Module 2, Chapter 6: Printing


I’ve used the big A3 sketchbook and loose sheets of paper for this. I like printing, but I’m beginning to feel as if I will never finish this module, so I’ve kept things simple. The pages shouldn’t need much explanation, because I’ve tried to keep notes in the sketchbook as I went along.

Again, I’ve had problems scanning work in, because my printer/scanner is only A4, so I’m posting half-pages here and hope that is OK. Some pages are quite self explanatory, others have notes with them.

Printing 1Printing 2

Jasper Johns 3Printing 3

Below is the scan of this page (in two halves) but it hasn’t come out any better than the little photo I stuck on the page.

Printing 14Printing 15

I worked directly into the sketchbook to try and create some patterns with printed letters, but wasn’t very happy with the results.

Printing 5Printing 6

More printed letters…

Printing 7Printing 8

And a few more… Before I gave up…

Printing 9Printing 10

Below: Letters printed on to a stitched paper weaving from Chapter 5. I could have over-printed the letters in a different colour, but I kept it simple. The surface was painted white acrylic.

Printing 11 (2)

Below, letters printed on to a paper and paper string weaving done a little plastic frame for Chapter 5. I painted the surface with white acrylic, which was soaked up fairly quickly. A second coat, or gesso, might have given better cover, but I quite like being able to see the surface.  The ‘a’ was stuck on to its mount the wrong way round; ‘b’ and ‘d’ get very confusing when you are viewing them back to front, and the ‘C’ was stuck on correctly but I held it upside down.  Writing the letters on the other side of the foam board would help prevent mistakes. Despite the errors, I was quite pleased with this, as I had no idea whether I could paint and print onto to an even woven surface, and I think the result is quite effective.

Printing 12 (2)

Below: Used train tickets zig-zagged together with free machine stitch, painted roughly with white acrylic, printed with black acrylic and overprinted with red, using children’s sponge alphabet shapes. I might print over them again with white, but I quite like this. It’s my attempt at urban grunge!

Printing 13

Below: Another page of scraps stitched together on newspaper, painted with acrylic and printed. The letters are a bit small for the space, but I quite like them, and I like the way you can see the printed lettering on the paper.

Below: Stars cut and stitched from old star map pages. then printed and overprinted. I didn’t paint the surface, and I think it was one of those ideas which didn’t quite work out. Painting first might have helped, or using brighter, more contrasting colours for the lettering. It is supposed to say ‘S is for Starlight’ but it’s not that obvious.

Below: Paint and print over my snowflakes from Chapter 5.

Printing 22Printing 21

Below: This was my effort at weaving paper with wavy strips, but just about everything went wrong with it. I tried using embossing powders and a heat tool to make raised edges, to accentuate the waviness, but it wasn’t very successful, so I used a black felt tip on some bits, and left others. And I couldn’t get it to hold together or lie flat – I tried machine stitching, and glue, and nothing worked. In the end I cut through the bumpiest bits at right angles to the strips, so I could glue them flat, and it still didn’t look right. I was going to bin it it, but I thought it looks such a mess adding printed letters can’t make it any worse, so I used the ‘As’ I already had, and made some more (funky foam and foam board) and printed them all over with black acrylic paint. And it still looked awful! So I sloshed coloured inks over the surface, and it suddenly sprang in to life!

Printing 18aPrinting 19

Health and Safety

Cutting: I used scissors to cut letter shapes out of Funky Foam, and a craft knife for the foam board backing. To prevent damage or injury I cut against a thick plastic ruler (metal would be better), and away from myself, on a self-healing cutting mat. And I put the cover over the craft knife while it wasn’t in use.

Personal Evaluation

I enjoyed making the print blocks (though I did stick one or two letters the wrong way), and usually I like pattern making, but for some reason my efforts at pattern making on plain sketchbook pages were totally rubbish, and I’m not sure why. Just a bad day perhaps. I think I left too much space around the letters on the blocks – I should have trimmed the foam board closer to the the letter. And perhaps using the corners to make pencil marks as guide lines on the page might have helped with the placement of letters.

What I really loved about this chapter was printing on decorated papers, especially the recycled stitched papers from Chapter 5. I was wary about it, as I thought I might ruin my work, but I had planned on doing this activity, and have photos of what I did originally. I gave up trying to print patterns, and stuck to printing letters or words. I think I’ve  transformed my recycled papers and made them much more interesting, and I’m really pleased with the results. Hopefully, I can carry on with my plan and use some of these to make stitched books for Chapter 10




About chrisharding53

I'm a former journalist and sub-editor who loves needlework, reading and writing, and is still searching for the Meaning of Life, the Universe and Everything. Until I find the answer I'm volunteering at an Oxfam Book Shop and learning about Creative Sketchbooks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s