October 14, 2016

"Lines and Rows" workshop with Claire Benn

Last month I wrote about my preparation for a workshop with Claire Benn, working up designs for hand-printed napkins.  Once at the workshop, my direction changed from clean-line designs to something else.  The two above are my favorites, both done by stamping with matte medium to make a paper-laminated screen.  The one on the left used a 3" square of acrylic, the one on the right, a variety of stamps I made in a bowl shape.  The virtue of the paper laminated screen is that it can be made any size (here I'm aiming for an image 18x18), and can be re-used many times.  I've worked with a "paplam" screen once before, a very large one made for Accident II.  In that case, I wrote on words with the matte medium.  So, in addition to stamping, I can also try drawing some designs onto the screen.

Below are two more pieces made with the bowl stamps, the first stamping directly with dark blue dye onto lighter blue cloth.

In the one below, I stamped with discharge paste onto the blue cloth, and then later stamped again with dark blue dye.  I like these also, but I'll probably explore doing more designs with a screen, since I can do the whole napkin in one pass, rather than hand-stamping each unit of the design.

 And here's one I did from a thermofax screen, based on a hand-drawn design.  The thermofax is limited to about 8" across, so I needed to print three times to get across the 18" field.  I think I'll try another version of this design on a paper laminated screen.  It turns out that for this project, I like the imprecision of the paper laminated screen rather than the precise reproduction one gets with a thermofax print.

I'm pleased with the new direction, and will continue to work on more designs, as well as variations of the ones I came up with at the workshop.  


  1. Love that. I have used laminated screens before but I really like what you've done.

  2. How did you "make stamps?"

  3. The stamps I used here were made in a simple way that I learned from Carol Soderlund. I cut out bowl shapes from regular paper. Then I traced the shapes onto a two sheets of sticky-back Fun Foam that had been stuck together, the two sheets together giving a 1/4" thickness. Then I cut the shapes out of the Fun Foam, and voila, a stamp! To make it easier to handle, I cut a piece of foam core in a rectangle a little larger than the shape, traced the stamp on the top of the foam core, so I would be able to see the shape when stamping, and then stuck the stamp to the foam core. This is a great method for making stamps of fairly simple shapes. For something more complex, I'd need to use a linoleum block or some other things like that, and I've had less success with that.