Handmade Philly: This Saturday at Philly Swap!

As mentioned a few weeks back, some of the folks from Handmade Philly will be holding workshops at Philly Swap this weekend. We will be leading a workshop on how to Make Fabric Necklaces from T-Shirts and we will be leading another workshop on Printmaking/ Stenciling.

Philly Swap will be held at the Broad Street Ministry on Saturday, May 12 from noon to 5 pm. This will be Handmade Philly’s 4th year leading a workshop at this event. So come on out, and don’t forget to bring those clothes you no longer want! Whether you leave with a sack full of goodies, or just one or two special treasures, you’re also bound to leave having gained some new insight on reusing clothes and textiles.

To give you an idea of what we’ll be working on, here are some pics of us making necklaces from t-shirts:

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So, what is Philly Swap? It’s a huge clothing swap complete with sewing machines and workshops, so that you can embellish and re-create all those fabulous finds.

Here’s the back story: In 2005, the Swap-O-Rama-Rama was created as an event to offer alternatives to consumerism.  Its creator and founder, Wendy Tremayne, saw an opportunity to showcase the creative talents of local artists and DIY specialists through recycling clothing and textiles while addressing consumerism head on.  Since then Swap-O-Rama-Rama has reached an international level with clothing swaps happening in cities like Istanbul, Jerusalem, Panama City, and hundreds of others.  Through the sponsorship from the New York Foundation of the Arts the program obtained its status as a 501.3C giving it a non-profit status.  A Creative Commons License protects the Swap-O-Rama-Rama while allowing the event to continue to be affordable and open to the public.

For three years (2008-2010) the Philadelphia Sewing Collective held the Philly Swap here in Philadelphia.  New producers have now stepped forward to relaunch the Philly Swap in Spring of 2012.

Multi-Media Materials: Lino Print Your Holiday Cards!

Tired of the same old same old when it comes to Holiday cards? This year, try some linoleum block printing – and this is the perfect time to start – unless you are a procrastinator with good intentions like me – then you’ll start in about a month, maybe 6 weeks.. 🙂

To start, order yourself up some linoleum blocks. There are a lot to choose from. Try a catalog like Dick Blick – I am a big fan of the Soft-Kut blocks they sell. You can use both sides, they are easy to cut and you can buy a big sheet and easily cut it up for smaller prints.

a variety of linoleum blades.

You will also need some lino cutters, a brayer and ink. Be sure to get a variety of blades for your cutter (the link above is a kit with multiple blades and a handle)  and an exacto knife works well to cut the block apart. (you only need to score it and fold — the soft-kut blocks break apart very easily.

Next, you’ll need to decide on the details —  like paper, ink color and design. The key to lino printing is to think in positive and negative shapes. Anything you cut OUT on the block will be the color of the paper — it will NOT hold ink and will not print. Anything that stays will hold ink and therefore be your ink color. Texture and Value can be accomplished using a small lino cutter and either doing small cuts in surface, much like crosshatching or making little dots like stippling. Any marks that will cause the area to hold less ink.

To begin your print, transfer a pencil drawing on to your soft-kut block by turning the drawing face down on block and rubbing the back. It is nice to use a pencil for this so you can see where you’ve transferred without having to lift the drawing. The image will then be backwards, which is perfect since it’ll print the right way! **Remember – any numbers and letters need to be backwards on the printing block!** (you can also draw directly on the block, the as I mentioned above, you’ll need a reversed design!)

all of the background is removed, with some texture remaining.

Next – start cutting. Be careful and never cut towards your own hand. This is not your high school linoleum though, it is smooth to cut and does not require a bench hook to hold it in place. As you work, you can ink your plate to see your progress.

a plate in progress...

To ink your plate, use a piece of cardboard or another flat surface to roll out  your ink. Place a toothpaste-sized dollop of ink on your surface and roll it out. This is to make sure the brayer is evenly inked. Next, roll your plate and do a test print!

To test print, lay the paper on top of the plate and rub gently with your hand – but be sure to press evenly all over the paper. Lift a corner to be sure you are using adequate pressure. (see images below) After you make your test print, you can choose to let the ink dry on the plate, then continue to cut (making it easier to see the subtracted areas) or wash it off and keep going.

Advanced printers can do a reduction print. At this stage, print ALL of your cards once – take more away from your block, then print over the original print in a different color ink! (here is an interesting video clip on reduction printing) Have fun with it!

The printing steps are pictured below:

a dollop of ink!

roll it out!

ink it up!

lay the paper on top of the plate

rub the back of the paper with your hand evenly

pull up a corner to check the pressure and transfer

pull paper off the plate - if you are printing "for real" ink up and go again!

Happy Holidays!

~ MaryJo Rosania-Harvie is an art teacher in New Jersey

www.maryjorosania.com Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/maryjorosania

Creating mono-prints with a hot plate and crayons

Posted On March 17, 2010

Filed under DO IT YOURSELF
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Comments Dropped 3 responses

Today’s tutorial is great for kids. It’s also a fun project for adults who want spend an hour or two with their inner-child. My mom is a preschool teacher who has introduced me to some fun, easy, and unique projects like this one: creating mono-prints with a hot plate and crayons.

Since I don’t own a hot plate, I had to make do with my stovetop griddle. A hot plate is safer to work with so I recommend using that if you’re doing this with little ones.

You will need:

Heavy craft paper (standard printer paper will not work as it absorbs the wax from the crayons)
Hot plate
Tin foil

Cover your hot plate securely with tin foil. Heat to a medium temperature so that you can melt the crayons.

Draw your image on the heated foil using as many different crayons as you want. Keep in mind that thick lines will become large blobs when the wax and paper smoosh together. It took me a few tries to get these bunnies to stay in the shapes of bunnies.

Place the paper on top of the melted wax and lightly apply pressure with the back of a spoon.

Remove paper and admire your new masterpiece!

I made my prints into Easter cards for my nephews.

Posted by Kate Holeman of KSHCreative and The Lettered Set


9-16-08 Update: Unfortunately, the Cheltenham Arts Center has closed down. We are in the process of finding a new location for these workshops. Check back for details…

$15/workshop *unless otherwise noted.
Fridays, 7PM

See below for additional information regarding registration and transportation…

Crochet Basics and Intro on 3D Crochet Techniques / Toy Design/ Soft Sculpture
September 26, 2008
You will learn the basic crochet stitches and how you can put them together to make different patterns. Supply list will be provided upon registration.
Instructor: Angela Davidson
Angela Davidon is a graduate student of Art Education in Philadelphia, PA and a member of the Philly Etsy Team.
Papermaking Techniques Class
October 3, 2008
The process of papermaking was discovered nearly 2000 years ago in 105 A.D. by Chinese court official Ts’ai Lun. William Rittenhouse founded the first paper mill in North America at Wissahickon Creek in Philadelphia!
Papermaking is a great way to recycle all those bits of paper lying around your home and turn them into works of art. Learn how to prepare paper fibers with your assortment of recycled paper and discover basic papermaking techniques, such as sheet forming, pressing, and drying. Then, take your paper and use embellishment techniques such as coloring, watermarks, pressing, casting, and pulp painting to create unique papers to use at your leisure. Supplies: Any paper or cardboard lying around your home! If you have one or can locate one, please bring an old blender too. If not, we will share.
Instructor: Lynn Roberts
Lynn Roberts currently takes many classes at Tyler School of Art and the Clay Studio of Philadelphia and is interested in textiles, fibers, design, photography, and ceramics. She majors in fine art and music. She handles her own independent art business online and is soon to be featured in many art galleries and consignment shops with her professional photography. She is a Tang Soo Do Korean Karate instructor and yoga instructor and enjoys connecting with nature through her artwork and creating pottery with her boyfriend. Lynn is a member of the Philly Etsy Team.
Oil Paint and Gesso
October 3, 2008
Learn how to use gesso and oil paints together and have fun. This is completely irreverent and un-called for. But, it’s messy and fun as heck! All you will need is a piece of wood (any size, preferably recycled/ reused), oil paint (1 or 2 tubes) and some gesso. Oh, and some gloves…and something to engrave with – like a stick.
Instructor: Jon Vitale
Jon Vitale is an artist, a recorded musician and a film enthusiast. He recently relocated back to Philadelphia after living for a few years in Rhode Island and California.
Swap and Craft!
November 7, 2008
$5 to participate
Come join us as we Swap and Craft! What is a Swap and Craft, you ask? It’s a supply swap and community craft time followed by light-hearted show-and-tell time. When you attend the swap bring your unwanted art, craft and design supplies (and maybe a snack to share). Every swap begins with piles of supplies, the unwanted supplies of all who attend. Everyone is welcome to dive in and find their next new/ used items from the piles. Take as few or as many supplies from the piles as you like, it’s all free!

Now is the time to clear out that studio, workspace or closet. Those supplies you haven’t used in forever? Help them find a nice new home. Help reduce waste while meeting new people and having some fun together in an arts environment. Here are a few tips on what to bring…

  • Fabric, remnants
  • Notions (buttons, zippers, ribbon, thread, etc.)
  • Beads (gemstone, glass, seed, lampwork, etc.)
  • Jewelry findings, wire
  • Painting supplies, pencils, paper products, drawing supplies
  • Various project supplies (screen printing, fabric printing, scrapbooking, book making, paper making, etc.)

DIY Workshops: After you have chosen your new supplies, slide on over to one of the sewing/ craft/ art/ design stations and start creating! If you’ve got skills you want to share, lead a how-to session/ tutorial. Or just sit back, relax and get to work.

Swap and Craft is organized by: Beth Richey: www.TranquilityJewelry.etsy.com and Traci Nelson: www.tremundo.etsy.com. Beth and Traci are members of the Philly Etsy Team.

Sewing Basics (with Machine)
December 12, 2008
Students will learn and perform sewing techniques and machine functions such as threading the machine, winding the bobbin and most common stitches. Students will have a choice of working on a pillow or tote bag. Supplies: A sewing machine if you have one; one spool of thread, scissors, pins, one yard of woven fabric (not knit). If you are working on a pillow, bring a pillow form or fiber fill. Optional: Bring notions such as lace, buttons, ribbons.
Instructor: Amber Zaraza
Amber Zaraza has over 10 years sewing experience. She holds a BA in Fashion Design. In 2004 Amber started her own company, Phea Jean, and she is currently at work designing one-of-a-kind handbags and accessories. Amber is a member of the Philly Etsy Team. www.pheajean.etsy.com
Elements of Knitting
January 17, 2009
We’ll learn the basics! How to cast on, knit, purl and bind off. Supplies: 2 knitting needles (size 8 wooden needles) and 2 skeins of worsted weight yarn.
Instructor: Lynda Schwechtje
Lynda Schwechtje is a life long learner and crafter. In the past she has constructed and tailored clothes (and doll clothes), sewed gowns for a church choir and she was formerly part of the Philadelphia Area Polymer Clay Guild. These days she has been focusing her attentions on knitting; she’s made sweaters and quilts for countless babies. Lynda holds a masters degree in social work.
Create your own Stamps & Stencils
February 6, 2009
In this workshop you’ll learn how to create your own stencils and stamps, how to choose inks, and how to make prints in a variety of ways including potato printing and printing using freezer paper.
Instructor: Sarah Greiner
Sarah Greiner is a professional packaging designer. She also independently designs stationary and is a member of the Philly Etsy Team.