Friday, 23 February 2018

Small Scale Screen Printing on fabric

Screen printing on fabric - Just to let you know that I will be teaching a  Saturday workshop for adults at Impington Village College on 3 March 2018

We will be using small screens but you can print large pieces of fabric by repeating motifs and patterns.  

Have a look at  Impington Adult Learning  for prices and materials to bring.

Contact: Tel 01223 200411 to book




And a  little postscript to show some samples of student work made during this workshop:




Well done everyone- it was a really fun day!




Friday, 9 February 2018

More about Printing Banners

VAD nurses in Ely.   A while ago I read  Vera Brittain's 
book about being a Voluntary Nurse in WW1.  It was such a  moving acount, I really wanted to do something which acknowledged the nurses who worked in the auxillary hospital in Ely.

Once again the excellent website  Ely and WW1  provided a wealth of information.  There are some photographs of nurses on the website but unfortunately they were too indistinct for me to be able to work from so I have created a sort of composite image of a nurse for this banner.

The names, however are real.  These women worked at the Ely hospital and by the time it closed in 1919 they had treated 1,117 patients.


 


I printed a few of these banners just in case one of the layers went wrong.



As I was printing I started saving scraps of stencils and printing them down on a piece of sheeting in a more expressive way.  This is the resulting cloth.  I have called it 'Remnant' because it is made from remnants of design from the very graphic banners and because the list of names we have of the nurses are traces or remnants of the information we have of these women's lives.  

 

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Printing Banners WW1

I've been screen printing for almost 30 years and I thought I'd conquered every problem that could ever occur.  But, just as I was getting smug, a whole new problem raised it's head.

Suddenly my printing inks started bleeding beyond their boundaries. And to make things worse, I was getting patchy coverage.



I thought, perhaps, I was  mixing too much pigment into the binder.  So I mixed a very timid charcoal rather than a strong black.  It made no difference. 

I changed my stencil paper, I changed my padding, I checked my fabrics were cotton, I prewashed. Nothing seemed to solve the problem.   I wondered if the manufacturers had changed the binder formula..........I wondered if this was the END of screen printing for me! And that would be a very sad state of affairs, indeed.


I kept printing though and all of a sudden I had a thought: 

There was one thing that had changed - I was pre-ironing my fabrics with my new super duper steam iron!  My fabric was wet. I couldn't really tell  it was wet but as soon as I went back to my old iron press and dry ironed the fabrics, the prints came out beautifully crisp and graphic - which is exactly how I wanted them for this project.  Now that I know that, it seems so obvious - why did it take me so long to figure it out???

Here is Herbet James Holiday.  He was an assisitant shepherd working with his father in Stuntney before he joined up. He was killed in action at the age of 19. 

 

 

His employer petitioned to have him exempted from service but this was not granted. 

On 30 Dec 1917 the SS Aragon was in the harbour of Alexandria when she was torpedoed by a German submarine. Herbet Holiday was on board the fleet auxillary craft HMS Osmanieh which was searching for survivors. This was hit by a mine and went down with 149 soldiers and nurses.

Here is an fascinating website is where I found Herbet's story and that of many other Ely people who were killed in action: From Fenland farms to Flanders Fields,  Ely and World War 1.




Saturday, 3 February 2018

To End all Wars - Ely Cathedral

Our installation is up!!!
 
Please come and see it. 

This is a group show by members of   Ouse Life Drawing Group  to commemorate 100 years since the end of World War 1. The artists have painted, drawn, printed (in my case) and stitched into fabric to create 100 banners.

'The war to end all wars' - if only that were true.

Anyway, it's in the South West trancept of Ely cathedral which is the bit on you right when you enter and it's before the desk where you pay, so there's no excuse not to go!

 














Thursday, 1 February 2018

Mad Hatters - part 2

A quick post to show some of the gorgeous hats made by students on Saturday.....

 








A couple of them need a little pleating and shaping to finish them off, but I think you'll agree that they are fabulous!