About Me

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Denman Island, British Columbia, Canada
Jean Cockburn retired from her professional career as an academic librarian in 2008 to become a textile artist living on Denman Island, British Columbia. She draws, quilts, embroiders, knits and crochets, makes wearable art, weaves baskets, dyes fabric, and paints watercolours. Her work has been exhibited locally in juried and group shows on Denman Island, in Courtenay, Comox, and Duncan on Vancouver Island, in West Vancouver, and across Canada with the Surface Design Association.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Block printing on fabric

I am using some of the blocks that I had carved for my works on paper, and two new ones, to block print on fabric.
The cotton is Kona PFD (prepared for dying) from the Red Barn Quilt shop in the Fabricland store in Courtenay.
I used Speedball screen printing ink for fabric. It is rather runny and does not have the viscosity of regular block printing ink, so that the brayer is not able to really spread it like velcro on the palette. The resulting printed image is not as black and crisp as block printing ink, but I rather like it as I am planning on colouring the  fabric prints. Also, I had this on the shelf, and it is permanent and washable unlike the block printing ink for paper which runs on paper when I try to add watercolour paint. So, done deal.
The fabric pieces are planned to finish 12 inches by 60 inches, because, if they work out, I will enter them into the Vancouver Island Surface Design Association show:

October 22 – November 10, 2015          Hours: 10am-5pm Monday to Saturday
Portals Gallery        Cowichan Valley Arts Council       Duncan
The show is designed so that all pieces will be hung closely together to create a garden wall 
tapestry. The selection of artwork will be based on how all the artwork shows together and reflects 
the theme. See jurors’ bios below. Up to 3 pieces may be submitted. Tryptychs will be considered as 
3 pieces. A maximum of 30 pieces will be accepted based on venue space. Artists’ work is 
anonymous during the jurying process to ensure impartiality and individual works are selected on 
their merits. There is no commission but there is a 3% charge for credit card sales.
Artwork must be original, completed since September 2014 and not previously shown in a VISDA 
show. All pieces must be for sale.
Submission Deadline:      June 30, 2015
Notification of Acceptance:   July 16, 2015 (Thursday)

Beginning the block printing process yesterday.
The stem line was drawn with a black DecoFabric pen

Today I heat set the printing ink with a hot iron, then began colouring the prints. Here the leaves are painted with Setasilk ink. It was very fluid, so I put a bit in a palette well, then just dabbed it onto the leave shapes with a small chisel paint brush. Then, while it was wet, I added SetaSkrib fabric marker in yellow.

In this case, I coloured the leaves with Derwent Inktense pencils using aloe vera as a medium. I love the intensity of the colours.

Here the leaves are painted with Jacquard Textile Color, thinned with aloe vera gel.

These are the Jacquard colours that I mixed to give the leaves a variety of shades.

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