Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Stars and Buttons Go Screen Printing

The Boy in action
Ever since Stars and Buttons started, I've wanted to create unique and special designs that make my stuff stand out. Drawing is not my strong point but luckily my other half trained as an Animator and spent some time working as a Storyboard Artist. He's got a great quirky style and is always doodling so I've been trying to get him involved and turn his promises of help into some actual final designs that I can use.

The Boy's dog design

Finding the time with busy day jobs has been a challenge, so I decided to enrol us both in a screen printing course to inspire us. Last week, we both fought hard to leave our office jobs a bit early to race over to Islington and spend the evening at the wonderful Make Lounge

This is my third craft course at The Make Lounge and I can't recommend it enough. The classes are always friendly and well organised. After only a few hours (and a few glasses of wine) you leave with not only some completed projects but a life skill that you get to keep forever.

My fruit tea towels
I kept my designs super simple and tried to focus on learning all about the paper stencil technique. The teacher Helen Rawlinson, who is an acclaimed lighting and textile designer, was a brilliant teacher. She shared lots of top tips and kept us focused throughout the session. It was great fun and soon memories of messy afternoons screen printing at school came flooding back. I forgot how satisfying squeegees can be! I printed some fruit shapes on tea towels and created a couple of special Stars and Buttons tote bags to use at my sewing workshops this summer. (Pictures to follow once I've added some finishing touches.)

The Boy created some much better designs, including a dog and wiggly worm and flower combo, which he printed on a couple of tea towels along with some T-shirts that came out really well. (He's a perfectionist so insists these are not the 'final' designs!)

The Boy's worm & flower (and yes we're trying not to mention that it looks a bit phallic!)
I think it's safe to say we both now have the screen printing bug and are trying to find a space we can hire for short printing sessions in London.

Next stop is our own designed, printed and hand made products. Exciting times!

Visit The Make Lounge website for more information about their classes.

Find out more about Helen Rawlinson by checking out her blog.

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