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  • Writer's pictureCarol Wiebe

Do Some Breakdown Printing, Even When You Are of Sound Mind

Here is a simply fabulous idea. I’m sure you have all heard of Breakdown Printing with Leslie Morgan and Claire Benn of Committed to Cloth. And then, of course, there is the amazing  Kerr Grabowski, who calls her way of loading a screen with thickened dyes Deconstructed Screen Printing.

Dijanne Cevaal was “cruising blogs” and “saw mention of using water color pencils and breakdown printing.” A light bulb went off and she used watercolor crayons on the screen in place of dyes. Read her description of the process:

I found an old silk screen I had in the shed ( which isn’t terribly useful for breakdown printing as it has holes in the bottom- I need to buy some new mesh)I put my village linocut underneath the screen mesh and rubbed it with a black water colour crayon. I then coloured in the bits that weren’t black with the other crayons. I have to say the space where I printed was far from ideal- there were bumps in the surface ( which you can see on the resulting print) and I only had a tiny amount of Extender print base ( the emulsion that printing ink pigments are suspended in). I was really blown away by the resulting colour and neatness of the print- and even the greyed second print has a certain amount of charm- I couldn’t do any more prints because I ran out of the extender base (will have to buy some more now that Kraftkolour is up and running again). The greying of the print could have been avoided by using fresh extender base with each pass of the squeegy ( and I seem to have lost my larger squeegy- so much of my stuff is all over the place because I have no set base to work).

In spite of all her setbacks, Dijanne came up with some pretty spectacular results.

Breakdown Print ~ by Dijanne Cevaal

Ghost print for Dijanne Cevaal's image

Dijanne comments that she can see herself doing more of these. I should hope so! I can see myself doing these, and I am sure your wheels are also turning.

A piece of cloth stapled onto a frame has proven to be a tool of endless possibilities. Jane Dunnewold, author of  Improvisational Screen Printing (and so much more, including collaborations with Morgan and Benn), also utilises the screen print in innovative ways (some of which involve interfacing). When she makes a collage, for instance:

Jane starts by screen printing patterns in clear gel medium onto heavy weight watercolor paper. When the gel dries it is permanent and creates a “resist” – that is, an area where paint cannot pass through to the paper because the clear, dried gel blocks it from being absorbed.
The next step is to brush India ink, paint or dye over the surface. While the ink is wet, the paper is passed under running water and the ink or dye washes off of the places where the gel was printed. This is how the first layer of patterning is created.

By the way: Dijanne is the author of  Lovely Lutradur and 72 More Ways Not To Stipple or Meander. Both are availaible on her blog ~ Musings of a Textile Intinerant, along with a myriad of informative and inspiring posts. Do not miss her gallery (e.g. If Hundertwasser Had Lived in the Otways or River System) for more evidence of her fascinating art journey.

#JaneDunnewold #LeslieMorgan #DijanneCevaal #extenderbase #watercolourcrayons #TheMusingsofaTextileIntinerant #collage #BreakdownPrinting #silkscreen #ClaireBenn #KerrGrabowski #ImprovisationalScreenPrinting #72MoreWaysNotToStippleorMeander #cleargelmedium #interfacing #DeconstructedScreenPrinting #CommittedtoCloth #LovelyLutradur

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