Friday, 28 November 2008
In August this year I took a class in block printing at the Kirkland Arts Center. This is located in a lovely old red brick building near downtown Kirkland and offers a variety of classes in drawing, painting, printmaking and ceramics. They also have a gallery space.
I had done some linocut prints before but was introduced to the Safety-Kut block - it's a flexible rubbery block that is very easy to cut and can be cut on both sides. There's less chance of injuring yourself, too (the last time I made a linocut I cut myself; that's why it was the last time).
The centre also hangs and displays a selection of student work in the halls and my piece which is currently on display - 'Stormy weather' - a block print on recycled linen fashioned into a child's dress/sleeveless top. The design is adapted from the endpapers of an old book that I have (back in Melbourne - not even sure what book it is).
Although the effect is just what I wanted, it was very difficult to get the fabric printing ink (designed for screenprinting) to be tacky enough to succeed with a block print. I had to put a lot of medium in to thicken it up and am not sure how this would affect the colour fastness of the ink, were I to wash it. For the moment I'm calling it a prototype.