I signed up for Jen Hewitt’s online class, “Design, Carve, Print” that started last weekend so I could learn how to block print on fabric. “How to” books usually work for me for learning new creative things, but my previous attempt at block printing was discouraging so I decided to splurge. I have never taken an online class before and it has been a great way to get some support and expertise as I work at my own pace and build this new skill. Jen uses Facebook and Instagram for sharing work and ideas, and the lessons are a series of short videos on her website.
My first attempts were not gorgeous, but I plugged along, trying hard to be inspired not discouraged by the beautiful things my classmates were posting almost immediately. I learned how to carve, how deeply, how to make test prints and adjust carving. I had to glue my block onto a piece of wood because it got too thin and floppy, and I found the paint roller I was using was too nappy to get proper paint coverage.
After troubleshooting and adjusting, with the help of teacher and classmates on Facebook, I was happier with my results. I tried some new designs.
I cut into some gray purple linen from a sheath dress and jacket I would never have occasion to wear and attempted to mix some purple or fuscia from the primary colors I purchased, only to find I had the wrong kind of red for making purple! I embraced the experimental nature of this project and forged ahead with my muddy purple. As a knitter, I do appreciate thoughtful/mindless repetitive action and I really enjoyed the stamping process! It did not even take that long, something like an hour for shirt front, back and two sleeves.
So here it is, my first garment made with hand printed fabric! An Esme top from Lotta Jansdotter’s new book, Everyday Style, which was at the top of my Christmas list this year.
This is my pleased and amazed expression. This session of Jen’s class continues until April 7 and I’m so glad I splurged. It is a great motivator to work and try new things. I am also getting more comfortable with social media, another goal of mine for 2016 since that is where all the creative inspiring people are hanging out these days. Yay!