Entries in modern (11)
To create the modern striped pattern of the vixen blockprint tablecloth, the process of transferring a pattern on to wood blocks using paper and charcoal—then hand-carving the pattern out of the solid wood—has been the first step for hundreds of years.
In 2008, we happen to pass by a small group of workers carving very traditional patterns in Jaipur, India—an area famous for block printing and where vixen is produced today.
While vixen’s pattern is much cleaner and more simplified than the detailed patterns shown above, it actually makes the process all the more challenging to precisely align each press of the block—and to keep its very long lines as straight as possible.To get started, the printer prepares the fabric by measuring the length to be folded for the hem—so that the stripes start from the corner—points are then marked on all four corners using a tailors awl.
The cloth piece is then laid out diagonally across the printing table aligning the awl points and a strong line of twine is stretched across the cloth and connecting the corner points—creating a full-length guide for the printer.
Printing begins with the darker color as the background, then the fabric is repositioned and pinned for the second color—so the diagonal stripes cross each other and create the overall pattern.
Once completely printed, the cloth is hung to dry then washed to process and set the colors. Lastly, the hem is sewn and the finished tablecloth pressed for packaging.
hint: if you look very closely at a finished tablecloth, subtle breaks or overprints in the line can be seen which indicate each hand-pressed print of the block.
DYI self-adhesive wallpaper
acrylic faux glaze liquid
bowl of water
containers for paint mixtures
1. Measure and cut sections of wallpaper that will fit the wall that you want to cover.
hint: be sure to mark which section goes where so the pattern flows accordingly.
2. To avoid paint drippings in the pattern, clear a large area of the floor or set up a long table and cover either with a drop cloth to best contain the liquids—then lay flat a section of wallpaper, DIY side up.
hint: the artwork we created is per panel so if a matching pattern is desired, use painters tape on the backside and join panels to create a mural effect.
3. We chose a look that required round/ball-shaped sponges. If this type isn’t readily available, or if another shape is desired, one can be made with a few scissor snips and rubber bands. For our project, we cut off about a third of the end of the sponge and formed the large part of the sponge into a ball by folding corners back and under, securing it with a rubber band so it stayed in a ball shape. Cut the remainder in half to use as secondary tools.
hint: a damp sponge is easier to shape than a dry one—just dip, squeeze, and then form it.
hint hint: if the sponge is large enough, simply use scissors to cut a ball, or other shape out of it.
4. Pour about a 1/2 cup of each paint color into separate containers. Ultimately the consistency of the paint mixture should be similar to milk so add about 1/4 cup of faux glaze liquid and a little water
hint: the glaze is optional but we found it was helpful to thin the color without making it too watery.
hint hint: disposable plates worked well as containers for the paint since they allowed the sponges to easily absorb the paint mixture and clean up took no time.
5. Immerse the sponge ball in water and give it a couple squeezes to make sure it’s saturated. Dip the end of the sponge into the paint mixture and with a little force, pounce the sponge against the wallpaper to achieve the paint-bombed/splatter effect.
hint: test the technique on scrap paper to know how much force is needed.
6. Cover the wallpaper with a desired pattern and layering colors as desired, then use a clean sponge to pick up any excess paint mixture.
7. Allow the painted wallpaper to dry for a full 48 hours—initially the paint may be fragile and easy to scratch off, this will allow it to cure fully and be more stable.
hint: set up a fan on low to help air circulate and speed the drying process.
8. Lastly, apply the self-adhesive wallpaper per the enclosed directions.
hint: to avoid cracking the paint, bend the paper as little as possible when peeling/adhering.