KATIE CHARLESON

Screen Printed Homewares & Bespoke Textile Design

Art

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!

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! 

Design your own Tote with Katie Charleson

Collaborations, Heal's, Homewares, ColourKatie CharlesonComment

To celebrate Heal’s Craft Market 2016, I’m going to be at the inspirational Tottenham Court Road Flagship store once again, teaching lovely clients to screen print their own K//M//J//C tote bags. Take a look at the excellent creations and find out more below:

Screen printing workshop no1 with K//M//J//C Designs. Can’t wait for the next one!
— Lea G, Katie Charleson Customer

This is the 3rd such event I’ve done with Heal’s and I’ve always come away so happy to have shared skills with absolutely brilliant printers-in-the-making.

Action shot with the K//M//J//C For heal's limited edition tea towels on display in the background

Action shot with the K//M//J//C For heal's limited edition tea towels on display in the background

Using the bold, dynamic shapes and bright, summery colours that feature in the K//M//J//C for Heal’s limited edition collaboration of printed Tea Towels I help customers to design their own 3 layer print and teach them the fundamentals of silk screen printing. All in a speedy half an hour’s work!

Another excellent design, this time 4 layers of colour

Another excellent design, this time 4 layers of colour

Workshops will be at the Heal’s Flagship Store throughout Monday the 4th and Tuesday the 5th April, and again Monday the 11th. If you fancy learning yourself you can book on the Heal’s website here or email hello@katiecharleson.com for more information. 

Drop by and say hello!

Drop by and say hello!

If you’d like to go a step further and really get to grips with designing and creating your own textile prints, I’ll be doing upcoming classes at Bainbridge Studios. Join the mailing list for more information and stay tuned for some exciting news about an upcoming pop-up shop!

K//M//J//C For Heal's

Homewares, Inspiration, Colour, Texture, Heal's, CollaborationsKatie CharlesonComment

K//M//J//C For Heal's

A limited edition collection of screen prints for the much-loved store

ARTWORKS IN THEIR OWN RIGHT, K//M//J//C’S VIBRANT PRINTS EVOKE THE WILD STYLE OF POST MODERN DESIGN

For the last few months I have been working on a very exciting & special project with Heal's, creating a collection of exclusive limited edition printed tea towels.

Inspiration came from collecting different lines, brushmarks and shapes, then collaging and layering them. The most important element, as always, were the colours and how they sit together to create beautiful juxtapositions.  

My first love is screen printing and I really enjoyed the process of maximising the tactile quality of screen-printed textiles, coming up with designs that were vibrant, colourful and fun.

KMJC FOR HEALS 3.jpg

The prints, although functional as Tea Towels, I also see as fun, vital and vibrant artworks in their own right. The different marks and shapes give the pieces energy and the colours make them fresh and summery.

KMJC FOR HEALS 11.jpg

This limited edition collaboration with Heal’s was about finding the shapes and colours that combined to create the most sunny energy and vibrancy. I love combining colour in unexpected ways, using tone to make potentially jarring colours work together, creating designs that one would want to keep as a piece of art, as well as being a functional item.

The designs are in store this weekend, when I will be at the Tottenham Court Road Flagship Store, teaching some lovely customers how to screen print their own K//M//J//C tote bag. I'll be doing classes from 11:30am until 4:30pm Saturday the 6th and 20th of February. There are still spaces for classes on the 20th, so sign up and come learn the technique for yourself!

PALMHOUSE Collection: The Artwork

Inspiration, Kew Gardens, HomewaresKatie CharlesonComment

PALMHOUSE

 

THE ARTWORK

The photographs taken at Kew Garden's beautiful Palm House in crisp, bright February inspired me to try and create vital, dynamic drawings and compositions.

I especially loved the density of the botanics and greenery, and the way the Laurel Clock Vine (which would become an essential element to the collection) ran along the piping and girders overhead.

I employed techniques such as mono printing and mark making with a palette knife to create movement and immediacy within the drawings, layering up inks and oils and pastels to juxtapose the different qualities of line and colour. I wanted the resulting prints to jump off the fabric.

The original photographs helped me create compositions that would become the final designs; snapshots of the Palm House contained within a compact space.

Each of these drawings and paintings would lead to the beautiful screen prints for the PALMHOUSE collection. By meticulously screen printing and hand painting directly onto each sumptuous design, every piece in the collection becomes a unique and inimitable work of art for the home.


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!