Last week, I took the plunge. Bought rubber stamps, lino, a carving tool, brayer and a press. Came home, had a failed project, then had a successful project.

This process forces you to see in a different way, in positive and negative space. It’s like drawing, but instead of filling in the positive spaces, you cut away everything around the positive spaces. I love the attention to detail and hand-eye coordination needed for this kind of project.

The first design is a drawing of a flower on my parent’s couch in Seattle. It’s abstract and lively. After drawing it on the block, I carved out the negative space. As soon as the tool hit the rubber, I thought, “This is so fun.”

After creating the block, I just let loose with it. Didn’t worry about the pattern, quality or perfection, only fun. Printed some sample fabric and hand painted the flower petals. So satisfying to see what happens and improve as you go.

After a few test runs on paper, leather and fabric, I was ready to make a pattern. I dyed the fabric, painted the first layer, then added the flowers. Layering the fuchsia over the black adds an electric element. Borromean circles fill in the background. The wandering florals provide movement contrasting the geometric layer. What once was an unsightly, stained remnant now evokes life. I call this pattern (pun intended): Sparkling Rosé

More to come. Vines, florals, weeds, symbols, faces, animals… I’ma do it all.

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