Sunday, 10 May 2015

Design Journal: Print Experimentation


So this week one of my coursemates kindly took me down to the print room, as she spends a lot of time there, and because she knew I was interested in using print in my work but I've not had any inductions. She could see I was struggling on my own and that I almost needed to be 'led' otherwise it would never get done - and I appreciated her recognising that within me. I've actually never done any printing before because I come from an art background as opposed to a textile background, so I didn't even really know how screen printing worked.

We started off by mixing a few colours as I was particularly interested in a vivid blue and a golden/mustard yellow. I ended up doing multiple samples in the end, both trying with masking tape, as well as using some existing screen prints in the print room. I'm mainly interested in creating a stripe that will compliment my floral print, and I don't think a solid stripe will work too well and I'd probably be better off with more of a hand-painted/watercolour stripe but I wanted to try out multiple techniques anyway. 
These are only a few images of some of my print samples, but I did many more. I tried on top of an already existing stripe (that I use for toiling), and on top of some cotton sateen I am interested in using. I'm not sure it worked so well on top of an already printed stripe, but I think it's because of the dark blue - and I know you can add something to the paint to make it stand out on top of dark colours. I do much prefer the uneven, imperfect stripe compared to the solid stripe as I think it's much more contemporary and soft.
What I really enjoyed using was the transfer/sublimation ink, which I've never heard of before. What I loved most about it is that you can hand paint with it on paper, like watercolour, and then it just transfers onto the fabric using the heat press, and the colours come out SO VIVID. The only problem is that the sublimation ink only works on synthetic fabrics - I did try a test trip on the cotton sateen but it just comes out a really dull, faded colour and it doesn't look good at all. However, I would like to try it out on a neoprene jersey fabric, because technically it should work and I've been researching for that kind of fabric this week to use with a skirt.
I am pretty pleased that with how some of my samples came out, and it's a start. I'm very grateful for my friend pushing me to try something new. I've got more experimenting to do, and I really need to spend a day just painting with watercolour and ink on regular paper to come up with several stripe ideas. I definitely need to experiment more with colour too - I do like how the two shades of blue work together instead of having multiple colours, and it's a lot more wearable. However, lots of different colours would be cool too, so I just need to figure out what I prefer. I think preferably, for that kind of vivid stripe to have the same affect on cotton, I need to scan it into the computer, make it a repeat pattern and get it digitally printed, and I ought to get some samples done in the following weeks, however I think there will be a queue due to the BA students handing in soon.

I'm continuously nervous about the nearing deadline, and it didn't help that I've been very ill this weekend (again). I'm hoping to get some feedback this week, for the first time in a while, which will be good and hopefully put me on track. But I think I really need to step up the work this week and get a lot more organised.

Until next time,


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