Since I just shared some images of my block print process, I thought I'd post a few photos of my screen printing process this week. Much of my work is inspired by natural elements that I find on walks. The inspiration for this pattern was a beautiful fern I found in the swamps that border the lake. It measured about 24 inches in length and the finished printed pattern is the same scale. The photos above show my watercolor painting and the in-progress painting of the pattern on the screen with a liquid called drawing fluid. Drawing fluid masks the area of the screen that you'd like to print with so that when you cover the screen with screen filler, the drawing fluid can be washed away and the ink can pass through that area. These new cotton Fern towels will be available in my shop this week, along with another pattern that combines both processes of screen and block printing.
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Full and half aprons are restocked in my SHOP.
I recycle and reuse my printing screens when I've grown tired of a pattern. It requires some serious elbow grease to clean them but it's a good way to keep my supply inventory manageable. There are, however, many patterns that I've used consistently over the years and just can't give up. I've found that sometimes all it takes to give new life to an old pattern is a different color. I printed my 'Mai' pattern in deep moss green on a batch of aprons and it's definitely a keeper.
On one of my recent vintage rummaging days, I came across an apron from the 1940s. It was made from a red and white apple print textile that had clearly been worn a lot in its first life. It was more colorful and whimsical than my usual preference but I ended up buying it because there was something about it that I really liked. As with all old things, it had a story. One of the threads of its story was a torn pocket, and to me this made the tiny cotton apron special. For days after bringing it home, I kept thinking of this torn pocket and the feelings it generated. Peacefulness, curiosity, sentimentality... and a knowing sense that something ‘flawed’ is perfect in its imperfection. As I get older, I’m attracted to people and things that are comfortable and curious with their inner conflicts, transparent in their messiness and sometimes even celebratory of it. When I designed my new line of aprons, I kept this in mind. The hemp textile I used has incredible texture, inconsistencies and character.
I tried to preserve these traits, as best I could, by leaving raw edges that show the distress of the weaving and garment dyeing the aprons to encourage variations of shade on the stitching and folds. I guess this is kind of a long way of expressing how happy I am for small moments in life that influence my creative work.
To read & see more about my new hemp aprons, please visit my online SHOP
Three new prints are in my shop for Spring. A bit early, I know, but I just couldn’t wait any longer. This latest collection is inspired by old textiles which is not surprising since I find myself happily surrounded by them. If you’ve met me at a market or show in the past couple of years, chances are you’ve met my frequent boothmate, Angela, who also happens to be my amazing Mom. She and her sister travel to the most beautiful places and sell the very special antique textiles and artifacts that they find. Their new(ish) company is called Rare Cloth and it’s a source of constant inspiration for my work.
We’ll be together at some upcoming spring shows- including Brimfield Antique Market in May.
Stay tuned, more news to come!