Monday, May 27, 2013

Goldfish Fabric & Thermofax Screen Printing

I shared this fabric on Facebook but wanted to post it here as well.
And show what I did with it.

The fish are apx. 12 x 18 inches and in  bold, vibrant colors.

The fabric shop only had a yard left
I had a "Living Social" coupon for Tony's Fabric in Greenville SC that I bought almost a year ago. I had forgot about it to be honest and got an email reminding me ti use it before it expired.

When I walked in the front door, there was this beautiful and bold piece of fabric hanging on one of the showroom floor racks (insert choir of angels singing).
I was hooked (sorry, couldn't resist that pun).

I don't usually gravitate towards orange fabric but I'm guessing that the subject matter combined with the awesome color caught my eye.

I looked all over the (huge) store and couldn't find anything else I liked - until I committed to the goldfish fabric. They only had one yard of it left! So it was a good thing that I snagged it when I did.

I was able to find a few small pieces of random things to fulfill my coupon  at that point.

When I came home, I fanned the fabric over my couch and just admired it for a couple of days.
If I had a wall large enough to carry a frame that large, I'd just frame the entire yard and be happy with it that way. But I don't so I will use it in other large ways.

I plan on using one piece for a large sketchbook. I want to create a cover out of the fabric, using a whole piece to show off the beautiful fish design.

One thing that I did do already was to create a thermofax screen out of the fish - purely for personal use.
I won't be selling this screen since it isn't my design but I can use it for my own purposes.

It was a simple process (albeit a time consuming one) to convert a design like this into a design appropriate for a thermofax screen. It just takes a bit of trail and error messing with it in Photoshop (Elements for me).

I cropped out a single fish from the fabric (on a scan) and created a solid white background.
Some of the white I "poured" into the b/g crept into the lines of the fish.
That's great actually.

I messed around with the color curves until I was satisfied,
always looking for a good contrast in the white & black(ish) colors.
Notice that I did open up the lines between the head/tail/etc to
get more contrast.

It took two tries to get a good screen but I think that they final result is pretty cool.
This images is a little over 4 inches wide (the original fish design is about 18 inches). Of course, you can see m uch more detail "in person" than on this scan.

I printed this on a piece of vintage damask table cloth, then cut it out to use as a patch on the front of a small tote bag that I wanted to use.

I usually use journal pages to print on when I am auditioning a thermofax screen.
I love to use the images to draw into or paint over in my journal. It adds yet one more layer to the page.


Robbie said...

Well, you had me with the first set of fish!! What cool fabric! And what a great inspiration piece...your thermo fax screen is perfect!!!! Years ago I printed with a real fish...well, a dead, real fish! Lots of fun there too! But didn't smell that great but nice prints!

Joanne Huffman said...

Very cool fabric, very cool print.