Friday, 9 November 2012

Thelma and friends

Well I've finally done it - I unwrapped Thelma and got her set up and ready. For those who don't know - Thelma is my beloved Thermofax machine, which was my 50th birthday pressie from Stephen (yes - I dropped a few hints). She has been waiting since September for me to find time to get her up and running. She has a friend, Louise, who makes nice laser prints for Thelma to eat .. because that is what she likes. So I started with one of my drawings of Dixter:

A tricky choice for a first effort, as it has a lot of shading in it - but hey, why not? I made my laser print and put it in to Thelmas mouth. And out came a Thermofax screen - really did. I ran it on a sort of medium setting and think I should have cooked it a bit longer - but it worked - wow. So out came the quickest and nearest thing - some fabric paint - and I made a few trial prints ...

OK - possibly more than a few - but I don't ever really do just a few of anything ... the brain kicks into 'what if' mode and I just follow. As you can see I tried all over printing, overprinting, paper, fabric, vilene and different colours. These are all from that one small screen. Just imagine what you could do with 10? or 20, or 100??!! I think this technique is going to be so useful for me. Here are a few favourites:

I especially like the overprints on colour and combined fabric, which is fairly typical of my love of as much pattern and layer as I can get away with.
I have to confess that I then ruined my screen by too zealous scrubbing on the wrong side - but I now know not to do that, and I got an awful lot of prints from it anyway. And what is so nice about having your own machine is that I just printed another. Oh happy days.

On a different note, I spent a lovely and very relaxing day in Louth with some friends this week. You know you have those days when there is just no pressure and you can just be you - well it was one of those. We were given a lovely tour of Louth by the local girls, especially the charity shops of the town (and there are just loads) and each of us  collected a little - or in some case, and mentioning no names (Maggy) a rather large - collection of booty. We also ate very well. At the end of the day, we decided that we would all make a book cover using the stuff we had bought. A re-cycling project. Here is my booty:

A couple of lovely cotton stripey shirts, napkins, lace and more lace. Will need some paint or dye I think. I have in mind to make another fabric book. rather than just the cover (will need to check this with the girls first mind - rules is rules) and perhaps fill it with leaf images, as there were lots around this time of year. We are all hoping to finish this by our next regional day - a lovely sewing day in November - so we can compare our reminders of a lovely day.

The studio is just about sorted out and tidy - yes, it has taken this long. I will take photos quickly when I finish, before I inevitably start again, which I know I will.

Next up for me is a rather big project, which I will be talking more about over the next few weeks. But suffice to say I am very excited and I think it will be really good! Talk soon - Hilary x


  1. Your jolly what-if approach gives me courage! Wow - your own thermofax maker!! I have just sent for my first custom screen but you inspire me to do more!

    1. My jolly 'what if' approach is meannt to do just that .. so I am very pleased. Too much thinking and worrying about results can be very inhibiting I find .. a mindless frenzy of excitement works much better for me!

  2. Hilary - I love the possibilities with screen printing and would love my own Thermofax! Ah well - another toy and I don't have time for any of my current toys at the moment.

    That print if fab! All sorts of ideas could emerge.

    Happy printing.

    Hilary 'Lurcher' (who, by the way, says that if Dixter can get into print then what about him!!)

    1. The printing possibilities are just endless aren't they .... I can see your lurchers point ... Dix loves to feature in stuff (well, be the centre of attention really) and feels it is very good for a boy!!

  3. Lucky you... Bertha the large scale Epson printer says hi to Thelma Thermofax!

  4. I know - wasn't it a great present. Love Bertha .. although can't help thinking that if she is an Epsom, she should be Eartha (as in Eartha Kit, or indeed Eartha Epsom .. am I spelling that right??)