Today I joined artist Sunaina Bhalla for a traditional Indian block printing session as part of Future Network with Metal Peterborough.

As part of a 3-hour session, I sat down next to Jo, also on her own, and learned how to block print using the stamping process from India. Some very impressive samples were also on display around the classroom.

Some small lunch snacks and refreshments were provided after our teaching session, before diving in and choosing from array of wood cut block prints including flowers, leaves, honeycomb and bee, a butterfly, various patterns, border lines and more.

We learned how to do it safely on paper before committing to a design on fabric. Using an array of handmade blocks the class had free reign on their designs.

From cushion covers to tea napkins (serviettes) and tote bags we all happily dabbed and pressed our designs from contemporary ones to floral ones to pattern based ones.

There were around 18 of us and I think we all came away pleased with what we had made, albeit very warm in this heat. I finished with a tote bag, 4 small napkins and some greeting cards.

After the workshop, Sunaina gave us the opportunity to purchase some of the handmade blocks from her contacts who are still in the business of creating hand carved printing blocks. Let’s see what I come up with ready for Christmas!

Metal Peterborough support artists and culture and have lots of different workshops throughout the year, so please take a look at their website and see what takes your fancy to try your hand at something new and interesting.


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