Tuesday 17 June 2008

block printing

As I mentioned below I've signed up for Jesse's Swatch Swap. This inspired me to get out the lino the other day and transfer a pattern I've been thinking about for a while. The design I had in mind was quite detailed though and I struggled to cut the lino. I'm out of practice.
I still have some softcut left from my experiments in stamping so I swapped to that. By using a knife to outline the areas and then gouging areas between lines I got much better results. Can I say though I am still amazed at the results some people can get and I am going to practice and work more slowly next time.
This afternoon, despite having a million more pressing (boring) things to do I pulled out some material I had left over from screenprinting. This was already washed and I quickly ironed it to get a good surface. I have a large container of red screenprinting inks and following a hint, which I think I saw on Jezzeblog a sponge roller I bought at the hardware a while ago.
I've tried using a hard roller but I find the fabric ink is much thinnner than block printing ink and just rolls into the cracks, giving a patchy result.
The sponge roller is a great idea and gives a much denser cover.

Cutting the blocks from the background gave me a nice clean background and meant I wasn't limited in my layout. It was a bit fiddly though. I laid it out by eye but I'd be interested in learning better methods for lining up designs. It would also be good to have a group of softcut shapes arranged on a wooden block so larger areas can be covered quickly and with even pressure, and I'd love to have a go at two or more colours.
I am a visual person and someone who needs to try things to be able to understand what results I can get so it was great to experiment. As she mentioned on her blog today, I emailled Jesse the other day to suggest a Flickr group for her Swap. I thought it would be great to share information about successes, failures, materials, process etc. I really hope that other people will share their printing and we can all learn from each other.


  1. I tried to leave a comment earlier but blogger was acting screwy. I hope this doesn't post twice.

    I like the print. It came out really nice. My first try at block printing, I had some problems. Jesse pointed me in the direction of a sponge roller. Seeing how well yours turned out, I can't wait to try it again.

  2. every time i visit your blog, i get inspired to try some screenprinting on fabric. your blog is a wealth of knowledge on it! i will follow your printing adventures with interest... and would LOVE to join that swap, but am way too scared! :)

    can't wait to see what you make/receive.

  3. Thanks Tina, you are always so encouraging :-) I will look forward to seeing what you come up with on the Flickr group.
    Melissa, lovely compliments, thank you :-) Don't be scared, I think you should join the swap! But even if you don't, have a go at block printing, it is quite easy and everything looks better on fabric!

  4. Hey - just checked out your first printing - looks great!

    I was having the same trouble with printing fabric inks - I will have to try the sponge roller - thanks so much!

    Maybe I will do the fabric swap with block instead of silkscreen - hmmm...

  5. Hi Leanne, I was just looking at your site yesterday! I have just officially joined Printsy. You are obviously multi-talented and could do anything :-)


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