It’s been very strange here over the past few months.
Farming carries on and it’s easy to socially distance when you’re alone in a tractor cab or pulling wild oats in a wide, open field of wheat.
But there haven’t been any printmaking classes since March and no plans to restart them this summer. The Government is still advising that we shouldn’t gather indoors in groups of more than two households, so it seems crazy to try to hold a printmaking class unless we can meet more freely. Having a class with everybody masked and gloved, sticking to their own space spread across the barn would be strange and spiritless instead of the relaxing and inspirational experience that Ruth aims for. Slamseys isn’t a professional print studio but a place where people can take time out from their normal routine to learn a new skill, be creative and enjoy time with a group of like-minded people in a beautiful space. With cake!
So, the printmaking in The Barley Barn is having to change direction and while Ruth hasn’t been able to run printmaking classes, there’s been more time to work on the Slamseys Mini Screens. We have a nifty digital screen making machine to produce screens with a design ready for printing. The printmaker then applies the ink and pushes it through the screen with a squeegee. No faffing with paper or vinyl to make stencils or blocking with emulsions. Read How to Use Mini Screens for full instructions.
If you’ve been to a Fabric Printing or Screen Printing class at Slamseys you’ll know how easy it is to use these adaptable little screens. Use them to print designs onto fabric to use for dressmaking or soft furnishings, labels or tote bags. Upcycle or personalise clothes: you can turn a plain T-shirt into something much more interesting with a simple print. We also use them for printing onto plain notebook covers, making stationery and wrapping paper.
If you would like a design of your own, you just need to send a scan of your sketch, doodle, text or marks and it will be transformed into a screen ready for you to print with. You can find full details for designing your own mini screen on the Slamseys website, where you can also buy screens from the Design Library.
This side of the business is very much in its early stages, but there are plans to develop it with many more designs to choose from. Watch this space …