My Painting: Afternoon Tea with a Twist Afternoon Tea with a Twist

My Inspiration: I am a lover of tea and I enjoy a cuppa with my friends and this idea was the foundation for this project. I began studying people (mostly my friends and family) and their facial expressions whilst drinking tea. The deeper I got into the project, the more I realised that I enjoyed the social aspect of tea drinking. I began to design images which could be exposed onto screens which could be printed onto fabrics for an interior setting.

Plan: Screen printing is a very long process to carry out, and it does require a lot of planning. I had to come up with designs to be exposed onto screens, coating and prepping the screens, mixing up dye colours / pastes to print with and experiment with these first to make sure they were the correct colour etc. Once I had planned everything my final product was made very easily and quickly.

Chosen Medium and Why: As I was printing on 100% linen, I needed to use a reactive based dye so that when the fabric was washed and steamed, the dye would stick to the orange fabric. For the red fabric, I decided to print with a special heat resistant foil which would make these curtains unique and different!

Painting Experience: Many things went wrong with my first attempts at screen printing these shapes and patterns. I would always do a test run on a similar fabric first before starting on the final piece! I was always encouraged at university to make mistakes and most of the time these mistakes ended up in my designs!

My Achievement: I love how effective the silver foil doilies, show up against the gorgeous red fabric. I feel that from a distance, they look like ordinary lace doilies but on closer inspection they tell a story, and almost resemble a group of people sitting around a table, pouring tea and enjoying each other’s company. I love how different and bold they are and I would definitely have these drapes hanging up in my house… though perhaps not together!

Little Artist’s Tip: When screen printing, you should always test the shapes out first on a piece of fabric before printing on your final piece.