Wednesday, May 9, 2012

New plan-- back to daily updates, and on to some printing.

Block printed linen in Victoria and Albert Museum.  Italian 1350-1400   
 I just haven't been doing as well with accomplishing things this time around and I'm beginning to think that it has something to do with not having all the mini deadlines. So, that is my new plan. Regardless of if I finish something or not I absolutely have to find something interesting to say and post a picture every single day. For every day I do it I get a dollar towards buying Moda a Firenze.  There's less than 100 days left, but if I'm close I get to buy it anyway.

Cappotto is basically stalled with the second guard to go. I think I'm going to put it aside for awhile and actually finish something before I get bogged down in it. I was going to do the corset next and start the dress so I'd feel really accomplished, but I have lost 13 pounds in the last 3 weeks (YAY!) so I'm going to wait as I had originally planned and do it really close to the end. I know that isn't the best plan and puts me in danger of not finishing the dress, but I really don't want a dress that doesn't fit when I'm through

So, tomorrow's plan is to try some block printing of fabric using the instructions from Cennini's Il Libro dell'Arte. He discusses block printing on fabric in chapter 173 "The way to work on cloth by printing from a shape in color (lavorare colla forma dipinti in panno.)"  The linen is stretched on a frame and then the color is applied to the block with the palm of a gloved hand. The block is brought to the fabric from the bottom and burnished by another board on top in order to make the impression. Once the outline is in place the fabric is removed from the frame, spread out on a table and other colors "without body" are applied with a brush.  I think my Q-snap quilting frame that I use for large scale embroidery will make a good substitution for the wooden stretcher frame. I had considered carving a block, but I might cheat and use some large stamps instead. 

The plan is to print enough blue linen to make drawers. Cennini specifically says when using light blue fabric (biava) to use biacca or white lead for the outlines rather than black. He follows that up with basically says to mix your colors with the grounds as you fancy and feel go together, "one thing will teach you another, both by practice and the knowledge given by your intelligence. The reason? that every art is in its nature ingenious and pleasing: che ne piglia se n'ha (he that takes, hath). And similarly the contrary happens."

I will be doing white (not lead) for my outlines and then adding some gold for color. Guess we'll see how it goes. The way I figure it, if I do a terrible job, they're drawers and really won't be seen much anyway. I've been dieing to try printing fabric and collecting documentation on it for quite some time now so figured now is as good a time to start as any.


  1. I'm excited to see how this project goes.
    I'm always on the look out for how to stretch fabric stashes and being able to put any design I want or can create onto blank fabric means the possibilities are endless..

    Also, I think the daily updates are a HUGE plus. It will help gauge your progress. I've been trying very hard lately to post a little something each time I do a craft. Its helping me see my progress, and even if no one else reads it but me, I still feel like its an accomplishment.
    Your reward idea is PERFECT.. and think of it this way if you have $100 earned to go to it, then that'll make it that much easier to knock off that last little bit as a "hey I posted EACH day and I finished so neener neener".

    Remember as well though, real life comes first so you can't post while camping :P
    Unless you take your laptop camping and we find wi-fi or tether up my phone MWAHAHAH

  2. Oh yes! Please something as often as you can. Your posts are always so interesting!

    I look forward to seeing your progress with printed linen. So cool.