The end of May means the last bluebell post of the month which is a little sad as I’ve really loved May’s flower. Not only because I visited some bluebell woods for the first time – really can’t understand why I’ve never done this before – but also because I experimented with lino printing which was so much fun!
Back in the sketchbook I started by designing what my print was going to look like based on previous sketches & my snaps from the bluebell woods. As the whole purpose of the #daphnerosainbloom project is to challenge myself creatively without agenda I always like to try a new craft & this month was lino printing, from my most recent We Make Collective kit. The lino I received in the kit was tall & slim which worked really well for the bluebells & I sketched my design on in pencil. When you receive the We Make Collective kits you also get access to a range of tutorials from craft experts & this really helped to keep me on the right track while I was experimenting. So I then went over the lines with a permanent marker, taking advice from my buddy Claire from Claireabellemakes & started cutting!
My previous lino cutting experience dated back to my art lessons in school & my memories just seem to be filled with hacking away at this tough hessian backed lino which smelt a bit funny & cutting half the skin off my fingers in the process – disclaimer this memory may be a little exaggerated – but oh how times have changed! I had received several sized heads for my cutter in the kit & started with the smallest to get the outline of my drawing & the small spaces in between. Then I swapped to a wider head to carve out the bigger spaces.
The aim of the game is to take away any space that you don’t want to print leaving just your design behind which takes a little time but boy is it satisfying! I took tips here from Teri Muncey of The Lovely Drawer & once I had taken away most of the background, voila my block was ready!
If I had 1 handy I would have then stuck this to a piece of wood to make printing easier but it was fairly easy to use as it was. So next up was actually printing, woop! I tried it out in my sketchbook first to eliminate any problems before moving onto fabric.
I used a small roller & some printing ink in blue & black, rolled the ink onto my block & then smoothed it onto the paper…
I experimented with how much ink to use when lino printing & also the effects that can be created when printing with one ink application multiple times…
Can you tell I was enjoying myself?! So finally I started to print onto fabric. I knew that I wanted to make something out of fabric this month from my bluebell endeavours – although I still haven’t worked out what yet, any suggestions welcomed! – so I set about printing the bluebells across a pieces of white cotton in a random pattern.
I liked the differing depths of colour so randomly spread them across the fabric – please excuse the creases – & then added some of the brush lettering I had been working on earlier in the month – post here – to add a little something extra.
I am so pleased with the final fabric & now I just need to work out what I want to turn it into. Current ideas are a cushion for my work in progress dressing room – see the shibori dyed curtains I made on Live it Love it Make it – or maybe a fabric notebook… any suggestions gratefully received over on my Instagram & I’ll pop the result on here once I’ve made it!
So another month down & June is set to be a stunner, it’s peony season, I’ll say no more…