Printing Textiles

After developing the idea or concept of the print, the next step is to carve a linoleum block.

  Taking an idea to the block progresses in many ways.  Sometimes I work  directly from photographs, as I did with this airplane image.  Here I was looking for the most accurate representation of the deHavilland Beaver parked in Denali National Park, Alaska. combination of sketches and photographs to develop a design directly on the lino or is  transferred onto the block, either visually or with the aid of old-fashioned carbon paper.

After carving the block and selecting the clothing (usually a shirt) to print, I set up a glass pallet to roll the ink on. This part of the process greatly influences how the final piece looks. Basically at this stage you roll out a thin layer of ink on the glass with your roller, adjusting the viscosity as you wish.

Then you apply the ink to the block.  I generally ink the lino with a thicker layer of ink than you would for a paper print varying the application of ink depending on what look I am going for.

I print on a drop cloth and flat board on the floor so I can use my body weight as the printing press.  Many artists work on a sturdy table and use a mallet to apply pressure to the lino.  Either way you need to place a piece of non- corrugated cardboard between the front and back of the shirt to avoid mashing ink through the shirt onto the other side.  I lay the shirt out neatly so I can see center and plumb of the print placement.  After carefully placing the inked lino on the garment, I then literally dance on the block, making sure to put good pressure on all parts of it.  I keep a damp rag handy for hand cleaning constantly.

The next steps are carefully peeling the block off of the shirt and hanging it up to dry. Then I fire up the flash dryer and give them all that little extra cure.

And that is how the Bowman do.

rylic paintings of Hawaii, Alaska, Talkeetna, Big Island, Denali National Park,Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. All art and artworks by the artist Chris Bowman of Bowman INK. Bowman INK specializes in hand block printed clothing featuring Alaskan and Hawaiian landscapes and iconic imagery.

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