Tuesday, April 07, 2009

What do Indian Printing Blocks & Journaling Have in Common??

In a lot of cases 'not very much' would probably be correct. Until recently I would have said 'nothing at all'.

I have a few Indian printing blocks that have purchased over the years. I'm not sure why I purchased the first one about ten years ago .... other than I liked the look of it. Like anything that has a bit of history behind it - they intrigued me. Purchased at the Trade Aid shop at least I was told a little of the history behind them & knew that when they became worn or too damaged to use for printing fabric they were sold.

So there they sat on my shelves, along with an eclectic collection of 'things' from around the world, looking decorative - but serving no other purpose.

My blocks after finally being used

Then along came Lisa Sonora Beam's online workshop that I have just done on PowerFULL Magical Visual Journals. Within the blink of an eye I changed from being possibly the worlds most useless keeper of journals into a maniac who could be found running around the house eyeing anything that had the potential to turn a blank page into an interesting page without actually having to write anything on it first.

Enter stage left; the printing blocks. Soon long forgotten paper that had been created for use in collage work many years ago had been unearthed & a carton that had remained packed since moving full of acrylic paints & various other mediums had had the dust blown off it.

Lisa has many idea's on how to get started. She has fabulous ideas on overcoming that fear of actually writing on a blank page, or committing to writing every day. I have got to say that even if you one have one solitary, lonely 'creative' chromosome in your body then her methods & can't help but appeal to that side of you. After two months of 'avoidance' (she even deals with that) I finally got started.

My first two completed pages

A "No Longer Blank" Page

Of course the more I played, the more I enjoyed, & the more the idea's started flowing. Not only idea's for journalling , but idea's of other things that I could do with the printing blocks ....idea's involving the fabrics for which they were originally intended.

Of course I just had to go & look up what was involved in the process & which types of dyes they used. As you can tell from the first photo of the blocks - they werent intended to be used with fast drying acrylic paints. I pretty much picked that as I was using them...not to mention later when I cleaned them & noticed that they were losing their wonderful 'old dye' patina.

When I saw how these blocks were made I gained a whole new respect for them & realised that although imperfect I had some absolute treasures in my possession!

Just look at this

Here you will find a video that shows how the printing blocks are used to print fabric.


Genie Sea said...

How supremely fun and intriguing! :)

angelinabeadalina said...

Okay, I want to come sit in your living room, or rather I want to come stroll through your house, picking up the goodies, asking you about them, chitchatting about all the ideas that spring from there. Your journal quite glorious, too. I'd love to be a fly on the wall of your brain for a few days, Deb...fascinating wisdom to be found there.

P.S. In case my email got spammed (gotta love a yahoo addy!), you know you can use any and all pics you can find and I'll be honored. The ones on the blog are bigger sized.
P.P.S. You should market your services for custom made journals, scrapbooks, etc.! You have an eye for beautiful compositions, no matter what medium you choose!

Leah said...

Oh this is just awesome, Deb!! I love what you're doing the printing blocks. I love the way you've enthusiastically taken the leap into art journaling here, it's fantastic!