Friday, February 8, 2008

Woodblock printing

I have a small collection of woodblock stamps from India, once used to print textiles. They are made out of wood and metal and have beautiful textures. I love to create a still life with them or to use them as a wall decoration because their shapes and colors are very uncommon :) The idea that a craftsman used these woodblocks once to print fabrics is very intriguing to me. You can still see the paint layers on some of the stamps. To me it gives them something mystical and special :) I love woodblock printed fabrics because of their beautiful colours and patterns. This bedspread is made using the woodblock printing technique. Because it is handmade no spread is the same. I like to look at the patterns on my bedspread while wondering who has printed it so lovely.
Woodblock printing on textiles from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia;
"Woodblock printing on textiles is the process of printing patterns on textiles, usually of linen, cotton or silk, by means of incised wooden blocks. It is the earliest, simplest and slowest of all methods of textile printing. ""Block printing by hand is a slow process it is, however, capable of yielding highly artistic results, some of which are unobtainable by any other method."Well I don't use them to print, although I should give it a try once :) I just like to look at their beautiful shapes and patterns. Old used hand tools have something special to me. The idea that once someone used it to create such wonderful printed fabrics fascinates me.It is funny to consider that these wood blocks where first used in India and now are being displayed in a house in the Netherlands. They have quite a past :))So far this post for today, I hope you enjoyed it and have yourself a lovely weekend :)


Arch at Rang said...

I love blocks as well as the amazing prints that you get out of them:-))

I have a couple of them from Delhi, India and some times it's nice to print your own wrapping paper:-)

I print on old newspapers or plain brown paper.

Thanks for sharing:-)

Sas said...

Thank you too for sharing :)

I think you are right and I should try them sometime, but to me they are almost too beautiful to use :))

So nice you pointed this out to me,


vk said...

Hi Sas,

Handmade block prints are my favourite too and most of my clothes and bed sheets are hand block printed cottons. I guess living in India I am lucky to buy these.

Your idea of using these blocks to create a still life or as a wall decoration is great. Now, I have got to go out and buy a few for that purpose. ☺ I have a couple of small ones I use to block print patterned borders on cotton dupattas (stoles).

Loved your idea too arch at rang about creating your own wrapping paper. Thanks. I generally use old newspapers as wrapping paper (and add some lines of paint to it and perhaps a label “Save trees, reuse paper”) as I believe in conservation. Now I will block print on those too. ☺ wow

Very nice post again Sas. You have a very lovely collection of blocks and a knack for making ordinary things look so extraordinary through your shots and writing. I will appreciate blocks more after this post ☺ . Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas.


Sas said...

Thank you Vani,
it is so nice to hear that you enjoyed the post and that Arch at rang has inspired you too :)

To me this is the beauty of sharing thoughts and creativity on a blog. I look different at my blocks now. Next time I will try and stamp my own wrapping paper :))

And Vani thanks for the encouraging words you sent me on almost a daily basis :)


Life Unscripted! said...

Absolutely Fantastic!

I am planning to buy blocks too may be next weekend. I do a lot of block printing and absolutely love it.

you have a beautiful collection :)

Thanx for sharing :-)

Vinita said...

Woodblocks for printing. Call me ignorant but I never knew about these when I was in India. I saw them on one tv home decorating show in US where this person would go to the state of Rajasthan (India) each year to buy these blcoks and has a million dollar wall paper business made exclusively with these wooden blocks. They look pretty as they are even as wall decor or collectives. Imagine what they will be able to bring to life if they are put to use.


Sas said...

Thank you Kanchan :)

Nice to hear you like block printing too. I definitely should try it now after reading these enthusiastic comments :))


Sas said...

Hello Vinita :)

You are right and they probably will make beautiful prints. I think I just need to settle down to the fact that they look so gorgeous and put them to use. As in the creative process lies their true power :))

Thank you,


MW said...

oI just bought my first antique woodblock at a store in PA. I too think it is too nice to use. Since I carve rubber stamps, I'm going to ink up the woodblock once, and then carve a stamp of the woodblock. That way I'm not going to use the original all of the time, but the copy.

I love your collection! I hope to have a nice collection some day!