Fun with transfer printing 1 – preparing the papers

DH is away in India for 12 days so I’m using the time to do lots of printing and other fun stuff.  As well as keeping track of three teenage sons whose social lives are better than mine!   I have just made up some gum tragacanth, a thickener for using with natural dyes and a gelatin plate for monoprinting so I plan to do some monoprinting, and also some screenprinting in the next few days.  But first, some photos of what I was doing LAST week…

When I was sorting out the fabric for printing, I realised that I had a lot of synthetic (or partially synthetic) fabrics lying around that I couldn’t use for ordinary printing or dyeing.  So I thought I’d do some transfer printing with the disperse dyes that I bought at the Festival of Quilts.  I also have a box of fabric crayons so I did some rubbings with these then painted over them with dilute transfer paints.

Here are some of the objects I used for rubbing:

objects used for rubbing fabric crayons

That plastic grid thing has been very useful for stamping and rubbing.  It came with a kids’ game as part of the packaging, I think.      And the other grid was made by cutting squares of fun foam and glueing it to a piece of card.  The foam wasn’t so effective for rubbing as it wasn’t quite hard enough but it was okay.  And there’s the grill thing from one of those disposable barbecue kits, and a circle stencil.  Here are some of the papers I produced with them:

grid rubbing

This is made with the plastic grid.  I painted it with green transfer paint, quite well diluted.  As you can see, I didn’t worry about getting it very even as I think this adds to the interest.

grid rubbing with transfer crayons

Here is one with a red crayon.  I like the variation in the marks created – I made some of them by rubbing the crayon flat against the paper, and others by using the crayon point – this one has produced more lines than the one above.

rubbing with fabric crayons

This one is produced using the barbecue grill.

rubbing using fabric crayon over lego block

For this one I used one of the boys’ old Lego plates – one of the large ones for creating layouts and things.

rubbing with transfer crayon

This is the circles stencil which I overlapped and repeated randomly.

rubbing with lego

And other Lego rubbing.

rubbing over metal type

This one was made by rubbing over some metal type which I have.  I haven’t yet printed this on to fabric so I’ll be interested to see how it turns out.

As well as the rubbings, I did a few screenprints with a squeegee using a Gocco print.  They came out a bit blurry because the transfer paints were too thin but sometime I want to try mixing them with a thickener and printing them. 

prints using transfer paint and Gocco screen

prints using a squeegee and transfer paint

Next time I’ll post pictures of the fabric these produced.  I used ordinary inkjet paper, by the way, apart from the one above where I used some blank newsprint paper.

Hundertwasser socks and a bit more gocco printing

I haven’t had much knitting on the pages of this blog for a while.  It seems to be the winter when I do most of it, because of the long dark evenings when the light isn’t good enough for getting the colours right to create something with fabrics or paint.

This time I made another pair of socks out of some gorgeous Hundertwasser sock yarn by Opal which I bought in Abergavenny market a while ago.  Here they are in their colourful glory!

hundertwasser socks

I’m looking forward to wearing them through the cold weather….

I’ve also been doing some more Gocco printing this week, using a couple of screens I made to test some of the machines I’ve been selling.  This one is a crow which I drew using the Gocco pen and doodled inside to fill in the pattern of his feathers.  It is a small one which I’ve printed on lots of little cards and a few Moleskine notebooks.

little crow gocco prints

crow Gocco print on Moleskine notebook

I also printed one on this previously painted newspaper:


I’ve also stamped this at the bottom with a wall-shaped print block that I made from fun foam (great for making print blocks!). 

Today I printed an image of a cottage in the grounds of the slate mine we visited in North Wales in the summer but that will be the subject of my next post…

A little printing (on fabric this time!)

I put away the Gocco machine on Friday and did some printing on fabric for a change. 

First of all, inspired by Rayna Gillman’s book, Create Your own Hand Printed Cloth, which by the way is gorgeous, I did some printing with the base of some of those plastic meat trays which supermarkets feel it is necessary to send with any meat (don’t get me started on overpackaging, but now I’ve found a way to recycle it I don’t feel so guilty!).  I then overprinted this with a couple of gocco screens. 

I space dyed this fabric in a cat litter tray last year.

printed fabric 

The fabric is not quite so vivid as it seems and the colours are mixed together a bit more but you get the idea.  The background printing was done in red fabric paint from Trapsuutjies.  The gocco print of the people was based on a photo taken at the chateau de Blois last year in France and the other is of a brick wall.

I also overprinted this fabric which I discharged earlier this year:

people printed on fabric

And this blue fabric with the ‘bricks’ screen:

bricks fabric 

I’m also going to join in Maggie Grey’s Grand Catalogue Distressing Ritual.  For the mystified, Maggie has a new book out soon and she is offering free online classes for anyone who buys the book.    To prepare for one of the classes, she asks us to take an Argos catalogue or telephone directory or similar, slash the cover deeply and put it out in the garden to await its fate by any passing wildlife or weather.  Like several other people, I decided to help it along by soaking it first:

Argos catalogue soaking

And ever since Maggie told us to do that, the summer has started!  No rain in sight…. long may it continue.

Overprinting Gocco screens on fabric

Sorry about that untitled post with the wisteria picture.  It was meant to go to my Daily Photo blog but for some reason Windows Live Writer has been unable to publish posts to it for a few weeks – it keeps getting an error message -and I sent it by mistake to this blog. Has anyone who uses Blogger and Windows Live Writer had this problem?

This week I’ve been thinking about a series I am planning (and indeed started) around my local tidal river and its muddy banks.  A lot of the fabric which I screenprinted in January was designed around this theme and I decided that I wanted to overprint some of it with horizontal lines of the gocco screens I had made.  These are the results.

Here is some of the fabric hanging on the line drying – I love seeing lines of dyed and printed fabric on the washing line.  Much better than clothes… The backgrounds are what I printed in January.

printed fabric drying 

I printed this green fabric with a gocco screen made from a photo of the cracks in the mud.  The background is also based on the same photo but printed with a different method.  I’m planning on cutting most of these fabrics and fusing them in horizontal strips to represent the various parts of the river.

gocco printed fabric

Here is a detail. 

overprinting with gocco screen on fabric

The next piece was the ‘footprints’ fabric with a screen made from a photo of reeds overprinted on it.

more goccoed fabric 

And a detail:

blue fabric

 rust dyed silk overprinted

This is some rust-dyed silk overprinted with the mud formations gocco print.

detail of gocco printed rust dyed fabric

And some red-green fabric:

red/green fabric

This has the same screen patterns as the green fabric above, but it is cotton organza or something similar and is slightly transparent.