KATIE CHARLESON

Screen Printed Homewares & Bespoke Textile Design

Print

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!

An Ode to Greenery: How to use "Nature's Neutral" in your Home

Interiors & Homewares, Homewares, Inspiration, PrintKatie Charleson1 Comment

As the winter months continue & we gain small improvements in the weather and daylight, I am finding myself more and more drawn to green in all its shades.

Here at Katie Charleson I have an ongoing love for green in all its hues. From the Palmhouse Collection with its deep racing green silk velvet reverse, to the soft eau-de-nil (literally translates as "water of the Nile") I enjoy using over and over. The colour to me brings a soothing, natural vibe, and feels luxurious without being brash or flashy. It's also my mother's favourite colour! From the bathroom to the living room to the bedroom, there isn't an area of your home that won't take a hint of green.

Bespoke Prints // Culinary

Print, Tea Towels, Inspiration, Homewares, Collaborations, BespokeKatie CharlesonComment

Things have been busy of late at Katie Charleson; there was the fantastic Princes Trust pop up shop in May and with lots of workshops, bespoke pieces and commissions in development I've been printing like crazy.

With the run up to summer over (although not reflected by the weather) and a lovely break coming up, I thought you'd like to see some of the bespoke prints I've been working on in the first half of 2016.

 Bespoke culinary print developed as an extra special gift, made into kitchenware

Bespoke culinary print developed as an extra special gift, made into kitchenware

This project was a print developed by a dear friend and myself for an equally dear fiery Scottish redhead with a love of all things charcuterie. For an extra special birthday gift, we wanted a fun, hand drawn feel to the illustration, in sharp colours to reflect her excellent sense of humour and her flame coloured hair. Needless to say, Frances Bacon was an inspiration.

 Screen print in progress

Screen print in progress

 Second colour layer being printed

Second colour layer being printed

 2/3 colours complete

2/3 colours complete

The resulting three colour print was wonderfully wild, lively and expressive and just a little bit abstract. The final design was printed as a repeat onto 2 metres of crisp white cotton, which was then developed into an apron and tea towel for her culinary exploits.

 The final three layer print

The final three layer print

You can take a look at the inspiration for the bespoke print on Pinterest here, and see some other Katie Charleson inspiration and ideas too. If you have an idea for a print that you'd like to develop, as a personal project or a special gift for a loved one, you can get in touch with me here, I'd love to help you develop something personal and exciting!

Stay tuned for more posts about bespoke prints and collaborations over the next few weeks! 

PALMHOUSE Collection: The Inspiration

Colour, Cushions, Print, Tea Towels, Texture, PALMHOUSE, Inspiration, Photography, Homewares, Botanic Gardens, Kew GardensKatie CharlesonComment

I have always loved Victoriana and Botanic Gardens. There is something intangibly fascinating about containing something so vital and wild within something so rigid and structured. This is never more true than at the Palm House in Kew Gardens, where I found such beautiful compositions I was inspired to take out my camera that chilly, crisp, February day!

Screen Printing Process

Cushions, Print, Colour, TextureKatie CharlesonComment

This week a lot of time has been spent screen printing orders for cushions and tea-towels in my studio space in Bermondsey; Printall Studio. Central to K//M//J//C is the hands on, tactile nature of screen printed textiles. I love layering up colours and textures intuitively and screen printing allows me to do this while balancing the composition and tone of the piece. I can use screens to make one off, limited edition samples or set up a production line to make the same design repeatedly.

IMG_5249.jpg
    One-off compositions that will be used to create limited edition products

 

One-off compositions that will be used to create limited edition products

    Tea-towels in repeat production

 

Tea-towels in repeat production

Pigment printing is the most fundamental form of screen printing, and this is the medium I have been working in most lately. By pushing ink through the unexposed areas of mesh stretched over a screen, you can transfer an image onto different surfaces.

IMG_5233.jpg
IMG_5235.jpg
IMG_5236.jpg

Emerald Oil is a completely screen printed piece of work. Although this is a feature of the design in itself, what makes it really special is the number of colours used. Emerald Oil features 5 colours, not including the base fabric, mixed by eye. Each colour requires its own layer, and therefore its own screen, meaning each cushion cover or tea-towel is printed on 5 times before it is finished. 

IMG_5246.jpg

I am so proud and happy to be able to put this level of care, skill and attention to detail into every product I make. And to be able to do it in surroundings that inspire me is the biggest bonus of all! Just look at these gorgeous textures and patinations found in the studio.

IMG_5230.jpg
IMG_5242.jpg
IMG_5243.jpg

K//M//J//C is born of a love of colour, a fascination with texture and a passion for print.

IMG_5251.jpg