About a year ago I started experimenting a bit with block printing on fabric–it was a really nice break from my more narrative/figure based prints because i was starting to feel kind of stuck when it came to composition, and really the style of the prints in general. Making prints for fabric has allowed me to simplify my ideas, focus on patterns, symbols and repetitive imagery, and just think about the aesthetic appeal of an image rather than what I am trying to communicate with the imagery. I’ve been surprised to discover that it has been a nice complement to my more figurative/narrative work–i’ve been able to incorporate pattern into some portraits that I’m working on in collaboration with Gretchen Schermerhorn and Amy Glengary-Yang for Pyramid Atlantic, and I’ve also been working on a print that layers pattern and animal imagery. It’s pretty exciting!
I’ve attached some photos of some drawstring bags that I made for carrying produce or bulk items at the store–I block printed them in a variety of patterns and love the results. I also used some printed fabric to fix up a friend’s hat. I’m planning to start up an etsy shop to offer these things for sale sometime soon.
Here’s a few links to block printing sites that were inspirational to me:
http://www.homesweetbyhand.com/blog/ reading her blog posts about learning this process and starting up a business have been helpful and inspiring!
http://www.galbraithandpaul.com/ I was first introduced to this business via the homesweet blog–I later visited their Philadelphia studio and got to see how they’ve streamlined the process of printing patterns. Their designs are really cool too.