Thursday, November 11, 2010

Back to school

One of my subjects at art college, many many moons ago, was silk screen printing which I always loved. I have had a real yearning to do some hand printing again for a few years now, so when I heard about a local visual arts high school running a 6-week evening course for silk screening on fabric, I jumped at the chance and signed up! 
early abandoned pattern drawings
In the first week, we were shown some of the work the students are producing, from composite images to some amazingly detailed tessellated patterns. I chose to go down the tessellated route and chose a hexagon to make the repeating pattern. I decided that I wanted to 'do' buttons, a decision I may well live to regret, as I am still not completely happy with any of the designs I came up with, but time is of the essence and I have completed one that will have to do for now!

a fine example of when the pattern doesn't work!
In order to make the tessellated pattern work, the hexagon has 3 'faces' (2 sidesof the hexagon) and these need to match up - the above example shows how I got the 'faces' wrong - so I had to start again! I also decided that I wanted to buttons to be crisper and not hand drawn and I also wanted the centre points of the buttons to line up, so got on the computer and drew the buttons using Adobe Illustrator.

1st stage of pattern

This is the design I am going with and at this stage, the pattern is all black in order to make the screen for the first base colour. I have filled in some of the holes, as I plan on overprinting these later on. I decided the pattern needed something other than buttons, so used a pin wheel to break it up a bit.

the tessellated pattern
I am really quite pleased with how it tessellates. Those centre buttons do look very big and black at the moment, but should hopefully not stand out to much as I am planning on using muted colours. I do still need to decide on final colourways and texture before the next class in 4 days time as, the screens should be ready then to print our first colour - I can't wait!

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