Sunday, 5 January 2014


When I first started doing textile art with OCA I went around taking lots of photos of things, and this was one of them, enlarged and printed out.

What I liked about it was the combination of curves and straight lines, regular irregularity,
and the amazing shapes the shadows make on the netting.
Which is a strange colour - I don't know why I  say that - perhaps it will come to me.
And the edge, with its pattern of parallel lines.

I worked on it in my 'coursework' sketchbook, looking at the different parts of the design separately.

This pink tissue is cut to reflect the darker parts of the shadowing. I found it difficult to cut this pattern accurately with scissors and I think in future I might try with a craft-knife. It turned out rather less repetitive and geometrical and sharp than I hoped.

It's pink because I found that if I then covered it with blue tissue it would make a dark grey like the actual colour of the shadows.

Here it is with the blue on top.
The edge is scalloped like it is in the photo.

And here are both layers covered in tracing paper, on which I have traced the pattern of the poles.

The planks are reinforced by black strips of paper under the tracing paper.

I like the way the tracing paper changes the colour  underneath just as if it were adding some white to it. I particularly like the poles sticking out at the edge and how the eye is drawn to it because of the greater contrast of the detail there against the paler background.

I was very pleased with this try, and decided to use it prepare a print of all 3 layers, so I could experiment with different ways of making a pattern with screen printing.

So, this is my much more accurate tracing of the shadows and light areas than I managed with the pink tissue.

Doing this made me more aware of the repeats and alignments than I had been, and it became more interesting to me as a result.

Sometimes I think there's no point in doing things over again in a different way, and then something like this happens.

This one us of the two tracings superimposed, which I did to make sense of the placement of the shapes before cutting them out of sticky backed vinyl. (Below)

The idea of this is to add paler sections to allow the background colour to show through, leaving 'shadows' elsewhere.

This one shows the vinyl stencil and tracing taped to the screen. As you can see I decided to give the multiple screen a try despite some misgivings, partly because of just wanting to make something!

Trying out different pressures and papers:

Since I didn't have a teacher handy, I started by trying out different pressures on the squeedgee when printing.

This shows what happens when I didn't press hard enough - not enough paint got onto the paper.

The one that was the most even and therefore gave the clearest edges was the one that I pressed hardest on.

These were done on rougher, more absorbent paper.

The light pressure one came out more textured. Again the higher pressure gave a better result.

I tried setting them next to each other to see how making use of the negative space would work out - it looks interesting, and I could use it.

However the bottom right one shows what happens when there isn't enough paint - again interesting but not very reproduceable! Instructions with the acrylic paint indicate that as well as being mixed with other colours (eg white in this case), it could be diluted with water. This is me trying this out, and printing on cardboard from a cereal packet as one step more rough and absorbent than the last paper. 

Watering it down was successful only up to a point. After that it got bubbly, which looks interesting but again not very controllable.

The printing worked OK on this cardboard, but not as well as the previous paper.

On the left is my try at printing on brown parcel paper. The paint didn't 'take' as well, and you can see places where it leaked through under the tape I used to make the stencil. (Also above).

Not sure what to do about this as the glue was loosened during washing of previous paint off the screen.

Experimenting with the shadows stencil:

This is what it looks like when I overlap the shadow stencil so that it repeats.

Again, I learn the importance of marking where the repeat comes on the frame. This one worked reasonably well, not perfect.

It could work as a border.

I'm not sure about the sqare tops to those triangles and the right edge looks messy and unintentional.  The printing itself worked well. The colour of this photo is not correct. Printing this, I realised that I had got the colours the wrong way round for these experiments, if I was going to use them all the way through the process until the final 3 layered print. But I carried on with this colour for these bits of the experimenting.

This is where I tried repeating on a diagonal.

Keeping it aligned was much more difficult for this one. I think I'm going to have to work out how to do this better.

Overall, the pattern isn't so appealing. The rows of triangle and leaf patterns would work better if they were more evenly spaced, I think.

On the right is the effect of using just two rows of the leaf pattern.
 It turned out pretty. And reminded me of the regular floral patterns in February 2014 Vogue. Another possibility for a border, or for an all-over pattern.

This red one is a sample I made of the basic 'shadows' stencil on red background, not least to see if there is any effect of the background colour on the surface paint (which it does, but perhaps not enough to use like tissue paper).

The high contrast makes it pop which I find attractive and reflects that aspect of the scaffolding netting.

At this point I printed out some repeats on cotton fabric that I could work on with the sewing machine (which I'll talk about in another post).

Experimenting with the scaffolding lines stencil:

I mucked around with the scaffolding parallel lines stencil on various papers and combinations.

This one appeals because of the way the clay came through onto the paper in places (perhaps because it was still slightly damp), giving the lines some definition, and how some of the broader lines have only printed in some places leaving white spaces in parts.

I also like the collection of dots in the middle which are there I think because of the way the clay dried.

This one on grey packing paper, which is very soft and perhaps more able to take the paint, gives more detail and complexity. I tried aligning the parallels in some places and not in others to get an idea of how both would look.

Below is what it looks like on top of the background colour. I am a little disappointed about the lines coming off the edge as I particularly like the way that looks in the photo and it hasn't worked so well with the stencil. Perhaps because the lines are broken?

So, after all this I haven't yet produced a 3 layered print as planned. The trying things out took over. I still want to do that, and also to do some machine sewing experiments using these patterns. And the next thing after that will be sampling bits of all these images to work further on them.

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