le tour Eiffel, cupcakes, coffee pots, trees & flowers

I had another lovely group of screen printing ladies last weekend, at my little studio. Everyone arrived early, and got stuck straight into some design thinking, and a bit of chatting too!
Despite the heat of the day, we got a lot done and finished up on time.

Deb (above left), who had recently returned from Paris, hand drew this fantastic stylised Le Tour Eiffel. I love that she also hand cut her initials into the stencil. A true artist! These printed up beautifully, and will make excellent gifts, and a great keepsake memory of her time in France. Deb also cut out this wonderful, and quite intricate, little moose head with antlers and a heart face (top photo).
Eryn (above right, in the black) came to the class with a few rough ideas for a design, and started sketching different ideas. She came up with this lovely swirl shape, which she rotated to make three different angles, hand cut them all and then printed them up in deep grey onto the black linen tea towels. (The lighting in the photo is not doing justice to the great print or colours). Eryn also had time to cut out some more from her sketching ideas, and came up with this lovely little cupcake, tea cut and pot design. It looked so cute in bright pink. Both of these designs are a perfect example of how a simple, crisp and bold design is just suited for stencil cut screen printing, and gives wonderful results.
Georgina (second-to-top photo, wearing the pink) arrived with a geranium leaf and some photocopied leaf-image inspiration, and starting drawing and cutting her shapes. Her persistance with cutting the intricate little shapes really paid off with this stunning pair of green geranium and fantastic orange flower prints. She did these are two different cut stencils; waiting for the green to dry before printing the orange flowers. Can't wait to see what Georgina stitches this up into.
Sue brought along a beautiful tote bag she had made (which I forgot to photograph, but it was so sweet), of a tree with bright red apple buttons. She cut and printed this as two stencils, first the chocolate brown trunk and then the bright green leaves over the top. We planned it that when she printed the top design, there would be some overlap of colours, and some sections where it wouldn't overlap leaving a little bit of fabric showing. When you're lining up designs by hand, and have to move the fabric between prints, it's best to work with that and plan for the beautiful little imperfections that happen. I think it really added to the print, having them all be placed just a teeny bit differently to each other. Once these t-shirts have their red apple buttons stitched on, they are going to look super-duper cute on Sue's neices. Yah.

Jacki (who writes the lovely monkeemoomoo blog) had her husband size these images up to perfectly fit a tea towel. What a wonderfully cute idea (the coffee pots and spoons, rather than using her husband to do the design work - though I must admit, I do that with my husband too!). This turned out so well, the pots, spoon and mixing machine looked excellent in a deep grey print on white + black linen. What lucky family and friends, who'll be getting this for their presents. Jacki also cut this simple, retro looking design and printed it in red (this image is the one I printed on our backing fabric, with an orange mixed through). Jacki told us her son had them all drawing and cutting designs, which is what lead to her pebble shapes with negative and positive cut-outs. Take it from me - young kids are some of the best art instructors and inspiration around, use them if you have them!

I had such a lovely time watching everyone come up with their designs, and learning the techniques of printing. Some of them were a bit nervous for the first print run, but had totally slipped into the fun of it by the time they got their second printing done. I do hope they're all inspired to go off and keep printing at home. Sorry Sue + Jacki, somehow I didn't end up with a photo of either of you.

If you are interested in learning how to screen print, then I have a few spots left in the last classes of the year. You can bring your own fabric to print on (like Sue's t-shirts for presents), or print onto tea towels - which make excellent gifts for local and overseas friends and family. Full details are here, with info on how to book. I've decided to cancel one class due to the year running away from me too much, so only have two more classes left.