Block Printed Fabric Scraps

I have been practicing printing on fabric using screenprinting, block printing, stamping, and stenciling.  I am itching to get some products out there onto my (currently empty) Etsy store.  For now I will content myself with practicing honing my craft. (Note: I don’t have pictures of my block prints here)

These prints I did on repurposed fabrics. I am really fascinated with the idea of printing on repurposed/recycled fabrics, which are  abundant. I detest waste. I feel like objects have more than one life in them and I try to use what had been previously cast aside as being no longer worthy. In the following prints I’ve used fabrics that would otherwise be destined for the landfill.  It was a great feeling to know that I got a little more use out of them.

The picture above shows my attempt at printing ‘ribbons’.  I printed these using block stamps of my own designs that I cut by hand out of self-adhesive craft foam, I then mount the shape onto a piece of clear acrylic.  (Side note: The acrylic blocks are sold in craft stores with the rubber stamping materials.  Buy those if you like paying a lot of money for your things.  I prefer to go the the glass/plexiglass section of home depot or lowes, as asking them to sell me their discards.  I got a bunch for about $2, which I cut down to size using the plexiglass knife.) These ribbons were printed onto a deconstructed twin fitted sheet I was kind of tired of. I ripped it into strips about 2 inches wide.

The image above shows a design I drew and cut out onto plain ol’ contact paper.  I used the contact paper as my stencil by sticking it onto the screen. I do this method for short run printing or when I’m just itching to print and don’t want to burn a screen. The fabric comes from a cut up pair of linen pants that Mr. AfroMartha didn’t want anymore.

I love doing repeat/allover patterns just as much as single placement patterns but they can be tricky when using the the screen printing method!  The pattern above is my first attempt at a repeat.  I had a hard time lining up  my design on the fabric. I am going back to the drawing board to master registration before I burn any more screens.  The fabric comes from an ikea curtain I purchased from the thrift store.  The fabric is really nice and sturdy, and I wish I’d gotten both panels instead of one.

The ribbons again… The pink and red ribbon was hand-stamped.  The fabric was some random piece of fabric I had around and decided to dye to try out the packet of iDye. The dye took pretty well, and I thought it was a nice backdrop for the stamping.  My daughter begged me to dye her white sundress pink, which I did along with this fabric. It looks smashing and she loves the dress even more now, but I can’t wait to add some designs to the bottom of it.  Of course I will post once it’s completed. Stay tuned…

Renegade Craft Fair Recap

The AfroMartha household has been so busy adding mileage to our vehicles that I have been seriously lacking in my posts.  Sorry!

Lotta, Me, my Daughter Yejide

As I mentioned in my last post oh-so-long-ago, I went to Renegade Brooklyn.  And what a wonderful time it was! I got to meet other artists/crafters and indulge my love of all things creative.  And yes, I met Lotta!  She was so gracious and approachable.  My daughter and I got to stencil a tote bag at her workshop and I got to pick her brain a little… it was quite busy at her station but she still took time out to make each person feel welcomed.  She even autographed our tote!  Check out picture on left.

I am now ever more resolved in my decision to pursue screen printing/printmaking.  I love the instant gratification and the permanence of what you create with this medium. Had I taken a serigraphy course in college I would have been hooked sooner.  Better late than never.

I am working on a new product line while perfecting my technique.  In the meantime I also discovered another designer, Jenny Sauer of Three Sheets 2 the Wind.  Her work is simply marvelous, and it’s exactly what I hope to be doing (and better) someday!  I was so excited that she lives/works in the Cincinnati area. I had visions of somehow working my way into apprenticing under her.  I was so excited that I commited the faux pas of comparing her to another artist. OUCH.  I meant it in the most sincere and complimentary way, but I realized too late that it’s never a good idea to compare one person’s work to another. I tried to clean up my comment with a comment, but it’s already out there.  You can’t take it back. Well, I guess I blew that.

Oh, finally I picked up my own copies of Meg Mateo Ilasco’s “Craft, INC” and “Craft, INC Business Planner.” Awesome.  A must have for anyone who has wondered where to even begin to organize the different facets of having a creative business. I hope to work through the workbook successfully before venturing back out to the business side of things.

And now, I get ready to get back on the road again!