A bit of print and dye.

I’ve been making some samples for a course I’m teaching at the moment, using Setacolour with thermofax screens and Dy Na Flow fabric paints. I use the latter whenever I paint silk, but they work well on cotton and calico too. I wanted to try different techniques on this course for a change, but the set up isn’t ideal for procion dyes, which I would normally use.

I use Setacolour now with my thermofax screens as a matter of course, and the prints are excellent. I have some new finer mesh to try out too, which I am about to use to make screens for a new piece of work. I can see  how thermofax printing is adding to the development of new aspects of my work, as I gradually use the new printed fabrics I have been building up over the past few months. Below are some images of the thermofax screen printed fabrics, all from my own drawings. Most are quite linear, and I will be experimenting with some more visually textured screens in the future.






Here are some on the washing line after dyeing, and below, some close ups.








This was a real test piece, but I like it best of all, along with the monkeys below.


Some I decided to keep pale and interesting, below.






This one isn’t out of focus, don’t worry either, it’s not your eyes, it’s a double print.

Another technique I used involved block prints and acrylic paint; you can simply brush the paint onto the fabric too, or print with leaves or anything you have to hand. When the paint is dry, I painted on a combination of drawing inks and acrylic inks; you get vibrant fabric with a wonderful resist from the paint, whether the colours are bold or subtle, and some texture from the paint if it is thicker.



As usual the drop cloth was something I wanted to keep and use. It has been added to since, with more black, but I will cut it in two to make a diptych, with additions of course; I’m not sure how it will develop. It’s a little too yellow at the moment, but that can be altered.


I just noticed I forgot to include this refined chappie below, especially for those of you who like a zingy bit of fabric. This is Setacolour and Dy Na Flow.


And to finish on more colour, clashing wonderfully with that above, some inspiration for another piece; and because I love a rowan tree.

DSC_0002 - Version 2

6 thoughts on “A bit of print and dye.

  1. I see it hasn’t taken you long to recover from FOQ and get straight back into creating and developing work! These fabrics all have that wonderful controlled ‘serendipity’ about them – if that makes sense? The pale and interesting ones as you call them Steph certainly appeal to me. Not a surprise given that they contain moths. Those images remind me how that colour combo of black or charcoal grey work so well with a limey chartreuse green. It will be interesting to see how you will add texture but I admit to liking the linear drawings big time!

    1. Hi Lesley, thanks! I agree with the serendipity, that’s the joy of screens and dye I think. Not entirely sure about control, but that seems to be my style. I always end up doing so many pieces that they seem to cover all necessities. Wanting to keep the pale ones pale was a surprise too, but they immediately suggested new work. Linear drawing is more my way, I think, but I may make some more ‘textured’ screens by drawing with charcoal pencil, as that is ideal in screen making, obviously because of its carbon content. I still haven’t got around to making the moth trap either. [To those who are worried, they are all let go.]

  2. How wonderful are they? My favourites…I couldn’t separate them…are the bird with the colourful background and the almost transparent dragonfly on the dark background. I love all the pieces though and would happily include them in my stash!

    1. Thanks Bonnie! I may make some fabric to take to shows at some point. I don’t do anything very repeatable or normal though! Although I call these samples I will make work with them, they are inspiring but demanding, as they are changing the way I work.

  3. I love the economy of line Steph – sometimes thermofaxes seem so ‘strong’ just because they can be – yours seem to keep hold of a sense of the artist’s hand – and I love the little birds with the big personalities!

  4. Thanks George, I bit the bullet and got my own machine so I could basically make as many screens as I want from my own drawings. I love line, and being able to burn screens from drawings made in indian ink and charcoal pencil is ideal for me.

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