Using the heat press is a really quick and fun way to generate print samples. I enjoy this method as it gives me the freedom of experimenting with paper collage yet the end result become embedded in the fabric.
By selecting my colour palette from adobe colour wheel, I got them printed onto sublimation paper, which then gives accurate results once is has been in the heat press.
For the first sample I quickly cut different shapes, including lines, circles and rectangles, and lay them on the fabric in a roughly structured composition. I was focusing on how the colours sat on top of each other and how they blended once you reprinted them.
I then began to focus on circles and stripes, simple shapes that occur often on computer circuit boards, and that can be used to create many different exciting repeats and compositions.
The colours become faded the more you print them, which can be used to your advantage if this effect is what you require with your prints.
As you can see in image 3 above, I duplicated shapes but due to the colour fading, they are not too overpowering against the solid bright colours.
With image 4 (above) I began to include typography from my sketchbook. I think it works well however the letters are limited due to the piece of fabric being so small. In order avoid words being made, I rotated letters to accentuate the playful nature of the print.
Using my colour palette and my sketchbook for inspiration, I started developing some larger prints that are more refined than my initial experiments.
To begin with I was only using paper stencils cut from newsprint, which works well but they are not reusable after you have printed with them. This is something to bear in mind which is why I stuck to simple shapes that were quick to draw yet relevant to what I have been working on.
As you can see from both samples I used the same yellow stripe motif yet changed the colour of the background. This helps me to see what amounts of colour work well together.
Instead of repeating the samples in different colours, I changed the imagery that went onto both of them in order to generate inspiration for composition.
With sample 1 I kept to the theme of repeat pattern, and used pigment ink with binder to apply a quarter circle shape in vertical lines. This has added rhythm to the print and also a little texture because of the way the binder sits on the fabric.
Sample 2 includes sections of typography, which contrasts what is happening in the background. Again this is applied with pigment and binder, and the bold clash of colours makes this piece appealing.
For a final touch I added foiled sections to the prints. At this point I have had a screen exposed with circuit board imagery, in order to replicate accurate lines and shapes on my prints.
The blue foil works well as it adds a subtle texture and shine that is not enough to distract you from the rest of the print yet still suggests a focal point.
This workshop was designed with the intention of getting us to open our minds as to new ways of drawing and collage. I prepared my fabrics with Magenta Red, Lemon Yellow and Turquoise Blue procion inks, and used this page from my sketchbook as the starting inspiration for my collage.
‘Spel’ Sketchbook Page
It was difficult initially not to just copy the page design, so for this reason I used the technique of choosing motifs to work with which would be easy to arrange into a design.
The magenta sample of cloth was used as the background, and I cut out from the yellow and blue which were backed with transfer adhesive. This helped to emphasise the idea of layering, which worked even better once I added elements of stitch.
The piece became texturally interesting once I added the non-textile material of magic tape, and I also feel it added another dimension. The more tape that was layered up, the more opaque it became. I would be interested to explore this further in a different design.
After this workshop I now feel confident that I can use collage and cloth more feely together and should definitely develop it as a way of drawing within my work.