Hamsa Notecards

The artworks on these cards are relief prints - a bolder, more graphic look than the papercuttings in the previous post.

Fish Hamsa; From Sketch to Print

From Block Print to Baby Quilt

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I recently made a baby quilt out of one of my block print illustrations. It's neat to think about all the stages involved in making something like this. I list them here so you can get a peek behind the process...

 1. It begins with an idea... 

2. ...which I then sketch out on tracing paper.

3. After refining the sketch to a point where I'm satisfied with every detail,

4. I transfer the final drawing onto a block of wood.

5. At this point, I carve the image.

6. Once the carving is complete, I ink the surface of the block... 

7. ...and print it onto paper.

8. When the ink on the paper is dry, I scan the block print image into my computer,

9. make refinements in Photoshop,

10. and save it as a JPEG file.

11. Over at my Spoonflower shop, I upload the JPEG,

12. select the amount and type of fabric I want the file to be printed on,

13. and purchase it.  

14. A short time later the fabric is shipped and arrives on my doorstep,

15. at which point I lay it over batting, which I lay over the backing cloth.

16. I pin the three layers together,

17. free motion quilt it on my sewing machine,

18. and bind the edges.

Done!

Below, my favorite thing about printmaking:

 I love...

I love...

 the anticipation...

the anticipation...

 of pulling...

of pulling...

 
 a print!

a print!

 This one has been scanned, opened in Photoshop, and colored blue.

This one has been scanned, opened in Photoshop, and colored blue.

 As an alternate, magenta.

As an alternate, magenta.

 

I go with the blue for my quilt top and have the image digitally printed onto KONA cotton at Spoonflower.

See the quilt making process in this blog post tutorial.

See finished quilt below!

 

Jewish Art Workshop - Leonard Baskin

This will have been my third art session in my new job as art teacher at the Glen Rock Jewish Center hebrew school. For the first lesson I made the obvious choice in teaching about Marc Chagall. The second lesson was around the time of Passover, so we learned about illuminated manuscripts with a focus on the haggadah. For the third lesson (and the last one of the school year since I began mid-year), I chose to focus on the artist Leonard Baskin. I've always liked his work and in addition, since I like to introduce new techniques, I liked the fact that he's primarily known for his woodcuts. 

Since I myself am a printmaker, it was great to be able to bring in my own carved woodblocks, prints and tools to pass around. Although the kids were slightly disappointed when they realized they'd be "carving" foam rather than wood, they still seemed to love the lesson, and the results.

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How I Make My Hand-Stamped Fabric

 
 

I haven't had too much experience with stamping on fabric, but I do have experience with relief printmaking. In general, I prefer to explore a process (as long as it's fairly simple) before learning the proper way to do it. That way, I'm driven by what works for the specific needs of my project, with the added result of keeping my mind open to exploring alternative routes. Here's how I went about making my hand-stamped fabric...

 

Hand Stamped Fabric

These photos may look familiar to you if you follow me on Instagram.  I had posted them a little while back as I was printing them, but  here they are all together - a happy family. I had carved the stamps from rubber, and printed on cotton fabric with permanent, archival ink.  Still deciding what to sew with these. Each piece is about 8" square, so whatever I make, it needs to be on the smaller side. Suggestions?

A LOOK BACK: Portraits

A collection of portraits of people in my life. The first (above) is a small quilt. The fabric was block printed with a linoleum cut I made of my friend, Tina. Part of a series of quilts, all of which were portraits of mothers, each accompanied by a written piece on motherhood. I was a new mother myself at the time.

The black and white acrylic painting is of my dad, inspired by a stone sculpture.

I took a class on Japanese printmaking which is where I made this portrait of my niece when she was 8 or so. Lastly, an india ink sketch of my friend Elim, who I met at a comix class when I was living in NYC. 

Printing Leaves

I live in a small town where we're lucky enough to have our own arboretum. It's a peaceful, beautiful spot to take walks, go fishing, or have a picnic. There's rarely more than a handful of people there at a time, so it truly feels like a retreat, just minutes from the center of town.


Currently, the arboretum is attempting to raise enough funds to build an environmental education building. To show my support, I offered to make a print that can be given to people in exchange for a donation to the building fund. Although I normally make woodcut prints, I thought it would be neat to make a print from some of the plants that grow in the arboretum. Here are some photos I took while collecting and printing the clippings.


After making prints of the leaves and flowers, I scanned them and arranged them into this mandala design. Although nothing compares to the peaceful feeling gained from spending time in nature, this print can act as a reminder that nature awaits!

If you live locally (Northern NJ) and would like to make a donation to the arboretum's environmental education building fund, you can find this signed, limited edition print at The Curious Reader on Rock Road in Glen Rock, NJ.

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