Don’t you just love sharing your favorite things with friends? I love how blogs help connect everyone with similar interests. Well, the other day my friend Amy from During Quiet Time emailed me and mentioned how she saw my vintage inspired skirt tutorial and had just completed her latest screen print design of, you guessed it, a vintage collection!
She graciously has offered up your choice of a tea towel or a fabric piece in your favorite colorway:
She even printed them on both white and natural linen backgrounds, so they’re sure to go with any project you’ve got up your sleeve!
But of course I had to pick her brain a little and find out more about her process, so I asked her a few questions and here’s what Amy had to say:
I have always enjoyed printmaking. I learned how to carve linoleum blocks as early as junior high and was hooked. After college, I worked in a gallery in Rockport, MA where I interned for a collagraph printmaker and was able to visit her studio and print with her. I have designed and carved linoleum blocks for years now and made linocut prints for cards, and most recently for fabric. Linocuts are great for a beginner because you don’t need much by way of special supplies. I found that it was much harder to get a good print on fabric than on paper though. My frustration drove me to try silk screening last fall. I am self taught by trial and error!
I would say to read all the instructions over and over until they are clear to you and then follow them precisely. That way you have the basics down. After that is truly practice makes perfect. There is a lot of waste getting there. When my grandmother taught me to make pie crust, she said “you need to get the feel of the dough.” It was something she couldn’t teach me. I had to make enough dry crusts to realize what dry dough felt like and enough dense crusts to know what waterlogged dough felt like. Then I got it. It’s similar with screen printing. You need to get the feel of the ink and the squeegee. You need to know when the ink is too thick or thin and how hard to push the squeegee in each case.
I am a very visual person. I am always taking note of color and design in nature and elsewhere. I majored in art and art history in college, in fact. I draw inspiration from everything! When I print screen prints for fabric, I am looking for striking designs with a modern feel but whimsical or vintage charm. I also try to keep in mind the use of the fabric. I like to space things to allow for fussy cutting rows and such.
I am still trying to figure out where I am headed with this. I was very happy at my museum position prior to staying home with the kids. I feel good about staying home with my kids and this is where I want to be right now but I need to create. Sewing and printmaking can be done in our home so it works for me right now. I do think that a fabric design deal sounds fantastic but I haven’t pursued anything yet!
I loved my career as a collections curator. My job was basically to identify, research, number, document and properly store objects of art in the museum collection. I helped solicit new donations, create exhibits, and work with students who were studying the art for their classes. I was surrounded by art. The side of me that is very perfectionist and detail oriented loved devising numbering systems and storage methods that kept in mind the object care. I learned about environmental effects on object and what chemical and storage methods were safe. There were always challenges, puzzles to be solved. It was very fulfilling for me. I would say that it is similar to printing making in that while I love both, they also require the ability to push through extreme tedium! Screen prints need to be heat set with an iron on both sides for 5 minutes a side. It is painfully boring! Cataloging scores of objects can be the same way. But a perfectly stacked pile of prints made by me is satisfying; just as walking into a tidy storage room with everything properly stored and cataloged was in my former career.
And since it looks like Amy’s on a roll, you should definitely follow her blog to keep up on all her latest original screen printed designs. Or better yet, if you don’t feel like waiting to win the giveaway, jump on over to her etsy shop and snag up a little goodie for yourself or a friend.
Ready to win?
- One entry per person. Please leave your email address in your comment. You can leave it in a format like this if you wish: anna [at] gmail [dot] com
- There will be one winner chosen, winnings include your choice of screen printed fabric OR a screen printed tea towel.
- Open to international entries.
- Giveaway ends Wednesday, July 13th at 10pm (central time).