Kitchen Surface Design

Julie B Booth
Surface Design News

Issue #4

Golden Harvest

A Personal Note from Julie

August 25, 2012

As I write this, I am just back from Kittery, Maine, after spending a week with my extended family.

We journeyed from Virginia, Georgia and New York for our annual summer get together. We enjoyed my brother Jeff's great grilling skills and Robbin's artistic flair with both wild flower bouquets and vegetables. We had the sweetest corn of the summer and joked about the woman at the farm stand holding back on selling the white corn (which we eventually got to sample).

Our food shopping centered on three wonderful stores--all next to each other--on Route 1 in Kittery. Carl's, the meat shop for steak, chicken and sausages. The Beach Pea, an amazing bakery with its special Fougasse bread, huge chocolate chip cookies and mouth watering cheese cakes, and our mainstay, the Golden Harvest.

The Golden Harvest has been described as a farmer's market with a roof and four walls. It is totally unassuming. But walk through the door and you are immediately surrounded by the most colorful selection of fruits and vegetables. The vegetables, in particular, caught my eye. I was especially surprised by the color and variety of the root vegetables. The workers and patrons didn't seem too surprised when I took out my camera to snap several photos.

I've been intrigued with the idea of printing with vegetables, ever since my friend Laura made the suggestion earlier in the summer. She wrote in an email to me, We are eating raw corn from the garden almost daily. It is so sweet right off the cob. I wonder about corn cob printing...

Inspired by my friend as well as the bounty at the Golden Harvest, I experimented with printing with a selection of vegetables. This month's project centers on using vegetable prints as background textures on fabric. These veggie-printed backgrounds can then be combined with other print blocks to create some interesting fabric designs.

To apply fabric paint to the vegetables, you will learn how to create a new tool using soft upholstery foam and a rubber band. I use this tool, which I call a dauber, all the time. You'll find it handy for future projects in upcoming issues of this newletter.

And finally, for those of you curious about our sun printing adventure (see Issue #3: Making Memories), you can see what we created featured in the blog post, Sun Printing in Maine.

Please DO Play/Print with your Veggies!

How to Make a Foam Dauber
You will need:
I suggest buying at least a 1/2 yard of the upholstery foam so that you can make a number of daubers and have some foam left over. We will be using this foam for a future project.

1. Use the ruler and Sharpie pen to mark 4" x 6" rectangles on the foam.

2. Cut the foam with scissors.
3. Fold one of the long sides of the foam rectangle to the middle.
4. Fold the other long side of the foam rectangle over the first.

5. Fold the foam in half.

6. Wrap with a rubber band.

Now it's time to use your new tool to print with veggies!

Creating Background Textures with Vegetables
There is such a textural variety of vegetables, the possibilities for printing interesting backgrounds on fabrics is endless. Today I will show the basics for applying paint to and printing with corn-on-the-cob and broccoli. You can then take these basic steps and use them to print with whatever vegetables you find in your farmer's market, grocery store or refrigerator.

Sampler of printed vegetables including carrots, cabbage, and broccoli
You will need:
  • Pebeo Setacolor Opaque Fabric Paints (your choice of colors).
  • Foam daubers (see above). You will want one for each paint color you choose.
  • Small plastic containers with lids to hold paint. I like to use Ziploc xs/bowl 8 fl. oz. containers but you could use recycled yogurt, margarine or other small containers.
  • Plastic spoons for mixing paint and spooning it out.
  • Glass or plexi-glass palette. I purchase glass from the framing department at my local craft store. Buy the least expensive glass available and tape the edges with duct tape. You will spoon paint onto the glass OR
  • Plastic lids. You can also spoon paint onto these but they must be large enough for the dauber.
  • 15" x 20" Padded Portable Work Surfaces (See Issue #2 under Get Ready, Get Set...).You will want one for each piece of fabric you will be printing.
  • Prepared for Dyeing Kona Cotton. Cut fabric into 12" x 15" pieces and tape to the padded portable work surfaces with masking tape.
  • Assorted vegetables. I used corn-on-the-cob and broccoli but you can also use other vegetables. Try to choose ones that have some texture.
  • Optional: Paring knife to cut vegetables.
  • Optional: Corn holders to put on the ends of the corn-on-the-cob so it can be rolled more easily.
To start:
1. Prepare the vegetables. Shuck and clean the corn and put corn holders on the two ends; break off pieces of the broccoli. Other vegetables may need to be cut in half to expose the textured layers.

2. Mix up colors of Pebeo Setacolor Opaque Fabric Paint or use colors directly from the bottles. If you are mixing a custom color, be sure to start with the lightest color and gradually add darker colors. Always remember that a little paint goes a long way.

3. Spoon some paint out onto the glass palette or plastic lid(s).

Applying paint:
4. Use your foam dauber to pick up some of the paint. You may want to daub the paint on the palette or lid a few times it you pick up too much paint at first.

5. Using the paint-covered dauber, apply the paint to the vegetable.

Printing with the vegetables:
6. In the case of the now paint-covered broccoli, turn the vegetable over onto the fabric and press.

7. In the case of the paint-covered corn-on-the-cob, roll the cob across the fabric.

8. Reapply fabric paint as needed. Consider using different layers of colors for more interest.

9. You can start with a piece of color-washed fabric (rather than white fabric) using diluted Pebeo Setacolor Transparent Fabric Paints and foam brushes or paint a wash of color over the printed opaque paint once it has dried (See Issue #3: Making Memories for more information about working with transparent paints).

Now that you have textured backgrounds on your fabrics consider over-printing with print blocks or stamps. Below are a couple of samples:
Background textured with broccoli over-printed with "blocks" made from turnips and radishes
Background textured with corn-on-the cob over-printed with adhesive craft foam blocks

Coming Up In the Next Issue:
In the next issue of Julie B Booth Surface Design News
: It's time to go back to school so we will get back to basics with print block designs inspired by objects in the kitchen.


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