How am I doing this? And really... why?
There are waaaaaaay easier ways to print shirts and do all of this. The reason I chose this route is because I like the idea of a very hand crafted, unique piece of clothing for my kid.
So here is a quick overview of my block printing process and how each design is crafted at Notorious Creatures.
I start with the idea and sketch out different forms for composition/layout. Most of the time I have what I want a design to look like in my head and it comes together quickly.
Once I have the pencils in order and the design locked down - I ink it. This is what I normally do and I don't really need to do it for the carving design but it helps block out the light/shadows and any other details I might need.
Next I take a piece of tracing paper and go over the drawing with a 2B pencil. This is what I use to transfer the drawing onto the carving block. Once I have re-drawn everything I take that tracing paper and put it drawing down on the carving block. I rub the paper with a blunt object and the pencil will transfer right onto the block.
I go over the transferred drawing on the block with pen to make it more stable and keep it from rubbing off as I carve.
Once that's all done it's time to carve! I carve out the drawing and clean up what I need. This is a very time consuming deed and very unforgiving. If you slip or stop paying attention for a second you can ruin the entire piece. You can't add block back once it's removed so it's slow and steady.
Now that the block is carved with the design and I have it where I want it, it's time for a test print. Sometimes there are small bits here and there that pop up on the block that will show up on the print. They just need to be carved out more and once I am happy with how it all looks I test print again until it's good to go.
After all that it's time to actually print a shirt! I ink the block and apply the block to the shirt, apply pressure and remove it. Each shirt has multiple print locations so these are each done separately and usually at different times due to drying.
Once the clothing is printed it's hung to dry and cure. I stamp and attach the hang tag and thats a wrap.
It's certainly a process to print this way but I enjoy the way they turn out and that each one will literally come off differently than the next making each one unique in it's own right.
I will definitely make a video of this at some point soon and I hope this gives you a tiny insight to what goes into making these things. Thanks for stopping by!