Thursday, 29 September 2016

Thermofax Printing with Catherine Green

We have recently worked with local textile artist, Catherine Green to produce three textile wall hangings.
Upon completion, the wall hangings will be displayed in our school entrance.

Catherine's studio is close to our school and we were inspired by her artwork.

As a starting point, we decided to work with images of flowers and plants found within our school environment. We went for a walk in our playground and collected samples to use for observational drawings.

We used black ink to create our detailed drawings. These drawings were then passed to Catherine Green in her Gomersal based studio.
Catherine manipulated the drawings and sent them to a company to be turned into Thermofax Screens. 

Catherine then spent the week in our school, delivering workshops to every child in Key Stage 2. She demonstrated how to use the screens to create multiple prints. We discussed how this was different to printing we had already done in school.

We worked in small teams to create the prints. Some children held the screen in place, while others added the fabric ink to the top. We had to make sure the screen was the correct way around.

The ink was thick and sticky, we used a thick lolly stick or a spoon to apply the ink to the top of the screen.

We applied a force to the screen to stop it from moving as our partner pulled the ink across the screen using a squeegee. We had to make sure there was an even layer of ink on the screen.

The excess ink was then scraped off the screen and put back into the tub. We had to make sure the ink didn't land on our uniform, as the fabric ink would leave a permanent mark.

When the screen was gently pulled away from the paper, it revealed an exact copy of the image. We were amazed!

It was incredibly messy work (but great fun!)

We created many prints in our sketchbooks and on pieces of paper to practice the technique. We had to discover the right amount of ink to use and how much pressure to apply to the squeegee before we printed our best piece onto fabric.

We annotated our sketchbook pages with our discoveries.

We had the opportunity to try out the different prints and pondered which image we preferred.

If the print had gone slightly wrong, we had to discover how to fix the problem.

We learnt a lot from working with our peers, and we had expert advice to hand when things weren't going to plan.

Once we had found our confidence, we were able to print onto fabric. Catherine had already prepared samples of cotton that had been dyed with coloured inks. Each child printed their chosen image, carefully onto the fabric.

Excited, proud faces!

It was difficult to keep our tables clean!

Each year group used a different coloured ink.

Children in Year 6 took part in a table challenge. They were given a large piece of paper and were asked to design a sheet of wallpaper or wrapping paper. The children worked fabulously as a team and designed some wonderful printed patterns.

 Some groups used the same screen, while other groups used multiple screens to create their image.

 Changing the background colour really made a difference to some designs.

After all the workshops, Catherine took the printed images away to be sewn together. She used a quilting technique to create the wall hangings. We can't wait to see them displayed in our entrance.
A wonderful collaboration between many children and a local artist.