04 November 2011

the best spot in my studio

That would be my print table of course.

Truth be told, its kind of the "everything table". I write there, I fill etsy orders there, I plot and scheme and make big messes there. 

Here it is:

 Incredibly clean at the moment. I just replaced the top layer of fabric. I thought maybe I'd show the nitty gritty of it in case you were thinking about setting up one of your own but you weren't really sure where to begin.

Having a print table doesn't mean that it has to be big and fancy. Mine is pretty small, very basic. Its actually this cutting table from Joann's. Right now I only have one side up (they are both collapsible) but I can put up the other if I'm working on something larger.

Its got a layer of plastic taped over top of it (I use black garbage bags cut open) and then a layer or two of fabric:

I normally use a heavier canvas for the top layer fabric but I ran out and had this muslin on hand so I'm using it double layered. It kind of sucks, not nearly absorbent enough. The purpose of the fabric is so that if anything goes through the fabric I'm printing, it will get absorbed into the fabric underneath and not create ghost prints on new fabric. (Wow, how many times can I say the word "fabric" in one sentence? Fabric, fabric, fabric, fabric, fabric.)

The space is big enough for me to comfortably layout a fat quarter to print at a time:

 Since I only print what I'm using for a particular project, I don't normally print fabric much larger then this.

Now you might be thinking that the stuff I have stacked up on the back edge is wasted printing space. I'm really short (5' 1") and I can't easily reach across the table (little short arms) so having stuff back there doesn't get in my way. And if I need to take advantage of all the table space, I just move it out of the way, no worries.

Some people pad their printing tables. Its something I've considered but I'm not wild about it and I've always been happy with the results I've gotten from using it just the way it is. The only part that gets tricky is that sometimes whatever tool I'm printing with drags the fabric up with it when I go to pull it off.

If the table was padded, I could pin the fabric into it and then it would stay put when faced with a bossy print tool. I've gotten pretty skilled at using my elbows to swat the fabric back down and if I'm not in the mood to deal with the fusiness of that, I weight the fabric along the corners and wherever I'm not printing to keep it down.

Where there's a will there's a way.

Its funny - I have other work surfaces but I rarely use them. 99% of the time I drag my chair up to my print table and get busy with whatever the task on hand is.

We do tend to choose our favorite spots, don't we? What's your's?


Vicki W said...

My favorite spot because my favorite because every other spot gets piled with CRAP! lol!

Deb H said...

My favorite spot is the breakfast bar in my kitchen. It's the heart of the house and I'm working but still in the thick of things (other family activities) and don't feel isolated. Of course breakfast can get tricky. :-0

Lynda said...

My favorite is a large cutting table. The only problem is it gets covered over quite a bit with everything I'm working on so if I really want to cut anything, I have to clean it all off. If I had more room I'd like another table but I know if I had it, it would also be covered up too. Thanks for showing us yours.

Adrian said...

Wow, it's so nice to know that a professional screen print artist just doesn't go by all the rules! Yeah! I mean it's intimidating to find carpet pads and T pins and such when you are just starting out, but since every book and article I am reading since I am new to this, all say you have to have a really well padded surface, I was beginning to think it wasn't worth the effort. Yikes! I have now found that a pile of newspapers, covered in freezer paper is a good enough padded surface for me. And, painters tape holds things down for me if I need it. Oh, and the sunflower screen you sell on etsy is FABULOUS!! I'm wearing a black, cap sleeve tee with rosy pink petals and a whitish center printed just an hour ago! So, now it looks like a gerbera daisy, one of my favorite flowers in the whole wide world.Oh, these screens are just so much fun!

Jeannie said...

My favorite place is an ancient table that I got from a forensic anthropologist. I don't think about what has been on it before - lol! It is the right height (I'm 5'4") and sturdy. Now, I thought Dooley was trained to lend a paw when needed!