Thursday, 16 January 2014
Other than the dreaded tea towels something else that's been giving me a headache lately is recycled card. I usually buy A4 white recycled card from Eco Craft, screen print two designs at a time, then fold each sheet of A4 card using a bone folder before cutting it in half to make two A6 cards. But since Eco Craft have changed to a heavier weight of white recycled card I've found it's not as easy to fold, every sheet has to be scored first which takes longer and doesn't look as nice. So I've switched to coloured recycled card which is a little easier to fold. And I know I need to find a new card supplier, it's on my to-do list.
I haven't thrown in the towel but I was tempted to after having a terrible time screen printing tea towels and ruining most of them. I'm not exactly sure what the problem was but I tried using Speedball fabric screen printing ink and it seemed to block the screen after only printing a few tea towels. I've never had that problem with Permaset textile printing inks, I prefer their consistency to that of the Speedball inks. The colours also seem stronger, Speedball Magenta ink looked pale when compared to Permaset Aqua Mid Red ink which is what I usually print fabric with. So I ordered more tea towels and more Permaset ink and managed to successfully screen print more Folk Dancing Girls tea towels. Another thing that helped was Crafter's Companion Stick and Spray for Fabric. I used it to temporarily stick the tea towels to newsprint which kept them fairly taut and made printing alot easier. As if by magic there's no trace of the glue after printing, the tea towels just need ironing to fix the colour and they are good to go!
My friend told me about a Russian tin doll she had as a child in Bulgaria. I'm not sure if her memories of it were good, I think that she would have preferred the choice of the different toys I took for granted growing up in the west. The Russian tin doll clearly doesn't have the same significance for her as it does for me. To me it's a fragment of a wonderful culture very different from my own so I was excited to actually find the dolls on the internet. Even better than the dolls is the packaging they come in with it's beautiful Russian lettering and vintage style illustration. For my Russian doll I tried to keep some of the original elements but I also wanted to create something new. The actual tin dolls are red, blue and yellow with black outlines but I only wanted to use two colours so chose crimson and metallic blue. I originally screen printed them for Christmas but I'm hoping to continue with the theme and create a collection of designs inspired by Eastern European dolls and toys.