Thursday, 3 May 2012

turning tapestries up to 11

Sorry I've been a bit quiet lately (or you might have been cheering!) but I've been feeling a bit under the weather fighting one of those colds that never actually eventuate, probably having a bit of the doldrums post Finders Keepers and wondering where the hell the last 4 months have gone.
On an inspiring up side I'd made an appointment to go visit Michelle at Frankie and Swiss to have more of a play on Florence the Digital Printer. Michelle is always very nice to me as I stick my fingers in the machine and gabble on at her and aspecially this time as she battled the first day of a nasty cold. This time I wanted to do an experiment- to print on a couple of types of velvet. Let's just say the pure cotton velvet was a complete disaster and I'm glad we did it first as it made the second part of the morning so much more exciting.

I'd been pretty sure the cotton wouldn't work but had wanted to give it a whirl. Next up we loaded some silk ground/rayon pile velvet, this I thought would perhaps work...... and it did! Oh my! The printing started up and we were shocked and delighted by the intensity of colour and the shimmer the pile created. After printing up a couple of cushion sized panels we cranked the size up and printed out 1 metre square scarf panels! Huge blown up tapestries! Giant stitches! Too much to love!

All the issues about digital printing on fabrics that I have went away in a squirt of ink as the the head whirred back and forth and laid down glowing vibrant lush colours. Now I want to cover the world in velvet-y goodness!
Of course I hate sewing this fabric.
Oh well! I'm sure I will come up with a solution!

Clothes! Cushions! Throw rugs! Scarves! Stag printed velvet wall panels to go in your wood panelled study! Isn't amazing what you can do with someone else's 'bad'* colour-by-numbers craft?

*I call tapestries 'bad' as these versions are strictly colour-by-numbers, even though I am constantly amazed by the sheer amount of work that goes into them and the fact that it all ends up in op shops or flogged by second hand dealers. In this case, art is in the effort, A+ for effort, D- for creativity. And before you start screaming at me for dissing tapestries please remember I have a whole wall of them at home and a mountain of them at the studio and I love using them in a way that releases them from the confines of their bad frames.... like printing them oversized on silk/rayon velvet......


  1. Warholian, Pen. I could write an essay here, but I'm restraining myself.

  2. wow even through your photos the colours look vibrant. sounds and looks like a fun day at frankie and swiss. i am very intrigued by digital printing on fabric. i think i must pay them a visit too!


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