Sunday, 18 October 2015

Big big (animal menagerie) bag

This was a really fun little project that I actually did with my six year old. She wanted to make a giant bag for her Godmother just like one I had made recently for myself. She set to work on a few design shapes that she could use as a print. Here are a few of them below.

The bag is rather large. Its maybe a weekend bag or a 'throw everything in the boot of the car' sort of a bag. Not exactly something you might carry around on a daily basis. The basic shape is shown here in this quick sketch of mine. I added two sets of press studs to the sides so that the volume of fabric can be controlled when it is not all that full, or so that it can be neatly flat packed.

This is the one I made for myself. I used a heavy weight canvas that I already had left over from repairing some directors chairs a while back. Its rather stiff and will hopefully get better with age but its strong and does the job.

These are the colours we mixed up using a variety of old ones I still had left in the fridge. We added a few pigments to get some more pleasant shades but this is what we started with.

The design shapes were randomly put onto three screens, wherever they fit.

Then we spaced the screens out and made a simple repeat by eye.

With each new screen we just filled in the gaps and it worked surprisingly well.

It was not all that easy trying to teach a six year old how to screen print, without taking over....but I tried! There are a few places where the screen slipped or too much/too little ink was pulled through but then that is part of its charm. After all how many six year old's can screen print!

My daughter added a few more colours so as not to repeat a colour on a different shape. She chose the colours and I tried to follow her lead as best I could.

This is the finished piece of fabric with its wonderful animal menagerie! A cat, a shark, a jelly fish and a fish as well as coral, an acorn, a sun, a star and a flower!

It was well received and hopefully it also gets well used over the years. I think this will age wonderfully and only look better when it gets nicely worn and a bit grubby. Or at least that's my opinion!

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