance and really thorough in teaching you to look at and to respond your work. It is almost as if she is sitting at your shoulder, teaching you the things she does really well. Just as it should be.

I am a fan.

Good job Lynn, and thank you.


 

So. I would like to give this copy of Intention Printing away. I will ship within the continental United States. Please leave a message below to enter you name into the drawing. I will use number generator to pick a winner one week from today, April 9. The drawing will occur April 16.

And don’t hesitate to check out the other blog hop sites!

Draw, stamp, screen print and more to create gorgeous art cloth with the help of surface design artistLynn Krawczyk’s new book, Intentional Printing: Simple Techniques for Inspired Art Fabric (Interweave/F+W Media; $26.99.) Take part in our blog tour with stops along the way at:

 

 

 

Kass Hall’s Zentangle Untangled

Kass Hall just came out with Zentangle Untangled and I have to say, her book made me understand Zentangles. They really are inspirational and ever so meditative. For me, drawing is meditative, but to do it purposely to that end is a very healing thing indeed. For this fact alone I recommend Kass’s book, but I recommend it for many other reasons as well.

I like Kass. We began talking last year before her book was released and we share an experience of using art to heal the self through cancer treatment. Kass is another strong woman, so I honor her for just this reason alone, as if I need a reason!  😀

We caught up on Skype last night and then continued the conversation through email. Where she said, 

‘Personally, Zentangle has been very therapeutic for me and has helped me a lot through my cancer last year and prior to that. Having that to focus on (and be so portable) has been a real benefit to my coping with illness. I find I really am able to zone out from the world and even my own thoughts when I am drawing – sometimes I haven’t even noticed the phone ringing!’

I couldn’t agree more. I used writing Dreaming from the Journal Page as a catalyst to get me through treatment. It helped me to switch my doctors appointments into interruptions from writing, so that writing, making art, drawing, painting pages, was the goal. Going to doctors appointments were needed but not the all consuming goal it could have been had the universe not given me a contract during the same week as being given a major diagnosis. Kass found out she had her 4th bout of cancer 6 weeks before her book deadline. And she traversed those waters with grace and gave us a fabulous text in spite of and because of her experience.

 

Zentangle Untangled: Inspiration and Prompts for Meditative Drawing is a great book. If you would like to begin using art as a means to heal, as a balm for the frenetic energy of our crazy fast world, this book is for you. 

Here is the list of Blog Hop Links: