Blue fish cushion, hand-printed using a collagraph plate
A LIMITED EDITION hand-made cushion hand-printed with a blue koi fish. This is one of a kind; I only made a few and I kept one for myself. The fish is printed onto white textured 100% cotton fabric, and the cushion is backed with a blue cotton fabric. The piping is navy blue. The cushion cover is removable and washable (see note below). Dimensions: 40 cm x 40 cm.
How this was made
This blue fish design was printed by hand onto the fabric using a hand-built collage plate. This is in essence a new way of approaching the printmaking technique of "collagraphy", whereby hand-made collaged plates are inked manually and usually printed onto paper. I thought I'd try printing onto fabric instead. The cushion cover is hand-made by me too. I became fascinated by the carp during a short residency in Beijing in 2015. I saw koi ponds everywhere. Fish are a popular and iconic design in China. The carp in particular swim against the current in their natural habitat, and are known for their longevity too, so the Chinese prize them and use the imagery of these fish to symbolise strength and resilience. To make this cushion I first made the printing plate by sticking a variety of textured materials like eggshells, tissue paper and patterned wallpapers onto a board. I then varnished the plate to prevent ink soaking in and spoiling the materials. The ink was applied in relief using rollers and the fabric placed over, before running it through my intaglio press. The ink requires several weeks drying time to fix the ink onto the fabric, and was further heat-fixed too. Please see note below about washing.
What's included in the price?
Piped removable cushion cover, hand-printed using a koi fish collagraph plate. Premium quality duck-feather cushion pad with cotton cover. All fabrics have been pre-washed to check for shrinkage. The printed design has been fixed on the fabric, and I washed once on a delicates cycle to double check. Please note: the fish design is printed on the surface of the fabric using oil-based inks suitable for fabric printing. However, I would avoid washing at a high temperature and too frequently, as there will inevitably be some slight fading with time.
I trained and worked as a linguist until the creative streak finally took over, and I am still inspired by foreign language and culture. In April 2017 I went on a two-week Chinese tea sourcing odyssey with a local Dorset teahouse owner. In May 2019 I was in Shanghai, enthralled by the ceramics in the Shanghai Museum. My most recent prints are inspired by those experiences. I have over 25 years' experience in education, and I have really enjoyed providing the printmaking workshops (since 2014).
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