Ink pillow

Let’s combine an exercise in wood carving with some DecoArt Ink Effects, a type of transfer paint used for designs on fabric.

Printmaking, particularly block printing, is something I’ve enjoyed for decades. Using the hand tools to carve into the wood, linoleum…or potato is a great way to pass a relaxing hour or so. In fact, I often carve a design with no intention of printing the image. And that’s how these trees came about.

Months ago I cut these trees into a piece of Masonite. When I wanted to try printmaking using the Ink Effects paint, the trees were the perfect size – the design fit the only white fabric scrap I had!

The concept of Ink Effects is simple. Use the Ink Effects to paint your design onto a piece of paper. Let the design dry then transfer to a non-cotton fabric using an iron. I wanted to see if printmaking techniques would also work. I love the texture you get with a hand-printed image.

I taped off the edges of my carving to be able to print a clean image then used a stiff-bristled brush to drag the Ink Effects over the carved image. My intention was to create some streaks and white spaces in the design – a mono print effect. You can probably see the texture better in the picture below.

Ink pillow

I placed a piece of white printer paper over the wet ink and pressed firmly with a brayer. When I lifted the paper this was the result:

Ink pillow
Some of the paper stuck to the Masonite when I lifted the sheet, as you can see in the picture below…but hey, that’s just more texture. The bottom picture is the carved Masonite after I printed the image on the paper. I let the paper dry for an hour or so then used a hot iron and transfered the image to the fabric…twice. You can see the pillow has six trees but the carving only has three. I thought I’d get a ghost image with the second transfer, but the image came out almost as intense as the first.

A joint effort between my wife and I resulted in this pillow cover. If you’d like to see more about Ink Effects check out this website.

Ink pillow - print