Sunday, 12 August 2012

Different ways of working

I was looking forward to the Olympics coming to London but I have enjoyed it even more than I thought I would. I have never watched so much television. As I work in London, I was dreading the impact on the transport system but fortunately the problems didn't materialise. The Olympics may not have delayed my trains but they have delayed this post!

Here is another of my gridy pieces - still work in progress.

You may have seen in a previous post that I had printed with white screen inks and then dyed the cloth green. I tried to discharge the cloth but it had very little impact. There were sections of the cloth that were quite interesting and others that were a little ropey. I didn't have much to lose so decided to over print the cloth with more grids.

By chance I came across some notes on how to mix aubergine and thought that colour could work well with the light green cloth. I started with darker colour at the bottom of the cloth and lightened the dye paste as I worked up the cloth. The aubergine began to look quite pink near the top.

Here is a close-up of some of the darker areas and it's surprising how adding the darker colour has highlighted the earlier screen ink printing.  

Here is a close-up of the lighter areas. I really like the how you can see the layers of printing coming through.

When I go back to printing in September, I think I will try and make the very bottom of the piece darker still and I quite like the idea of introducing some gold too. But we'll see.

I plan to work on these gridy pieces until they are complete ....whatever that means....but not to start on any new gridy pieces. It has been a bit of an experiment to work this way. My usual method of working is to have a goal, a picture in mind of what I want to achieve and to work back from that. Obviously this requires a clear picture in the first place and it can be frustrating when you don't have one. With this method of working I have printed and responded to the results. This brings it's own challenges, of course. If you don't have a vision of what you are trying to achieve then how do you know what to do next? On the other hand you can't be disappointed that it doesn't meet your vision.

I'm sure that both methods of working have their merits and I feel that I have benefited from working outside my comfort zone. Perhaps in the future I could incorporate both into a piece? I certainly feel I am more likely to now. How do you work?


  1. I'm enjoy watching the progress of your griddy piece!
    I'm a newbie screenprinter but I love it! Where do you get your screens from??

    1. Hi Gill. My thermofax screens usually originate from my designs and I generally get the screens made when I am at Committed to Cloth but if you would like a mail order service you could have a look here: They will make a screen using your design and they also sell ready made designs. I have used them and been pleased with the service.

  2. Yes the Olympics have been great, I too have been glued to the Tv.
    I'm giving up on textiles and devoting my life to gymnastics now!

    1. Why don't you use gymnastics as a theme in your textiles? It could be safer. On the other hand of your heart's set on gymnastics then let me know and I'll come and support you. I already have a flag!

  3. Hello Marian
    I saw your wonderful quilts at FOQ yesterday, well done they were beautiful!


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