I first “met” Lynn Krawczyk through a mixed media exhibit she organized and curated about five years ago. Since then we’ve followed each other’s blogs and she’s even purchased several of my smaller artworks. Last year, Lynn invited me and a half dozen fiber artists with very different styles and approaches to contribute to her first book. I was impressed and intrigued by the variety, so of course I said yes!
Now the book is out, and I may be a bit biased, but I think it is a treat. Intentional Printing is an easy read, but by no means simple. Lynn’s convivial tone belies tons of tips, techniques, projects, and best of all, encouragement. As the title suggests it’s all about intention. She gets right to the point and leads the reader through her favorite printing techniques with purpose and focus in mind. It’s a book about printing on fabric, but it’s also so much more with insight into creative temperaments, strategies to avoid piles of ugly fabric you won’t ever use, and projects as a jumping off point. Plus, each chapter is introduced with something one of the invited artists made which Lynn custom printed with each of us in mind.
My contribution was this pillow featuring a swirly, root-like fabric from Lynn and a subtle organic line grid fabric.
For a little fun and insight, I asked Lynn a few questions about the book and her inspiration.
1. I like the way you guide readers to associate color with feelings. Do you find that your own color choices change with seasons or moods?
Good question! For the most part my colors are consistent but I can easily track certain periods of my life in my artwork. Things get a little darker during harder times and I experiment more with brights that I don’t normally use when things are more upbeat. I think it’s unavoidable, that fluctuation. Our work is bound to reflect our feelings because we are so closely bound to it.
2. You say that you try to be aware and to create with intent – that you usually have use in mind for your fabric. Do you also have a favorite artist or inspiration?
That’s a toughie because there are so many artists I admire. One artist at the very top of my favorites list is Lee Krasner. I’m a huge fan of abstraction (obviously) and she was pretty regular at consuming completed artwork by recycling it into new projects. That’s something I do all the time as well and her strength and determination really speak to me. Just find her energy inspiring all around.
3. My favorite project is the table runner. What is yours?
I have to say that I am a sucker for the desk weights/beanbags. They are an instant gratification kind of project – print the fabric, assemble, do a little stitching and boom – done! I actually use beanbags a lot and honestly? They’re cute! Can’t help myself!
4. Reading your book is like having a friend come and spend the day with you, encouraging, guiding, coaching you through your artmaking. Have you had a friend or mentor who guided you? Or, if you were to come to my house in real life, what would we work on or do if we had an art day together?
Studio time together! Yes! I LOVE working alongside other artists. There is a definite shift in work environment when more than one creative is kicking around.
I can guarantee that I would be super nosy and want to see all of your artwork. I’m borderline compulsive about holding work in my hands, love that connection. I think the biggest thing we would do is share as we work – meaning nothing would be off limits. I’m open about sharing how I do things because I believe that there is room for everyone in the art world. We all have our own spin.
There would also be chocolate. Lots of chocolate.
5. One of the techniques in your book is to stamp with box lids. I would have never thought of doing that. Besides lids, what is the strangest thing you have tried to print with (successfully or unsuccessfully)?
My feet. Yeah, that was a great move. I got this idea in my head for a piece I was making that I could print footprints on it. So I set about painting the bottom of my feet but I didn’t pay attention to how far away I was from the piece of fabric I intended to walk on.
There was scooting across the floor on my bum and then an incredibly ungraceful shimmy to my feet. By the time I made I finally had my feet where they needed to be, the paint was mostly dry and unwilling to transfer to the fabric.
Needless to say, I’ve since decided to stick with inanimate objects for print tools!
6. I know you love love love your coffee. Have you ever printed with it?
Yes – on purpose and sometimes by accident!
Coffee is a great way to tone down or antique colors. I don’t find it to be something that I like to use on it’s own because it’s hard to get really bold color with it. But it’s certainly useful. (And smells great too!)
Funny story – I haul a coffee cup around with me constantly and have the bad habit of leaving them everywhere, even on my print table. Once I ended up dipping a sponge brush in one without realizing it until I swiped it across the fabric!
7. The book seems to be geared mainly to art quilters, but you mention that printed cloth is also great for modern or traditional piecing. I think paper and mixed media artists could get a lot out of the book too. Have you seen anyone who’s done something really unexpected with your printing techniques?
Honestly? Not yet so far but now that the book is heading out into the big world, I know someone will really goes for it!
The techniques can definitely be used on paper and mixed media art. That’s because they are all paint based and paint will stick to nearly anything!
I’ve been selling Thermofax screens for years and have made screens for all kinds of projects – fundraisers, beer clubs, underpants, baby onesies, invitations. I’m always in awe of the things that people think of to make.
With my leftover fabric, I made this little piece of wall art, repeating my favorite house with roots (and wings) theme.
Draw, stamp, screen print and more to create gorgeous art cloth with the help of surface design artist Lynn Krawczyk’s new book from Interweave/F+W Media, Intentional Printing: Simple Techniques for Inspired Art Fabric .
Leave a comment by April 25th and I will pick a random commenter to win a free copy of Lynn’s book.
Take part in our blog tour with more stops along the way at: