Monday, September 7, 2009
Discharge Printing Takes Center Stage
Over this summer I started doing water-based Discharge Printing,
which is where you apply a bleaching agent in a controlled manner
to a dyed fabric, achieving an intermediary color shade in those image areas.
Can I just say, “Way Cool?!”
I did 2 new images of Vandercook letterpresses---One of an SP-20 Repro;
the other of a #325G, and its pertinent reminder on the press-bed of the
“Dead Line” ---yes, folks, that is exactly where the term, “Deadline” came from---
our friends in the commercial printing industry.
You know, the place in the universe that comes up on us much too fast, a little
too familiar a feeling. It's nice to have it illustrated so well on the press--- leave it to
I am pretty happy with the discharge Vandercook T-shirts, especially since I kind of resisted doing a Vandercook T-shirt in the beginning. They are wonderful presses to print with,
but I felt visually challenged by their numerous no-nonsense straight lines---not many sinuous curves to catch the eye on these, being part of the mammoth 20th-century
industrial printing age.
But a friend who saw my work at the Hybrid Book conference (June 2009) suggested that I come up with a Vandercook shirt, so the intersection of using that request as inspiration, and this new way of printing worked out perfectly.
I also revisited my older images---the Desert Chevy Nomad, the Chrome Car, and
the Food Chain T-shirts---just to see what would happen.
I plan to play with a few other previous incarnations, in
this fun experimenting with positive and negative imagery, and learning about dyed color
possibilities. These photos show examples of all the images I worked on with
discharge paste; some are combined with regular water-based fabric ink also.
I didn't get to do any more woodcuts on shirts as of this writing, but I have a number of
ideas I'd still like to pursue. Yup, I wish I could clone myself----especially with the busy fall
season upon us!
My other new project is to get an Etsy store up and running as soon as I can, so I have a real
online outlet in which to sell my shirts. This is a bit of a process, a little more
than I first realized. Right now I am photographing more of my designs and preparing inventory specifically for the Etsy store.
I'll be announcing on this blog and elsewhere when it is ready, so check back later!
My blog will then be re-edited somewhat and function as a showcase for my designs as I add to my portfolio, and whatever insights about them I feel moved to write about.
Thanks for reading!