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Printing Fabric with Light

21
Sep/13

Tinkering Social Club: Print Fabric with Light featuring Jesse Genet

The second Tinkering Social Club event featured Los Angeles-based maker Jesse Genet. Jesse came up with a new fabric dye, based on a very old technology, that develops when exposed to sunlight, and allows anyone to make stunning prints and cool effects using photo negatives, on indeed anything that casts a shadow.

Tinkering Social Club: Print Fabric with Light featuring Jesse Genet

Jesse started things out by giving a bit of background into how she became obsessed with finding a better way to make a cool custom shirt—she has been printing her own shirts since she was 16!—including how she tracked down the source of a 50-year-old patent from a Thai fish market in Oakland.

Tinkering Social Club: Print Fabric with Light featuring Jesse Genet

People wasted no time getting in on the action: picking out negatives with interesting images, and layering and cutting them up to create one-of-a-kind images. We provided silk handkerchiefs to print on.

Tinkering Social Club: Print Fabric with Light featuring Jesse Genet

Of course, since the event happening at night, we substituted sunlight with two powerful UV lamps. Each print took about 10 minutes to develop.

Tinkering Social Club: Print Fabric with Light featuring Jesse Genet

The fact that the process was relatively slow allowed visitors to use three-dimensional objects to create interesting patterns, rearranging them while the print was under the light without having to rush.

Tinkering Social Club: Print Fabric with Light featuring Jesse Genet

Some people brought their own shirts to decorate and wear proudly!

Tinkering Social Club: Print Fabric with Light featuring Jesse Genet

Soon the “exposure” table became filled with prints being developed, and a loose group of people waiting for their turn to have a go.

Tinkering Social Club: Print Fabric with Light featuring Jesse Genet

Rather than being annoying, it gave strangers the opportunity to start a conversation, meet each other, find out what brought them to the Tinkering Studio…basically exactly what we have been hoping would happen at these events!

Tinkering Social Club: Print Fabric with Light featuring Jesse Genet

Tinkering Social Club: Print Fabric with Light featuring Jesse Genet

Tinkering Social Club: Print Fabric with Light featuring Jesse Genet

Lots of great prints were made; the fact that it is so easy to mix and layer the ink, transparencies, and three-dimensional objects, made it very easy to create sophisticated effects that would be very hard and laborious to recreate with traditional screen printing, where they would require multiple passes with carefully registered screens. Needless to say, Ryan's psychedelic dandy Frank Oppenheimer is my personal favorite…

Tinkering Social Club is an ongoing series of events. We're just getting started, and have lots of interesting themes lined up for the upcoming months. The best way to find out about future events is to subscribe to our TSC Newsletter. No spam, guaranteed—and you can unsubscribe at any time. We'll send you about two emails per month to let you know what we're cooking up next.


Tinkering Social Club is possible through the generous support of Autodesk.

Did she share the formula for making the prints?

You can buy it from the Lumi website: http://lumi.co

Catherine, look for "cianotype" process if you want some alternative.

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