My first screen printing experience was in Year 8 at high school and it was a disaster! We were asked to design an album cover which we then printed onto paper with oil based inks…what a mess. It was very runny and sticky and ended up everywhere AND the cleanup… It was probably at this point my love of all water based techniques started. Discovering printing onto fabric with water based inks was a dream. I have been printing on and off ever since.
For a number of years I printed lengths of fabric on a purpose built printing table (thanks Dad) and I’ve used a carousel (thanks again Dad for building this one too) to print production runs.
Throughout the years my studio spaces and the type of work I create has changed. My current work is not primarily printing as it has been in the past. Instead of long print runs, I print lots of small pieces in a variety of colours and designs. I usually work on my laundry bench on a folded up old sheet. For small pieces like this I don’t even pin down the fabric…
I printed a queen sized doona cover for my son last year on a makeshift table at craft house see Josh’s Doona cover . Here I taped down the fabric.
After a workshop with Kerr Grabowski in 2012 I made a rough print table in my shed for more space for deconstruction printing. As you can see it’s a bit hard to find…I used it once.At the workshop Kerr used a thick piece of covered foam board to pin her fabric into and print on. I imagine it fits nicely in her suit case for traveling to workshop locations.With this in mind I have made a print board from a piece of corrugated plastic covered in an old blanket and my print sheet.
I have been printing on silk organza lately. This requires an under layer to absorb the excess ink and needs to be changed with every print. The excess sections of print sheet are now hemmed and can cover the board as extra absorbent layers as needed. I tried the new table/board yesterday and it works really well.
The interesting part of this process was I had the chance to really look at my print sheet. There are some great little “complex cloth” pieces here. It is a joy to look at the over prints of various projects, knowing this was the beginning…