December 26, 2016

Further exploration of napkins printed with paper-laminated screens

I've also been working on the printed napkin project, started in the workshop I took with Claire Benn in October.  In the last week, I've made two more screens (bottom left and bottom right in the above photo), and I tried out six colors for the base fabric.  On all six, I used a dark value of Dharma's MX Indigo-colored dye when pulling the prints.  My thoughts on each of the above, with numbering starting with the upper left.
  1.  Lavender:  This screen was made by stamping with 2"acrylic squares.  I'm happy with the color.  I also like the design, though I've just made another screen with the same size squares, hoping that I get a better application of the matte medium that I stamp with.  I'd like to have more lavender showing after the print.
  2. Chartreuse: For this one, I cut out bowl-shaped stamps from sheets of foam, and stamped the screen.  I'm happy with both the color and the design.
  3. Teal:  For this one, I drew on the screen columns of interlaced squares, a pattern I have used in quilting.  See the photo below for an example where I used very fine black thread for the design.  But when I "drew" with a squeeze bottle filled with liquid matte medium, the result was very different.  Once I got over disappointment about how messy it was, I have to admit that I like the randomness of it.  
  4. Interlaced squares, quilted with Invisafil thread.

  5. Rust: The color is OK, but the design (another adaptation of a quilting design) is awful!
  6. Light blue: This design was made by stamping with 3" acrylic squares.  Opposite problem from #1--too much medium transferred to the screen, so not enough dark Indigo got through the screen.
  7. Coral: This was an attempt to use one of my line drawings of clover, also done successfully as a quilting design.  Again, the matte medium applies much more loosely, and this ends up looking like a bunch of spiders instead of flowers.  I do like the color, though.
Here are the drawn and stitched versions of clover, so much nicer than what I did on the screen:

drawing of clover, 2012

      stitching of clover, 2016
THE DESIGNS: I am aiming to get at least four screens that I'm satisfied with.  I could give up on drawing on the screen, but I'm not ready to yet.  I've drawn on another screen, using a much narrower opening in the needle-nose bottle that I'm drawing with. That one is another re-purposed quilting design, but plan to try a couple more that are more gestural, taking advantage of the looseness of the medium rather than fighting it.

THE COLORS:  I wanted to have six colors that worked together, but I think I may go with just four.  It is much more difficult than I anticipated to pick an array of colors that work with each other as well as with the dark indigo.  I am also thinking of another color array of neutral tans and/or grays that I would print with black.  In the two photos below, just think color; I won't continue re-use the "clover" screen on the coral cloth.


WHAT MAKES A SET?  I have been trying out colors and designs at the same time, but it may be that a set would be more pleasing if it was one color in four designs, or four colors in one design.  Here are two pieces from October, just blue and the cream color of the muslin cloth I'm using as the base fabric. These are unified by the blue/cream color scheme, and also by the commonality of a stamped image to make the screen.

So many choices. . .  Your thoughts most welcome!

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