KATIE CHARLESON

Screen Printed Homewares & Bespoke Textile Design

Inspiring

Learning to Screen Print: Why you need Textiles in your Life

Creative Fulfilment, Design Life & Career, Print, InspiringKatie CharlesonComment

With the start of spring I am soon starting up screen printing classes again! Here are my top reasons why you should give fabric printing a try.

 A repeat pattern designed and printed in one Saturday day class, December 2016

A repeat pattern designed and printed in one Saturday day class, December 2016

The last few weeks have been busy with printing and developing the new products (hello wallpaper and giant cushions) and setting up the shoots and generally running around. I wallpapered my first ever wall a few days ago- but that's a blog post all of its own!

Amongst all of this I still wanted to write a little about learning to screen print textiles.

You know I live for all things textile design, and if you are reading this then you probably do too. But screen printing is my first love and I've been teaching fabric screen printing at Bainbridge Studios at Elephant & Castle since summer last year. I love introducing new people to my world of screens, squeegees and messy inks, so these are my top reasons to get into screen printing fabric in 2017.

 Katie screen printing a repeat fabric

Katie screen printing a repeat fabric

Learn a skill with your hands

One of the main reasons I love to work with textiles is the very tactile nature of the screen printing process. The methodical way of setting up a print run, preparing your screens, mixing your colours and sampling your fabrics is so satisfying.

Recently more and more of my friends have been taking up evening courses in ceramics or life drawing or other practical creative pursuits.

Modern life for many of us can be so far removed from the satisfaction of working with your hands and in these uncertain times it is so grounding to switch off and just make something!

If at the end of the day in front of computer work I can get a few hours to myself to screen print some new ideas or orders for a client I am a happy woman.

 A satisfying messy splodge of ink

A satisfying messy splodge of ink

 Tote bags printed in textile screen printing class at Bainbridge Studio

Tote bags printed in textile screen printing class at Bainbridge Studio

Be challenged (in a good way)

Textile printing differs to paper printing in a few practical ways, and there are infinitely more variables of what you can achieve with different techniques, dyes, inks, chemicals and fabrics.

 

This also means that textile printing can be a process of trial and error, so if you are looking for a skill that you will get the knack of immediately look away now! 

BUT if you persevere and give just a little patience you will find a huge selection of creatively satisfying options. The first time a fellow designer says to you "how did you do THAT??" is a proud moment!

 Repeat patterns designed and printed in beginners textile screen printing class at Bainbridge Studio

Repeat patterns designed and printed in beginners textile screen printing class at Bainbridge Studio

Find expression & direction

If you are no stranger to screen printing and textiles but are struggling to find creative direction, let me tell you we have all been there! But I find that those people who have come along to classes have gained insight and fresh ideas from going back to basics

and getting feedback from the small, friendly groups we run at the studio.

Others who have benefitted have been people looking to build up their skills in mixed media or students looking to expand their portfolios for applications to art school or other courses.

 Gin Dunscombe working on a new print on the beginners textile screen printing course at Bainbridge Studios, Summer 2016

Gin Dunscombe working on a new print on the beginners textile screen printing course at Bainbridge Studios, Summer 2016

Plus

we do all this in a really laid back, fun environment. Classes are kept to no more than six students per session so one on one guidance and advice can be given in either our full day weekend classes or weekly evening course of classes.

We cover a range of skills from the basics of pigment printing, designing a 2+ colour print, exposing & stripping a screen all the way to creating a multilayer repeat pattern.

You will leave the classes with a good grasp of the skills essential to printmaking, plus your own printed tote bag, a good length of repeat pattern fabric and a new insight into where you can take your work next.

All of this will set you up so you can work in the print studio unsupervised if you decide to become a member.

Want to join me for some textile printing? My Bainbridge Studios weekly course starts up again on Tuesday 4th April. Or come along to a full intensive Saturday class on the 8th April. You can view all the details and book online here. Anything I've missed out or that you would like to ask me? Let me know in the comments below!

Dark Walls: How to use Dramatic Colour in your Home

Inspiration, Inspiring, Interiors & Homewares, Trends & InspirationKatie Charleson2 Comments

Over the past few weeks I have been researching an on the rise interiors trend for dark wall colours in our homes.

  That  pink sofa via  47parkavenue

That pink sofa via 47parkavenue

As a nation of renters afraid to step outside of the magnolia/neutrals of our surroundings, it excites me to think of using this interiors idea for the Belgravia living room project I have been working on. I really love the idea of carefully selecting a wall colour to create a little dark cocoon. To create a comfy, warm sense of safety and security.

After all, one can always paint over a wall if one grows tired & fancies a change! All at a price cheaper than replacing a bed, couch or kitchen unit. Take a look at my favourite dark interiors and see what you make of my plans for Belgravia Living Room 2017.

  Milano Solferino  Project by Dimore Studio.

Milano Solferino Project by Dimore Studio.

 Dimore Studio's Milano Solferino project

Dimore Studio's Milano Solferino project

I have been obsessed with this Milanese design duo since I came across them on madaboutthehouse.com (lovers of grey and dark, dramatic interiors take note) They combine rich texture and colour but also a faded kind of glamour. Employing velvets and deep colour with pops of bright colour and pattern, the pair evoke a '70's charm without being garish or over-the-top. Their choice of beautiful metallic finishings and accessories evoke a laid back, eclectic luxuriousness that seems to feel found rather than too try-hard or "bling-y".

In terms of wall colour, they seem to use this stunning blue/grey/green across a few projects. Warm yet not saccharine, this colour would take both cold and yellow light (read on for tips on how to choose colour for the direction of a room), and would be perfect for the Belgravia apartments west facing aspect. Note the grubby gold I have an ongoing passion for!

 Dimore Studio

Dimore Studio

 Abigail Aherne's collection for Debenhams

Abigail Aherne's collection for Debenhams

The undisputed UK queen of deep, dark colour is Abigail Aherne. Of dark hues she says:

Dark hues are glamorous, uplifting, endlessly sophisticated & create infinity, tricking your eye into thinking any room looks larger
— Abigail Aherne

And her Bowery Blue is certainly one I shall be trying in the Belgravia project. This colour is just the right side of green that will sing against the existing furniture and accessories in the making.

 Abigail Aherne's collection for Debenham's

Abigail Aherne's collection for Debenham's

And so, finally to what I have learned this week about wall colours. One cannot be told this enough: light is important when trying out wall colour. I learned a lot from this post by Farrow & Ball about the light direction in a building that should help you too. The Belgravia apartment is west facing, which means that the light is cooler in the morning and warmer in the evening.

The room doesn't get much light, except at oblique angles. It is built facing an adjacent apartment block. At night the light comes from the warm bulbs of the Chelsea Bridge & artificial light from bulbs as the space is used mainly evenings and weekends. 

Quite a dark navy could work as the warmer yellow ones may turn the blue a deep, dark teal, working with the racing green of the Chesterfield sofa and the teal midcentury sideboard. 

There is only one way to find out however; we must do colour tests! Check Instagram on Sunday for a look at how the space is looking at the moment and how the selected colours do in the west light!

 Valspar paint cards

Valspar paint cards

See more ideas for this dark wall colour project on this Pinterest board. Anything I've missed out or that you are excited about trying? I'd love to hear what you think in the comments below!

Belgravia Living Room Design: Small Space, Big Ambition

Homewares, Inspiration, Inspiring, Interiors & Homewares, Trends & Inspiration, ColourKatie Charleson3 Comments

At the start of 2017, I started working on redecorating the living room of a new build apartment in Belgravia.

 Mood Board for the new and existing features of the living room redecoration, Belgravia

Mood Board for the new and existing features of the living room redecoration, Belgravia

The apartment is in a new build estate with one bedroom, and the chosen room we are starting with is the living room. This is a long, narrow space which is open to the kitchen and features full length windows and a Juliet balcony.  

The client wants to separate the living space from the kitchen area a little more and make it more of a distinct space for relaxing and entertaining.

Not a huge amount has been done to the space since moving in; the floor has been changed to a dark wood but the walls still feature the vanilla cream of the original design.

However the owner has a few distinctive and eclectic pieces which display his personal taste. We want his eclectic collection of designs and styles to be brought together in coherence (but still be fun and expressive!)

 Green leather Chesterfield couch already installed in the living room

Green leather Chesterfield couch already installed in the living room

 "Jeeves & Wooster" Pendant hat lights from Graham & Greene existing in the apartment

"Jeeves & Wooster" Pendant hat lights from Graham & Greene existing in the apartment

 Midcentury side board & greenery: a winning combination

Midcentury side board & greenery: a winning combination

As you can see from the mood board above, I am planning on keeping the eclecticism going but drawing all the elements together with a dark, moody wall colour and select pieces of midcentury furniture (which will also provide much needed storage space). 

I want to introduce a darker wall colour to make the space more personal and cosy. Not much natural light gets into the space because of the aspect of the building, but this can be tackled with well placed  mirrors. 

A colour like Dulux's Breton Blue will make the space moody & dramatic yet still sophisticated & comfortable. The living room is mostly used in the evenings so introducing a cosy, dark neutral to the walls will create a soothing, calming space. (The trend for dark neutral wall colour is growing, thanks in no small part to the queen of moody interiors Abigail Ahern, which I'll be looking further into in the next upcoming blog post!)

 A beautiful example of eclectic style plus dark walls by Dabito on oldbrandnew.com

A beautiful example of eclectic style plus dark walls by Dabito on oldbrandnew.com

Shade loving plants will grow happily in the living room as the apartment is very warm (a side effect of the building being, for some inexplicable reason, clad in metal), which will bring vitality and texture to the room, not to mention oxygen and a sense of wellbeing.

Finally, introducing a gallery wall can break up the solid colour, as seen above in this glorious composition by Dabito on oldbrandnew.com.

Touches of grubby gold (again, my love for dark neutrals and pops of fresh colour is ongoing), & cobalt or teal blue. I may even be able to sneak some blush pink in too (shhh) through accessories. 

I've been toying with the idea of introducing some fun printed textiles to tie all the colour selections and eclecticism together. This could be in the form of drapes, scatter cushions or even a throw in a loose geometric, expressive pattern design.

 A three colour screen printed colour idea.  Click here  to see more bespoke colour ideas

A three colour screen printed colour idea. Click here to see more bespoke colour ideas

Potential colour palette for the living room decoration.

So all of this adds up to lots to be getting on with! The first step has been to install a lovely teal blue midcentury sideboard, already providing the space with much needed storage space and colour. I'm continuing to look for a great room divider: G-Plan or midcentury in style, which will again provide storage without blocking the natural light to the kitchen area. Stay tuned for some before photos, plus work in progress reports!

See more ideas for this redecoration project on this Pinterest board. Anything I've missed out or that you are excited about trying? I'd love to hear what you think in the comments below!