Textile Tales

I am finding my screen printing on textiles class quite challenging. It’s not that I don’t look forward to getting into the studio and messing around with screens and designs and lengths of fabrics, but I am finding it frustrating to be learning a new skill and working in an unfamiliar way. I want to spend more time than I have working away until I have it mastered.
When it comes to my work, I am very used to coming up with a sketch or an idea and sitting down with my trusty wacom tablet and my copy of Photoshop and working away at an illustration until it’s pretty much exactly how I want it to look. Not unlike the effect this has had on my drawing skills, in screen printing class I have found that I come up with an idea and start working on it and half way through the project I might discover that it really doesn’t look as good as I had imagined and there’s no going back (limited time in class etc). I am having a great deal of trouble mixing colours. This is something that used to come pretty naturally (I thought) to me but now that I am used to opening a palette on my screen and clicking on a chosen colour and maybe using little sliders to adjust it until it’s just perfect it seems that I have lost the knack of doing it with pigments.

This is very, very annoying as it can take ten to fifteen minutes in total to first have to wait to get to the scales to weigh out the binder and then add in little delicate dribbles of pigment – only to discover when mixing it all together that I haven’t created a gorgeous, dusky, rosey pink that I had hoped for but instead something that remotely resembles khaki but is more like an entirely new colour called “blah” (perhaps also known in some circles as “baby poo brown” or “yuck – is that a stain?”).

Anyway – I come home from class feeling lost and sad and like chucking it in but luckily I always manage to be enthused again by the next class and keep at it. It’s an interesting exercise in letting go of all the usual control I have over my work. It’s probably a great way to get back into doing some really free and inspired work – eventually – once I get past the stage of struggling and throwing out masses of misjudged colours.

In knitting news, I finally got around to taking some wip photos of the cardigan I am working on. As I have already mentioned, it’s nothing terribly exciting but I am considering it a kind of boot camp exercise for more amazing garments in the future.

My Rowan Junior book arrived which I have been drooling over excessively. I went out and splurged on a couple of balls of Rowan Kid Classic yesterday ready to knit up into a beanie for Amelia (side note: just looking at the colour “cherish” on the Rowan website compared to what it actually looks like in my hand — it would be worth ordering a swatch card before forking out for a huge lot of this wool online!).

And this is will be the beanie – the pattern is called “Isla”: