Last weekend I ran what will most likely be my last screen printing workshop for the year. Baby two is due in just three short months and I've been thinking a lot about creative process, time management and just how much I enjoy teaching printing, sewing and upcycling workshops.
My own approach to screen printing is pretty DIY. I handcut my stencils, I print at a kitchen table covered with a woolen blanket and an old sheet, I use newspaper in between T-shirts and I dry everything on an old clothes horse. I like taking this approach because it keeps the production tight, small and manageable for me. And I like teaching this approach because it gives participants a good idea of how they can set up for printing at home simply and affordably.
Reflecting on teaching over the last week I've come to realise that the thing I love most about hosting workshops is the discussion of participants ideas for future projects and the way this leads me to share ideas 'outside' the scope of the workshop.
On Sunday I had four lovely ladies come along, each with different ideas and projects to try out from personalised quilts to a range of cushions featuring local suburb names. We talked about how screen printing could be incorporated into their current creative practice and somehow our discussion led to a demonstration of relief printing with old doilies. Jen snapped a few pics:
You can read about Jen's workshop experience and new project ideas here and if you fancy trying your hand at doily printing you can find a tutorial for here.
This quick demonstration and the positive and excited response from the workshop ladies sent my brain firing off in all directions as I contemplated layering and over printing. It's something I've thought about for a long time but never really followed through as there's so much to think about in terms of colour and pattern combinations and this is something I've never really felt particularly confident about. You know how some people just seem to throw colour and pattern together and it works and looks AMAZING!!!! I've just never felt that confident.
But....... feeling super charged from the shared creativity, I decided I would finally give it a whirl and on the Monday following the workshop I gathered my doilies, some vintage floral offcuts, my printing supplies and a stencil I had cut during the workshop inspired by our mad guinea fowl Frank. And here's what happened:
Gotta say I'm super duper excited about how they turned out, in fact there may have been some (rather sedate six month pregnant lady) jumping up and down on the spot when I lifted the screen off the fabric.
I love the way the pattern shows through on the light coloured prints and the doily underneath looks like guinea fowl feathers and I love the simplicity of the black print too. I've decided to call the range 'frank's wild years' and I've been busy this week making them into a short run of cushions combined with some vintage ric-rac, garage sale zips and teal cotton drill.
Another happy creative adventure.