First week of Print!! So excited to be able to break the tedium of tight constraints within the Stitch sessions.

Steve introduced himself to the group and immediately put everyone at ease. A Health & Safety induction was given, which informed me of all the Print room do’s and font’s, but apart from that I was free to begin my Cardiff Met Print journey.

The first exercise involved a demonstration of how to stretch paper. An A1 wooden board was taken from the store room and placed onto the print tables; 6 sheets of paper were given to each of us along with a roll of gum tape, and the paper wetted and fixed onto the wooden board with wetted gum tape. Once dry, I was given the opportunity to use a hardened wax to draw directly onto the paper and a hot wax solution via a tjanting tool to create a wax resist.

The hard, cold wax was the easier of the 2 to use; the tjanting tool was more precise to use but would not allow a more expressive approach to mark making. This was primarily due to the wax spilling over onto the observational study.

Hard cold wax was used on 3 of the pieces of paper, and hot wax was used on the remaining 3. As this was the first week, I decided to concentrate on slightly more abstract designs for a few and more recognisable shapes for the others.

Incorporating my favourite colours for the hard wax resist studies. Utilising patterns found within patterns such as tree bark, floorboards and stone.

Moving out of my ‘colour comfort zone’ and into unfamiliar territory………….reds, greens and yellows. I have always favoured the cool colours over the hot; red suggests aggression and torment. However, when used in conjunction with colder, darker colours, the bleeding of the dyes creates a far more harmonious aesthetic. Using more than one colour constructs cohesion and depth.

I thoroughly enjoyed these quick studies and can see myself utilising this technique/process in greater detail. Would it be beneficial to buy my own equipment and explore within my Eco-printing/dyeing workshops? Could I look at Indigo and Batik resist? Hmmmmmm. Think this will definitely be an avenue to explore within my 4 weeks of Print.

(Above) The afternoon session was spent creating a design, with dye, over a screen. Dues to the observational style of my work, I opted for a simple repeat pattern using only 3 colours. Looking back over my paint/brush technical file I decided to use 3 different brushes and utilised the different surface/angular qualities of each. The large blue marks were created with the front of a 1″ flat brush, the black marks were created by using a 3/4″ slightly damaged brush, and the green marks/lines were generated by using the fine side of a 1/2″ flat brush too. Looking closely, the green lines have merged within some of the blue and black, this was not intentional but gives an interesting result.

The dye was left to dry on the screen and a relative-to-size piece of Calico was lain down in readiness for the print. The screen was placed on top of the calico and a generous amount of Manutex was drawn at the top of the screen. Manutex was pulled down over the screen with the aid of a squeegee, this step was repeated around 4 times to make sure that the image would definitely be transferred. Time to ask a friend to hold down the corners of the calico, and lift and separate. Ta-da!! All done. Will now have to wait until Monday, fabric has to dry.

Print is really what I want to explore further.

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