Recently, I started a club called Craft Lab, where each month a group of people gather to make something by hand together. One motivation for starting the group was to spend time being creative with like-minded people, since crafting for me is usually a solitary activity. I get to be social and crafty, without sacrificing one for the other. Another reason was to motivate myself to try new applied arts, pushing my creativity outside its comfort zone. And finally, the group gives me another forum to get inspired by the work of other people. It’s thrilling to watch my friends’ artworks unfold.
At our inaugural meeting we printed on fabric using rubber blocks, a modern substitute for linoleum, which is much harder to cut. The basic steps are to create a simple silhouetted design, transfer it onto the block, carve away what you don’t want to print, ink the block with a brayer, press the block onto the fabric, and voilà! printed fabric.
Here is a sampling of what we made:
then repeated it for an all-over pattern.
Sarah Guare wins the cute award for these ladybugs crawling across her towels.
I printed a rooster motif onto vintage fabric that I’ll sew into dish towels
once I add a bit of detail in other colors, like a sun and a swash of ground. Here they are hanging in my office to dry.