Tag Archives: surface design

My Week via Instagram

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I finally organized my craft books in the basement and took some time to catch up on my magazine reading.

I rocked my Toms leopard fur botas all week and they kept my feet so warm!

We had a gallery opening on Friday night at work, so I got to dress up all fancy in my metallic gold skirt with a bow.

I finally caved and bought myself a bottle of Jimmy Choo perfume. I think it was a good investment because I’ve been receiving many compliments!

And I spent the weekend in the city celebrating my best friends 25th birthday. We splurged and decided to get a hotel, which turned into the greatest decision ever because the front desk greeted us with free, warm oatmeal chocolate chip cookies!

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

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If you liked this post, you may want to check out last week’s instagram recap.
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Surface Printing Workshop with Lotta Jansdotter

As you all know, Saturday I went to a Surface Printing Workshop at Lotta Jansdotter’s Brooklyn Studio. To sum it up in three words: hands-on, experimental, inspiring!

Her studio is located in the industrial Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn and has high lofted ceilings with huge windows, which provide an ample amount of natural light. You enter through the “shop” portion of her Work+Shop and are immediately greeted by natural linens screen printed with floral imagery, striped and polka dot pouches, textiles with simple designs and interesting color palettes, candles decorated with cute illustrations of flowers, colorful stationary, fabric calendars, even ceramics decorated with Lotta’s icionic imagery.

table napkins and cute ceramic spoons and eggs

fabric calendars, a glass, and washi tape

Lotta’s collection for Fish’s Eddy in Manhattan

Taking in all of the colors and designs, one is immediately filled with inspiration and a desire to create things. Her shop exudes her personality and design style, right down to the plants on the floor and the window decals of bottles, vases and bowls whose shapes echo the plants on the windowsill.

I love her window display

We got started with the workshop right away, as Lotta wanted us to be able to have as much time as possible.  We started with a round of introductions – there were eight of us in the class – and talked a bit about our backgrounds. Although there were a couple textile designers and a graphic designer, the class was very diversified in careers, interests, age and even location, but the one thing that brought everyone together was a desire to create. Regardless of what our backgrounds were, Lotta made us all feel welcome and excited to be there.

During the four hour workshop, Lotta showed us three different techniques for printing by hand. We started with the most basic printing method. Can you guess what it was? I’m sure you tried this when you were in elementary or middle school. Yup! Potato printing! Who would have thought that a professional surface designer uses potato printing as a method of creating designs? As Lotta stressed throughout the entire workshop, you don’t need to use fancy equipment or come up with an elaborate design in order to produce an interesting print. Going back to the basics and using simple elements and techniques can get those creative juices flowing and you may find something in that potato print that is really exciting.

potato prints and notebooks drying on the floor

The next method we experimented with was block printing. This is when you draw a design on a linoleum or rubber block and carve away the negative space. Then you apply ink to it and what prints is the raised surface that you left on the block. I liked this method better than the potato because the rubber was much easier to carve and you can achieve finer details. I also just really liked carving out the rubber! It has a meditative quality to it. We printed on notebooks and stationary cards using this method.

my notebook & test prints

The last method of printing we learned was stenciling. In some of the printing books I’ve bought, they talked about all of these different types of papers to use for stenciling, so I had no idea what to get in the store. Lotta, however, just used transparency paper. So simple! With this method, you can create cleaner lines in your design, which appealed to my perfectionist side. With this method, we switched to fabric and printed on tote bags.

stenciling my tote

I think I enjoyed the stenciling the most because I walked away with something I can actually use!

This workshop was a really great experience. Lotta was so nice and helpful and was more than willing to give us as much information as she could, not only in regards to printmaking, but also to running a small business. I also really liked her approach to teaching. She showed us methods that we can just as easily do at home with inexpensive tools and materials. Her hope was that we walk away with the confidence and inspiration to continue to print at home. I left yesterday with so many new ideas in my head. I have a burning desire to continue to create things by hand…and I want to start today! So, I’m off to the art supply store to purchase all the tools I need to do my own block printing and stenciling!

my handprinted items!

I hope you enjoyed reading about my experience! I’m so excited to continue to share my creations with you! (And I’d love to hear your feedback too!)

Stay Curious & Creative! xo…Alane

(All photographs are taken by me, Alane Gianetti)

I’m Going to a Lotta Jansdotter Workshop!

Hi all! I’m super excited for this weekend because tomorrow I’m going to a Surface Printing Workshop with Lotta Jansdotter at her Brooklyn Studio! I only recently discovered Lotta’s work a couple of months ago when I was starting to research hand printing my own fabric, but her style and products resonated with me immediately. I love her simplistic illustration style and color palette and the presence of nature in her work. You can check out her fabric here. She also makes really cute stationary and candles! As you can see, she is a very talented designer and I am so excited to learn from and be inspired by her!

The workshop will cover three different printing techniques that don’t need any fancy equipment, which is great because that means I can continue to print at home, and we will print on a variety of surfaces, like paper, tote bags, etc.

When I first started teaching myself how to sew, I bought “Printing by Hand: A Modern Guide to Printing with Handmade Stamps, Stencils, and Silk Screens” by Lena Corwin. I read the book cover to cover, taking notes, absorbed in the images of fabric and stationary printed with simple designs, all the while thinking “I could do that!” Since I started sewing, I’ve had the thought of printing my own fabric in the back of my mind, because what I quickly realized was that the thing I love most about sewing is going to the fabric store and looking at all of the different fabrics. So, I started to research textile designers online, read more design blogs and I purchased a couple more books (I’m a girl who loves to read about something and gain as much knowledge as possible before she actually does it). That’s when I discovered Lotta’s work, and while perusing her website, I saw that she offers workshops at her studio in Brooklyn! So, I bought her book, “Lotta Prints: How to Print with Anything, from Potatoes to Linoleum,” read through it, fell in love with her designs and ideas, and immediately signed up for the workshop! Ever since, I’ve been counting down the days to November 17th and the day is finally here!

Check back Monday to read all about my experience! I know it’s going to be a so inspiring and that I will walk away with the confidence and knowledge needed to start printing my own fabrics, paper, anything!

Stay Curious! xo…Alane