with Kate Andre
on 05 February 2018
We arrived to find Kate and her helper, Mike, had already set out the room, covering the tables with plastic and arranging the tremendous amount of materials they had brought for us to use. We were each given a set of materials with which to practise and learn the different techniques. Kate then set out to carefully explain each technique and we were encouraged to practise on paper and then to use the fabric provided. I would never have realised there were so many different ways to do gel plate printing! We learnt how to use both commercially bought and home-made gel plates – they each have their own properties and are used in different ways. It was amazing how many different, ordinary things could be used for printing with unusual results.
But that was only the beginning… Kate went on to show us many techniques of achieving background colour and foreground points of interest. It was a steep learning curve as we learnt so many different techniques: how to achieve positive and negative images when printing, using stamps with textile paints in different ways, using inktense pencils with textile medium, how to look after and use screens for printing, to mention just a few. Many of the screens were designed by Kate herself.
In the afternoon, we were able to use the vast array of materials provided ad lib, and pursue our own ideas and designs. Kate was a very clear and proficient tutor, making sure that everyone understood, constantly coming round to everyone to encourage and praise our work. We had an extremely busy and interesting day and came away with lots of ideas and materials to inspire our work for our summer exhibition on the meadows of Worcestershire.