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Review: Intentional Printing
Intentional Printing by Lynn Krawczyk, Interweave / F+W Media; $26.99
I suppose I should add here: I am NOT doing a giveaway, although others in this blog tour are. See the links at the bottom of the post.
I'm something of a closet fabric-printer wannabee, so I'm always interested in new fabric printing books. But I won't lie: I always get too intimidated to actually bust out some materials and, you know, print stuff.
Intentional Printing: Simple Techniques for Inspired Fabric Art is a nice antidote for this kind of intimidation. Lynn Krawczyk, a longtime surface design artist, understands that it's one thing to make marks on fabric, and quite another to create fabrics from your own artistic vision. She's done a wonderful job here of combining technique instruction with thoughts on individual creativity.
There's a great first chapter about developing your voice as a maker. Lynn talks about common habits that block creativity and the dance that exists between serendipitous inspiration and making conscious choices as you develop a piece of work. She has some excellent, theory-free advice on color and also talks about paying attention to the imagery that shows up often in your work. it's all a foundation for using the printing techniques in the book to their fullest advantage.
There's a thorough chapter on tools and materials, which covers fabric choices, some helpful basics about types of paint, and tips on setting up a work area for printing. This "Paint Diary" idea, in which Lynn keeps track of the properties of the paints she uses, is worth the price of the book alone.
I really like Lynn's choices of printing techniques; they're all quite simple and don't require a lot of expense to get started. You can learn color-wash printing, fluid printing, stamping, decay printing, drop-cloth printing, Thermofax screen printing, and shadow printing.
I got very enamored with this drawing-on-fabric technique. And here, you can also see how each technique is presented with both text and step-by-step photos.
Here's a decay printing how-to that uses foam pool noodles. Lynn encourages you to make your own printing tools from common stuff like this.
Once you've learned the basic techniques, there's a fun chapter on mixing and matching them on the same piece of fabric for all kinds of cool effects.
There's also a section on hand-stitching (yaaaaaaaaay!!), in which Lynn demonstrates three easy stitches to try and shows how to incorporate them with printed fabrics. I absolutely love the look of hand stitching against the loose, handmade look of the printed fabrics.
I really like the treatment of projects in this book – there are ten of them, designed to give a simple showcase to hand-printed fabrics and hand sewing. These bean bags are designed as desk weights, but I think they'd also make dandy sachets.
Here's a fabric-covered box design that's easy to do and would work as beautifully for gift wrap as storage. Each project comes with step-by-step instructions and a few process photos.
For obvious reasons, I adore this scarf!
One last interesting thing to show you: Lynn also invited five other textile artists who work from a strong creative vision to share a piece of their work in the book and comment on their processes. Their stories are sprinkled throughout the book.
So all in all, a really accessible primer on fabric printing, with the bonus of helping you clarify your unique style. A great book to keep on hand for when you need an inspiration refresh.
If you'd like to check in on the rest of the Intentional Printing blog tour, here are the participants:
• Virginia Spiegel.com
• Twisted Sister
• Lesley Riley
• Bloom Bake Create
• My Clothes Line
• Traci Bunkers Handmade
• Smudged Textiles Studios
• Sew Mama Sew
• Lisa Call.com
(Disclosure Time: Interweave/F + W Media sent me a review copy, and the title link above is an affiliate link.)