Happy Monday & Block Printing tutorial with Urban Outfitters…

teepeestamp1

{image of a linoleum block I carved to create a teepee}

Hi all! Hope you had a wonderful weekend and that you were able to feel Spring in the air!

I love Springtime because for me there is such a sense of renewal and energy. This time of year is when I feel the most energized to create, organize and to also try new things.

So as I was thinking about what new things to try I started wondering about all of you and if you also get that same desire to be more creative and to try something new. Then I started wondering if any of you would like to try what I do which is Block Printing. Just in case you aren’t sure what block printing is here is wiki answers definition:

"Block Printing" or "Woodblock Printing" is a method used to print text, images or patterns on textiles and later paper. This method was widely used throughout East Asia and originating in China in antiquity.
How it worked:
Patterns and letters were carved into wooden blocks, so that the letter or pattern is chiseled and protrudes so to speak from the wooden block.
These blocks are then coated with Ink, and brought pressed firmly and evenly onto the paper or cloth.

Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_block_printing#ixzz1HFYJBVf8

If you’ve been following my blog for a little while you’ve definitely seen images of what I create. My napkins, tea towels, pillow covers and even the images I use for the journals are all created using the block printing method. Some folks have asked me why I chose block printing instead of screen printing or printing images using computer resources. Well the truth is that I did go to fabric design school for a little while where I was learning how to create images on the computer which could then be printed onto textiles. Even though to a large extent this would have been easier this wasn’t the direction I wanted to go. The images were just “too perfect” for me.

I like the imperfections and the more weathered look that block printing creates. So that venture in Fabric Design school was many years ago and it wasn’t until fairly recently that I felt that itch to get creative again.

About a year and a half ago I picked up this book by Lena Corwin, Printing by Hand and this book, Lotta Prints, by Lotta Jansdotter and the rest is history. I read each book cover to cover, ran out to buy the products they suggested to get started, and basically taught myself how to block print using rubber blocks and then later, linoleum blocks. indobay inc. became a result of my passion for something I only recently really came to know.

So if you have a creative itch that you are wanting to scratch how about trying block printing. I would suggest the books above to get you started because they are very easy to read and understand. However, there are also tons of resources online. If you Google “block printing” you will see a variety of sites and links.

Here is a video I found from Urban Outfitters that I think does a good job of presenting block printing in an easy way. In the video a rubber block is used to carve out the images. If you are new to block printing I think this is a wonderful way to begin. The rubber block is much easier to carve into than linoleum and actually quite pleasant to work with. The video mentions obtaining the supplies at Urban Outfitters but you can find at any art supply or craft store. Dick Blick, is also a great resource.
I hope your creative juices have started flowing and that you give this printing method a try. It really is quite addictive once you give it a try.

If you have any questions about the block printing method please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments. I LOVE talking about what I do and would be thrilled to offer any tips or resources that might help. Happy Printing!

~live SIMPLY, live LOVELY~