Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Textile printing with Lotta Jansdotter - another quiltcon post

I took four classes at QuiltCon (which was a lot!) 2 were technique classes - binding and paper-piecing... And two were just because I wanted to be in the same room with the instructors...
I was so thrilled to be a part of Lotta Jansdotter's "printing on textile" class. It was really enjoyable.
I was a corporate textile designer for 6 years at a huge manufacturer years ago, and before that, I studied textile design for a summer in Florence, Italy. I also took a printmaking class while in my certificate program at the Art Institute of Chicago (which i never finished!) So this is not a new process for me. But it was so much fun to go in all rusty and leave so inspired.
We did both stamping (carving our own stamps, something long term readers will remember that I love to do) - and stenciling. I liked both of them, but the stamping really excited me the most. Partially because I love carving my own stamps so much.
I also have never actually patterned fabric with the intention of using it to sew with. And when she had us making stamped and stenciled designs over pieces of her patterned fabric, suddenly I began to percolate with ideas.
Naturally, I used my go-to doodle swirls for my theme. And also some fun dots. I was sitting next to my friend, Liz, who - used a familiar shape, triangles, for her designs. We giggled at our differences and I even instagrammed the pic of our works in progress asking friends whose work was whose... (It was obvious if you know us).
Lotta was simply adorable. She has this way of simplifying design. Maybe "distilling" is a better word. Everything feels edited and yet cheerful. She is just like that herself as a teacher - refined, yet sparkly with good energy. While we were in class, the folks from Martha Stewart Media were there taking photos of her teaching the class (specifically, while she was leaning over my work, so we'll need to keep our eyes peeled for a Libby photo-bomb in the background of whatever article they are writing on her...)
I'm super glad I took this class. Sometimes we build up things in our heads (especially artistically, I find) that say, "oh it's too hard, even if I did it in the past..." It felt so good to be ridding myself of the stigma that I'm no longer a textile designer. (I still am! I still am!) and I cannot wait to make some more fabric patterns of my own and use them in my work.
Thanks, Lotta!

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