A Custom Block Printed Drapery Project with Studio Heimat
Many of you know that I’ve taught block printing classes to adults in San Francisco for years now (and love it!)
But in addition to teaching, I also design custom block printed fabric for boutique interior designers and architects.
This could mean taking a painting of theirs and turning it into a pattern for a chair, designing a custom block print that I print onto drapes and pillows…or really anything else they can think of.
Each project is a new and different kind of challenge. I love creating a piece for people’s homes that is completely unique and something they will enjoy for years to come.
The trend of using handmade products over mass produced items is a great exchange for both interior designers, their clients and artists alike.
The client gets a one of a kind, quality artisanal piece with a story behind it, the artist gets to do fulfilling work that will be appreciated by the end client, and the designer gets a happy client :)
Helping people create a collected home full of stories and well made products they love is always my end goal!
I recently just finished up a big project with talented designers of Studio Heimat in the bay area and wrote up a little story about the whole process.
Check it out below :)
It was just another busy day in the life of an artist. The sun was out, I had my morning smoothie, and I was art-ing away in my studio…on my laptop.
Honestly, I don’t find myself doing much art these days. The business part has really started to overshadow the art part of my day and I’ve been missing it a lot!
So when I got an email from my favorite interior designers asking for a quote for some custom block printed drapes, I was pretty excited.
They were working on a residential design project and they wanted some hand printed fabric to make into window coverings for the living room of their client.
They had a design idea in mind already, but I didn’t have anything in my pattern library that would easily work, so I told them I’d have to make them a custom design.
I sent in a quote, and a few weeks later we met at their office to knock out the details of the project.
This is my favorite part of the process! I get to hang out with the designers for a bit and play with pretty swatches.
We talked about what their client wanted, and they showed me the plans and all the other pieces that they had picked out for the room.
In this case it was going into a living room that didn’t have a ton of pattern in it, so I had a lot of freedom (wooo!) My hand printed drapes were going to be covering a big bay window.
They had a handful of patterns they had shown the client, and there were aspects of each that we liked, and also didn’t like.
My job was to use those swatches as a guide to come up with a brand new design for the drapes.
Over the next two weeks I did a lot of sketching…and even more erasing. I had a hard time getting started with this one, but eventually I came up with a handful of designs I thought could work great.
I sent them over to the interior designers, and bless their hearts they liked most of them and couldn’t choose.
When I’m designing my custom fabric, I like to make a few different versions of each possible pattern and play around with the repeats. Then I pick out my faves.
After a little back and forth we decided on this pattern:
I liked this design the best because it looked a little like water drops and they had mentioned wanting a beachy style room.
Once we decided on the right scale, I carved up the blocks and spaced everything out where I wanted it.
Then I did a few test block prints before I got going with the final fabric.
Even if I’m sure I made everything perfect, I always test it. Chances are, something will be a little off...(it was).
Once I had everything all set up I just had to iron out the drapes and find a big uninterrupted chunk of time to print.
There were four panels to block print, and after a week or so, I was able to get everything finished up and ready to drop off.
Here’s what it looks like when it’s drying (and I’m napping :)).
^^ That’s just *ONE* of the panels…and my desk is not small.
Everything went pretty smoothly with the block printing this time, and all in all I was pretty happy with the results.
So was everyone else, which means I did a good job. :)
Back to my computer for now until the next custom fabric project!