Making an Impression

(Melting blue ice cream paint)

The rain is bucket-ing down outside but I’m a happy bunny. I’ve been spending time making material. Well… not exactly making material, printing onto material is a more accurate description. It involves plain white cotton and fabric paint and a little paint roller and wooden blocks. The blocks have a pattern etched onto them. First I pour the paint onto a plastic receptacle, (a Chinese takeaway lid!) then roll the roller in the paint. Next I apply the roller to the wooden block and then press the block onto the cotton material.

(Rolling the roller in the paint)

So… sounds harmless enough doesn’t it? Not really that engrossing? But to me it is completely engrossing. Let me explain it…. more slowly this time.

(Rolling the paint onto the wooden block)

I have a lot of crafting books. Books about patchwork, card-making, knitting, crochet, book-binding (yes, really!), sewing projects and hand printing…. are all sitting on my book shelves. So, from time to time I pick one up and start to turn the pages. Very soon something shifts in me and a kind of glow begins to flow. I become inspired. It could be anything, a colour, a shape, a pattern… sigh, patterns. A few months ago when I was looking through a book called Hand Printing by Lena Corwin, the glow began to flow and I wanted to print on fabric. In this case it was the patterns, repeating across the page that got me.

(Making an impression)

This week I began the doing part. The cotton material was washed and ironed. I’m ready. I pour the blue paint onto the plastic lid. I love this bit, it looks like melted ice cream. I lift an edge so that the paint flows slowly down the plastic. Then I slowly roll the roller in the paint, until it is completely blue. Then I pick up the wooden block and slowly (important bit) slowly roll the paint covered roller over the block. I see the paint sticking to the wood and when I’ve rolled over and back and sideways, slowly, I put the roller down. Then slowly, I move over to the fabric and holding the wooden block, now blue, I use both hands and press it firmly onto the material. Then slowly, I lift the block away from the material, this feels a bit like lifting your wellington booted foot out of the mud, squelch! And then I look at what I’ve done, and I sigh. I am engrossed.

(Finished)

My friend Ashleigh sent me a quote today, “A wise woman is someone who can find time for herself every day.” I think this probably applies to men too…

Become engrossed, slowly, today, Mairead.

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