Insect screen prints

These are some insect screen prints I did as part of the textile foundation course at Morley College. I decided to frame them as a present for some friends who were getting married.

Framed screen prints of drawn insectsThey are details of a large print I did in different colours, which was covered with lots and lots of  drawn insects. I just took a page of my sketchbook and filled it with moths, beetles, ants, butterflies and creepy crawlies of all kinds.

Orange insect screen-printExposing a screen is great for tiny intricate details like these, although by the end of the term my screen was getting rather clogged up and a lot of the tiny lines weren’t coming through.

If you’d like to do a screen-printing class, I highly recommend the ones at Morley College. The whole art and design department there is brilliant, and much cheaper than all the big London art colleges.  I’d love to go back and do the advanced textile class there.

Blue insect screen-printI was really proud of this print when I first did it, but now (a year after the course) I can think of so many ways I could have improved things.

I was happy with my final show pieces though, I’ll post them here soon. The colours were all based on an amazing variety of moth with body and wings shaded midnight blue, creamy beige, and an electric, safety-vest orange. Moths have the craziest colour schemes you’ve ever seen, they were wearing fluoro long before the 80s.

Brown insect screen-printI hope these aren’t terrible presents. I think they probably mean more to me than to the people I gave them to, who will probably find them during a clear-out in 15 years time and wonder what the hell to do with them.

Do people really appreciate getting hand-made presents? Sometimes I think it can be more selfish than kind to foist the fruits of your crafty labour onto friends and family. I feel like sometimes it’s an attempt to make the present-giving more about the giver, and less about the receiver. Unless it’s something they’ve asked you to make.

What do you think?


5 thoughts on “Insect screen prints

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  2. Michelle Trusttum August 16, 2011 / 10:44 AM

    I agree that sometimes the giver is obviously more top of their own mind than the receiver with crafty endeavours etc. and it can make it onerous not to mention embarrassing for the receiver. But… your screen prints are wonderful and if I had received them, I would be extremely pleased; ecstatic.

    Sure beats monogrammed towels and other lovelies from big department stores.

    Are you doing a re-run? New projects?

    • yesilikethat August 16, 2011 / 1:45 PM

      Hi Michelle – I’ve actually signed up for a Gocco printing workshop on Friday night, very excited about it. Think I might dig out some old drawings to see what would make a nice print. Thanks for your kind comments on the insect prints – sometimes it’s hard to step outside your own perspective and I’m conscious that I don’t want to show off when giving gifts to people, or give them something hand-made when they’d rather have a John Lewis voucher…

      I’ve had hand-made presents that I love and ones that I would never have picked for myself, but I think I do appreciate both kinds more because I have an idea of what went into them.

  3. didyoumakethat August 11, 2011 / 10:49 AM

    I LOVE the prints. The insects are fabulous. Did you draw those yourself? What a clever lady.

    • yesilikethat August 11, 2011 / 12:31 PM

      Aw thank you, I did draw them, I wish I’d had time during the course to print more fabric with the design. I think it would make a cool shirt, might get some funny looks from insect-o-phobes though! Really want to do another screen-printing class at Morley, it’s so fun. Mixing the colours is like being back at nursery school messing around with paint and glue.

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