Screen Print on Fabric

Well, it’s official:  I had a blast teaching Metal, Mixed Media and Imagination at the Main Line Bead Society’s 2014 Retreat this past Sunday.  We covered  my special brand of etching, metal cutting, filing, sanding, patinas, texturing,  faux enamel head pins, soldering bezels and making settings for the bezel challenged.  Oh yeah, we covered some wire work,  drilling  pebbles and glass, embellishing rocks and twigs and mixing resin in a way that’s more accurate than following lines on a measuring cup and how to use your mixing vessel over and over.  The theme of the class was using inexpensive tools that do the job well enough newbies to try without being intimidated by complicated and expensive machines and processes.

But we couldn’t cover everything.    Here are some pictures from the screen printed cloth session I was hoping to do.  There are so many ways to use this cloth.  Beads and bracelets are two of my favorites.  Maybe next time.

I ripped open a cloth tote bag, gave it a shot of spray paint for texture and started layering on the screen print designs. Note that I am going for a worn, ancient look here so I’m not worried about registration. I’ll use the prints in jewelry so the drapability of the fabric does not concern me.


I also used some aqua colored fabric and a piece of yellow satin.  I’m sure they’re all synthetics.  If I really needed to be sure, I  could do a fabric burn test.


Here’s where it starts to get fun: when you start layering patterns and colors and watch as something totally new emerges





I made most of my screens from designs I found in  Dover books (I’m partial to Japanese prints).  I used Golden acrylic paints and Versatex printing ink for fabric which behaves more like a paint than an ink.

Metal, Mixed Media, and Imagination

That’s the name of the class I am teaching at the Main Line Bead Society ‘s 2014  retreat.   I plan to teach the students some methods for using metal, fabric, paint, wire and found objects ( to name a few) to make jewelry  or anything else we can dream up.  I want the class will be a guided play session for grownups,  and the students feel comfortable enough to create with wild abandonment.  I plan on bringing a ton of tools and materials and  inspiration pieces. (see pictures below).  And I hope to learn as much from the students as they learn from me.  Wish me luck!  I’ve never done this before.

A New Spoon Bracelet



I’ve had spoon parts banging around in my  leftovers box ever since I made  some earrings  from the end of the spoon handles.  “Too short for  bracelets,” I told myself.   Then one day, just fooling around,  I put one of the spoons through the rolling mill to see how  how it looked. Interesting but still too short for a bracelet.


I threw the piece in with a batch of copper scraps and rusty pieces and it sat for a few more months until one day I decided to apply a  verdigris-like patina on the bowl part.    I liked how it looked.  I had to make it into something now!  Even though it was still too short for a bracelet, I knew it was meant to be  a bracelet.  So here’s what I did:


I drilled a hole in the tip of the spoon bowl, in the middle of the spoon bowl and on the end of what remained of the handle.  Then I  balled the end of two pieces of 14 gauge copper wire.  I dropped one of the pieces of wire through the hole of a drill bit gauge with the balled end sticking out of the hole.  I hammered the end flat and sanded it smooth .  I repeated this with the other wire.  Then I used a plastic mallet and a bracelet mandrel to hammer the spoon and handle into an oval bracelet-like shape.    I cut one of the pieces of wire to about 1 and one half inches and flattened the other end and filed the tip smooth. Then I  threaded it from the back of the bracelet through the hole in the tip of the spoon and used a pair of round nosed pliers to shape a clasp.


I  fashioned the two pieces of figaro chain and jump rings  to  clear the tip of the clasp and hold the bracelet closed by tension.  There’s not a lot of play in the closure and you have to squeeze the bracelet slightly to release the chain from the clasp.  The bracelet isn’t tight fitting, however, so this is easy to do.


Why did I use two pieces of chain  instead of one?  I thought it looked better!  One figaro chain looked too delicate for this bracelet.


To make the focal piece, I  threaded the remaining piece of wire through the center hole,  a rusty washer,  a  Danish 5 kroner coin and a piece of drilled tumbled glass.  Then I cut it close and made a small loop in it.  This was a challenge to do without breaking the glass!   I finished the bracelet with a dangle  attached to the loop.  All the parts  fit snugly.  I made sure I  filed the riveted ends of the wire inside the bracelet until they were smooth;   I hate to wear anything that’s not comfortable.  I coated the spoon and washer with Renaissance Wax to protect the finish before assembling the bracelet.



Here are some basic directions on how to make the bracelet.  I would be thrilled to receive pictures from anyone who tries it!

New Spoon Bracelet Directions

David Černý and Public Art from Prague

David Černý is a  Czech artist who recently made the world news because of his work   Obscene Gesture, which my husband and I saw on a cruise  down the  Vltava river.  We  stumbled onto  another one of  his sculptures, the fascinating and delightful  In Utero on a walk around Prague one night.



The surface of the sculpture constantly changes, reflecting the time of day, the surrounding trees and even the night time traffic.


In Utero uncannily  captures the roundness of a very pregnant female body even though there’s not a round shape in it.


Treat yourself to a look at Černý’s web site.


  These flying figures are hanging over Dlouhá Street near the Lokál  Restaurant.


They’re suspended from wires and change direction with the breeze.  They remind me of paper dolls although they are metal.


I don’t know who the artist is!!! If anyone can identify the artist, please let me know.


And finally, The Dancing House