Saturday, 27 June 2020

Repeat printing

There seems to me to be something quite magical about repeat printing, whether on paper or on fabric. I first had a go many years ago on a course at Hot Bed Press, taught by Kiran Williams. We screen printed onto textiles and created a basic repeat design on calico, I believe, and created a tote bag from scratch. 

Since then I've come back to repeat printing on a number of occasions, exploring printing onto fabric, as well as the challenges of making the repeat plates themselves. Initially lino plates ended up strangely shaped, but worked well, before I then took the design back to a regular shaped plate. Here are some of my more and less successful efforts.

This tiny daisy design still one of my favourites. Here it's printed onto cartridge paper - the image is made up of 4 impressions.

Daisies on paper

Daisies on cotton fabric

Daisies in the hand-made signage I used at the North Wales Print Fair


Geometric tile formats work really well in my experience - and looked good on a fabric sampler.



The best solution I found for the 'ink' was actually acrylic paint and textile medium applied with a sponge roller. 

Who would be mad enough to try hand-printed Christmas wrapping paper? My top tip is start in July! Here's the plate design during the cutting process.


Starting the process

About two-thirds there!

The finished plate

I tested the design part way through with a proof, before continuing the final cutting. Here you can see the proof in red and the final design, printed in blue and silver water-based ink on a brown kraft paper roll. I'm pleased to say I did use it to wrap presents at Christmas!



I've also experimented with alternative approaches using 'A Field Guide to Fabric Design' by Kimberly Kight as my guide. Two of my favourites are below. The first one, based on an apple and apple leaf design has windy swirls from the lino. I printed this one onto old wallpaper and used it to cover a little notebook. 



Printed onto wallpaper

The final design I've included here has flower motifs, including the poppy. You can see the plate as well as the inking up process. I printed this design onto paper with oil-based ink.





In each instance I created the repeat pattern manually using tracing paper, pencil, scissors / craft knife and sellotape. It's immensely satisfying when it works and you can't see the join! Kimberly's book includes digital approaches, which I'm yet to experiment with.

To learn more about my work, please check out my website www.carolynmurphy.co.uk where you'll find my gallery, online shop and links to my social media.

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