Thursday, August 6, 2015

Wooden Block Prints

Quilt camp is always a time to try out new tools and products. Sue had several new wooden printing blocks that she hadn't taken time to play with so pulled out the supplies for printing.
What you need for this process is a foam pad, some paint and either a foam brush or small pieces of sponge, and of course the printing block. 

The foam pad provides just the right amount of cushioning to produce a clear print. Place your fabric on the foam pad.  Put some paint on a palette, paper plate, or foam tray - whatever you prefer to use. I save foam meat trays to use for paint supplies.  Draw some paint onto the sponge or brush, wiping off the excess and use it to dab paint onto the wooden block. You should be able to see that the surface of the block is coated with paint but not globbed on anywhere.  Position the block where you want to print and press down firmly on the pad. Remove the block, apply more paint, and repeat the process. It's that simple!
You can print randomly or in a predetermined pattern. These prints are all done with just one color, but you could also create a pattern with colors, or try blending colors on the stamp itself.

These printing blocks are by Colouricious, a company in the UK, and are handmade by artisans in India. They are also available at Artistic Artifacts, the shop where we teach thermofax printing. Block printing is a technique that plays very nicely with thermofax printing.  Below is a piece where thermofax printing and wooden blocks are used together, on a background done with gelatin plate printing.  Explore the screens available in our Etsy shop and have fun using these various surface design techniques together!

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