Simple Steps to Surface Design

Aha and AHHHH…These are the words you want to hear from participants in your workshop. That lovely moment when something clicks or they can see a connection to what you are presenting and the type of work they already do…a new way of working, a slight twist, an “of course”… I’ve had all these moments myself at workshops and artist talks. Some of them are defining moments in my work. Often a small, seemingly insignificant part of the whole, has made the difference.
I had the great pleasure of running two half day workshops for WAFTA late last week. Simple Steps to Surface Design was part of a series of Textile Techniques Toolbox workshops to coincide with the launch of “Altered States” WAFTA’s member challenge exhibition. The challenge is to create a small work of art from the surprise contents of a bag of materials. These workshops are designed to inspire and expand possibilities.Print wsahop 4In my half day workshops we covered screen printing in various forms, gelli printing, stamping, spray stencils, fugitive medium, Dylon and RIT dyeing. A lot to cover in a few hours, just a taster to explore further if it was of interest. The participants made lots of A4 size samples – reference material for future work.Print wshop2Print wshopPrint wshop 12Print wshop 10Print wshop 7I loved seeing my stencils and stamps used in ways I would never have thought of…how each participant explored new possibilities. I loved their delight when something surprised them and they were excited to explore further.Print wshop 3Plastic dyed 4Print wshop 5

Print wshop 9Dyed PlasticPlastic Dye 3 Dyeing DylonI am really looking forward to seeing all that comes from this.

Gelatine Printing

Colour Project – Purple, Part 4

I’ve only had one attempt at Gelatine Plate Printing – about a year ago. It’s one of those techniques you need to try before you can understand how it works, and then you can think about how you can use it.¬† I’ve been looking at the gelatin plate in the fridge for about a year now thinking I must have another go. Well on closer inspection the plate was a slimy mouldy mess…straight to the bin including the tray.

I now have a new Gelatine Plate…

Rayna Gillman’s book Create Your Own Hand-Printed Cloth which shows a variety of ways you can use a Gelatine plate to make a print from one texture inspired these samples.

The print below is made by laying fabric over an onion bag netting on the gelatin plate. Below this is the print on dyed silk from the plate after the onion bag is removed.

Below – Bubble wrap texture first print on cotton, below this the ghost or second print on dyed silk.

Below – another ghost print with the excess paint on the bubble wrap stamped onto the fabric.

Below – Potato Masher used as a texture, first print and below this the ghost print.

Using cotton lace doilies, a print over the doilies on the plate, the first print and ghost print.

The texture on the last two are from a rubber mat, stamped directly onto fabric as the texture on the gelatine plate was made and the first print.