Monday, May 11, 2015

“Thermofax 101” review and giveaway

Lyric Kinard’s new DVD workshop is here! “Thermofax 101: Screen Printing Made Easy” is a great way to learn about how to start working with thermofax screens. Thermofax are an easy way to screen print your own imagery onto fabric.

The 65-minute-long workshop is divided into chapters. In the first chapter, Lyric discusses what a thermofax screen is, and how it is made. She explains the old way of making silkscreens, and then the way to make them using a thermofax machine. I don’t have a machine, but it was very interesting to understand how it worked, and to see it in action. If you don’t have a thermofax machine, you can send images to Lyric and have her make them into screens for you. The guidelines and pricing are here. She also has some screens of her designs for purchase. 

I had only worked with thermofax screens once before, and I learned so much from this workshop. Then I put what I had learned into action, using a thermofax of one of my fish drawings that Lyric made for me. First, I used ProChemical & Dye’s ProFab Transparent Textile Paint and screened onto Robert Kaufman Pimatex PFD (top), and onto white cotton canvas fabric (bottom):

Even though the printing was not as clear as on the Pimatex, I think I liked it better, with all its imperfections and texture, on the canvas:

I still need to practice a bit to get the right amount of paint going through the screen, so that I don’t lose too much detail. But I wasn’t aiming for perfection, but more of an arty look. I love how the fish look printed on a canvas apron I’d “dyed” with paint, then stenciled before printing:

The second chapter focuses on finding imagery, from using online resources for copyright-free art such as Dover Publications and the Library of Congress, to developing your own personal imagery. Lyric’s expertise in understanding and explaining basic principles of art shows clearly here. 

The third chapter covers printing techniques and materials, including the ideal printing surface (with just a bit of padding for a good print), supplies such as paint and scrapers, and advice about cleaning your screens so they will have a long life. She also covers techniques beyond printing with paint, such as using a bleach-based detergent for discharging dye from fabric, and printing with adhesives, so that you can foil. I tested out the foiling process (basically printing through the screen with an adhesive, allowing the fabric and glue to dry, and ironing on special foils), and loved the effect:

In the fourth chapter, Lyric offers great tips for how to use your thermofax screen images to design your own cloth. This was my favorite part of the DVD, and I think it will be helpful for anyone who wants to use thermofax screens in an artful way. Again, Lyric’s ability to explain and demonstrate basic design principles shines through here. You’ll feel confident about your ability to use thermofax screens to create dynamic fabric after watching.

Here’s a little video preview of the workshop:

Lyric is a gifted teacher (she was the 2011 International Association of Professional Quilters Teacher of the Year!), and she’s teaching with me this fall at my Once in a Blue Moon Fiber Art Retreat, October 1-3, 2015 in Black Mountain, NC. We only have room for four more students, so if you are interested, please send in your registration form soon. We are going to have so much fun!

If you want to get started using thermofax screens right away, you can purchase a copy of the DVD for $19.95 on Lyric’s website.
For more chances to win a copy, check out all of the links below, and leave comments on each blog. Lyric is giving away a DVD for each of the stops on this blog hop!

April 24 Cheryl Rezendez
April 25  Leslie Tucker Jenison  
April 28  Sue Bleiweiss
April 30  Judy Gula
May 1  Susan Price & Elizabeth Gibson
May 2  Judy Coates Perez
May 4  Linda Stokes
May 6  Jane Davila
May 6 Melanie Testa
May 7  Liz Kettle 
May 8  Carol Sloan
May 9  Kathy York
May 11  Susan Brubaker Knapp
May 12  Desiree Habicht
May 13  Jamie Fingal
May 14  Deborah Boschert
May 15  Sarah Ann Smith

Leave a comment on this post by noon on May 16 for a chance to win a copy of Lyric’s workshop on DVD. Tell me why you want this DVD. I will randomly select a winner and list it after this post on May 16. International entries are also accepted for this giveaway. Please leave an email address if you do not have a blogger profile that lists yours. I'll need a way to get in touch with you to get your address if you win. Please note that your comment may not show up right away, as I am moderating all comments before they post (I had a bunch of Japanese porn spammers leaving comments ... eeeew).
WE HAVE A WINNER! Vicki has won the DVD. Thanks, everyone!