Sunday, 26 February 2017
Playing with Block Printing
There were 5 of us who had never done block printing on fabric before. We each got a jar of paint, a handle with 5 blades and a piece of soft, rubbery, easy to carve material, from which to make our own stamps. I'd missed the memo on bringing a pre-chosen design in an appropriate size, but I'd sketched out a couple of pages of designs which were luckily in the right ballpark for size. We transferred our images to the block using carbon paper and then carved away, sticking a block of wood on the back using contact cement when we were done. Well Percival actually did all the contact cement work, since he was finished first and had the tin of glue and brush in front of him.
This class was for the SCA, so most people did something heraldic, but I chose this vine design. If I'd thought it out a tad more carefully, I'd have made sure that the central vine matched up exactly at the top and bottom, but it's close enough to be charming, if not perfect. The block I carved is on the left and is a reverse of what you actually get when you stamp. I didn't have a way to properly clean the stamp until I got home, so it's a bit stained.
We did a sample on wool fabric, but it was really fuzzy and the test sample on paper, to see if the block stamp produced an image we were happy with, was lovely and clear. As I was heading home, in the gusty wind, with big flakes of snow swirling around on the road and rushing through the air, I came to the conclusion that these simple stamps would make lovely cards and gift tags.
Westfield had a volunteer enrichment day a couple of weeks ago, where I got to make a very cute, lovely card, using scrap booking methods. While I liked the outcome, I realized that I really didn't have the time, desire, space and $ to amass the amount of paper, cutters, stamps and inks it would take to do these cards justice. However, I'd been wanting to make cards for ages and with making and stamping them, all the supplies could be kept in a tiny, little bin, cost would be negligible, and the only real investment would be my time. Plus, while I enjoyed the cuteness, I think that the fake wood block print is much more my style.