Design, Carve, Print: Block Printing on Fabric!
August 5 – September 23, 2019
Registration is now closed for this session.
Q: What are class dates?
A: Lessons are available from August 5 – September 23, 2019.
Q: When does registration close?
A: Registration closed on August 2.
Q: Can I register after the registration close date?
A: No. I have a blanket policy of not adding anyone after registration closes.
Q: How is the content in this class different from that in your book?
A: To be honest, the content in my online class is pretty much the same as the technical content in my book (though I don’t discuss sewing or include sewing patterns in the class as I do in the book). When I wrote the book I thought that would make the online class redundant, but enough people are still interested in the online class, so I’ve decided to offer it periodically.
The biggest differences are in how the class material is delivered, and the amount of technical assistance I provide. In the online class many of the lessons are video-based, which means you can watch me implement the processes I discuss in the book. And I provide technical assistance in three different, one-hour group sessions, where I will answer your individual questions.
Q: How are the lessons structured? Will you have downloadable notes?
A: All of the lessons will be available on August 5, so you can work at your own pace. I use a combination of video and written instruction for the lessons. The bulk of the lessons are video-based, with some photo and text-based lessons as well. All lessons are web-based; you will not be downloading any videos or files. I’ve taught this class a number of times both online and in person, and have found that the best way for people to learn is to follow along with the lessons and actually print. For that reason, I do not provide downloadable notes, though I do encourage you to take notes as you work.
Q: When are the group sessions? How will they be conducted?
A: There are three group sessions, which will be conducted over Zoom. I will be on live video, and you can send me questions ahead of time, or send them during the session. My classes tend to be very international, so I’ve done my best to schedule times so that all students will be able to attend at least one of these sessions:
Sunday, August 18: 12 noon PDT
Wednesday, September 4: 5 pm PDT
Saturday, September 21: 9 am PDT
Q: How tech-savvy do I need to be to take this class?
A: Hmm… You don’t need to be able to write code or create your own app, but you do need to be very comfortable navigating online. If you regularly upload photos to Facebook or Instagram, do online searches, watch streaming movies, have a fast broadband connection, and are not afraid of being online, then you should be fine. I have run this class at least a dozen times, and students working with a variety of operating systems and computers/tablets have taken this course, so I know that the course works.
Q: Are there any countries where this course isn’t available?
A: Yes. The course videos are hosted on Vimeo, which censors in some countries have blocked. As of now, I believe that Vimeo is blocked in Turkey and Indonesia (and, sometimes, India). Please go to www.vimeo.com to see if it the site is accessible in your country.
Q: How much time do I need to put aside to work on the lessons?
A: I’ve previously run this course over a weekend, and think that you’ll need at least twelve hours to work through the lessons.
Q: Why is the class only available for six weeks? What if I want lifetime access to it?
A: Even though this is an online class, I will spend time during our video conferences responding to students’ questions, troubleshooting their printing problems, and generally providing feedback. I can’t sustain this level of attention year-round, because I work on other projects throughout the year. Also, in my experience, the more time people have to complete a course or a task, the less likely they are to complete the course at all. Having a specific period of time for the course sets a deadline for students, encouraging them to complete lessons in a timely manner.
Q: What tools and materials will I need for the course?
A: I will send out a comprehensive materials list after you register for the class, but you must already have, or be able to acquire, the following materials:
- A linocutting tool (a few examples here*)
- A soft carving medium, such as Moo Carve, Soft-Kut, EZ-Cut, or Speedy-Cut. Since this is an introductory course, and because we will not be working with oil-based inks, we will not be working with linoleum or wood, and my lessons will be focused on tools and techniques for soft carving media only. I also ask that you not carve a block larger than 4×6″ for your first print in this class.
- Water-based screenprinting ink specifically formulated for textiles (examples here, here and here). For health and safety reasons, we will not be working with oil-based blockprinting ink, or plastisol-based screenprinting inks. In addition, we will not be working with fabric paint, acrylic paint with textile extender, etc. (i.e. we will only be working with water-based screenprinting ink!).
- Light-colored fabric made of natural fibers. A good, inexpensive fabric to practice on is cotton muslin. You can wash and iron your fabric ahead of time.
Q: Will I actually print during this class?
A: Yes! Over the course, I’ll guide you through the entire process – from the initial sketches, to transferring your images to your block, to carving your block, to printing and heat setting your fabric. By the end of the class, you will have printed your own fabric, and (hopefully) will share your creation with the class.
Q: Do I have to have a Facebook account to take this class?
A: Participation in the Facebook group is optional, but I strongly recommend joining it. While I don’t actively participate in the group, the overwhelming response from students who participated in the Facebook group is that being in the group greatly added to their enjoyment in the class. Class participants in the group have loved sharing their work and learning from each other.
If you don’t have Facebook account, you can create one for the class. I don’t share your information, and won’t invite you to join other groups (or to play Candy Crush Saga with me).
Q: Is it safe to wash the fabric I print in your class?
A: Yes, as long as you follow my class instructions. There may be some fading in the wash – the same as any store-bought printed garment – but I wouldn’t ask you to spend hours printing fabric, only for your design to completely disappear with a little soap and water!
Q: I want to take your class, but I can’t draw. Do I have to be able to draw?
A: I truly believe that everyone can draw, with enough practice. That said, I think that simple shapes, laid out in an interesting way, can be just as compelling as an intricately-carved block. Plus, I’m a gentle teacher, confident that I can coax good work out of everyone. Check out my students’ work from some of my previous in-person and online classes, as well as my 52 Weeks of Printmaking project, for examples.
Q: I want to give your class as a gift. How do I do that?
A: After you register for the class, send me a message and I’ll transfer the class registration to the person you’ve bought it for. I may even have a cute gift certificate you can give.
Q: I still have questions that you didn’t answer above. How can I contact you?
A: You can email me here.