Kings Theatre Creative is a local creative community space and art gallery in Kawakawa, Northland (home of the famous Hundertwasser public toilets). I've had quilts hanging there as part of their exhibitions, and sold at least three, woot!!
As part of their Winter program they've organised some one-day creative workshops. One of them was Introduction to Screenprinting. I jumped at the chance to get a hands-on with a teacher who really knows the ins and outs of this technique, because I've dabbled in it a little on my own, but there comes a point where you really need proper instruction.
Jasmine was our teacher and she hails from Te Kowhai Print Trust in Whangarei - a facility with traditional and modern printing equipment and techniques, established to teach and support people of all ages in the art of printmaking.
I had a blast and learnt so much! We started by having the process explained to us with a simple example that Jasmine had constructed. We watched her pull a print from one layer of stencil and it got us all itching to get stuck in.
But first we all had to draw our own drawings and create newsprint stencils from that. I chose a cormorant drawing that I've used before in my quilts as an appliqué motif, but thought it would lend itself nicely to a screenprint stencil.
In the photo above, you can see the original sketch top left, then the tracing I took off it with colour notes bottom left, and on the right are two of my newsprint stencils.
Then we were allowed to start printing! It was really interesting to see everyone's drawings come alive with the layers of stencils. My first two stencils were of the tiny yellow and blue eye details of the cormorant so were not very exciting, but once I started layering on the wings and body, I couldn't stop grinning!
I have a lot to learn and of the ten prints we made, probably only four of them are of a standard that I'm really pleased with. But not too bad for a first go!
My quilty friend, Suz, pointed out that she can see a lot of influence in this from my 100 days of scissors and paper cutting project that I'm doing. And I agree. It's interesting how much unconscious crossover there is when you start comparing the different strands of your creative projects.
So yay! I can see more screen printing in my future. In exactly what form I'm not sure, but now I know more of the ins and outs, I'm confident to try it again and continue my learning.