New Block printing project

posted in: Fabric printing | 7

The Tessellation project has been really good fun, but now I want to make a piece of fabric for a blouse, skirt or dress. I am inspired by the work of Roger Fry and Duncan Grant at the Omega workshop.

The use of geometric shapes and bold colours, and the fact that they turned their textiles into garments is very appealing and I am keen to get a design that I can use in my textiles class.

Also I have been thinking about Nick’s grandma’s butter knife. Here is some Andy Warhol inspiration.

And here are a few sketches I have done in three colours (grey, pink and turquoise) that might work as block prints.

Block printing sketches
Sketches for block printing

I preferred the third picture  with its lovely curves so I went back to the knife which Nick inherited from his Grandma. It’s pretty old and made of silver, or its silver plated; it has some hall marks and you can see that it tarnishes but the material that joined the handle to blade has been damaged by being in the dishwasher, unfortunately. It has a soft curved blade as it is for butter and doesn’t have to cut – just spread. So very different to the aggressive, killer knives used by Warhol. This knife is safe (but not dishwasher safe). Just to remind you of what it looks like.

Old silver butter knife
Grandma’s knife

I did a few sketches of the knife using a felt tip pen. I thought it might create a kind of stripe effect. The second picture is where I sliced the original drawing and reattached it, then drew in the joins. This is to make sure the repeat works when you print.

Sketches of knife
Sketches of knife

Last week I made a polystyrene block and printed two metres in light grey. I will print on top of this background cloth this week. It looks pretty murky and not very promising, doesn’t it? Not as nice as ChezSews efforts. But I think it will be fine when I have added some further colour. I plan to cut out a knife shape in lino and use this small block to overprint with some striking colours. Pink and yellow? Mid blue and pink? Navy and deep grey?

Block printing
Light grey background

7 Responses

  1. amaryllislog

    I love your knife and your suggested color blocking. I also like what happened as you created your print. It’s incredibly interesting to see the evolution of an idea. What happens next…?

  2. Joyce

    Isn’t it nice to be reminded of the beauty in simple everyday items. I too think the grey background will work with the coloured overlay prints. Your clothes make for interesting conversation. I’d love to be a fly on the wall ,when you slip off your jacket on coffee break! Just wonderful kate. Andy would be proud

  3. Stephanie

    Very cool fabric, especially for a skirt. Agree though about the dirty colour in the photo, though I definitely think it can be transformed with some high contrast. I could see either the colourful route or the navy dark grey one which would perhaps be more sophisticated. Difficult to say. I do have a couple of flashy summer skirts so it depends where you want to wear it!

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