As part of our show at Sprout I held a textile design and printing workshop. We spent a lovely evening looking at vintage textiles and mid-century designers before designing and carving our own blocks. We used softcut blocks instead of lino as this is easier to cut and safer to use with children.
I had spent a while researching fabric inks that would work with softcut and transfer well to fabric. I had come across Permaset inks and wanted to try these as they are water based and non-toxic. They are intended for screen printing rather than relief or block prints, so I was worried they would not be sticky enough, but the nice people at Colormaker in Australia who manufacture Permaset inks very kindly gave me some advice and suggested using a sponge roller. And I'm pleased to say the Permaset inks worked a treat. It's been a while since I've done any printmaking and it was really satisfying, I've missed making work this way. One of the lovely things about our exhibition, apart from working with a lovely local artist, is having a bright airy space where the outside surrounds you and space for larger printing projects. Very different to sewing in my back room, and especially nice on these crisp glowing days we have been having.
Next week we will print our lino blocks and then make our fabric up into something fancy for the home, a cushion, a tea cosy or a bag!
Earlier in the week we had a special session of our ceramic painting workshop at Sprout for making little hand and foot prints. Lovely Cara gently took prints of babies and toddlers onto ceramic cups, plates, tiles and even xmas baubles. She then adds dedications and decorations and fires them at her studio. We will repeating this again on Saturday and Monday.