Monday, November 15, 2010

Printing Photos onto Fabric Workshop on Inisheer

An invitation to the Aran Islands is not one to refuse! So, when Mary McCarthy of "Mna le Cheile" asked me to come to Inisheer to demonstrate printing photos onto fabric, I didn't have to think twice.

But being November, with storms and rough seas forecast during the week, I was afraid that Winter was going to put a stop to my excitement.

However, although Saturday was was calm enough at sea and the ferry was running.

The workshop went very quickly as we wanted to try a good few techniques including:
  • Miracle Fabric Sheets from CJenkins }
  • EQ Printables from the Electric Quilt Company } both recommended for inkjet printers
  • Tshirt transfer paper from Tesco ironed onto fabric
  • Image Maker solution painted onto a photocopy and transferred to fabric
  • Acrylic Medium painted onto a photocopy and transferred to fabric
  • Printing directly onto our own fabric cut to A4 and ironed onto Freezer Paper to stabilise it before printing with laser/inkjet.
This photo shows the paper being removed from the Imagemaker print.

This photo shows the result of a tshirt transfer print.

Jenny and Cormac seem pleased with the result of the Imagemaker transfer.

Images of Inisheer hanging up to dry!
Each of these techniques has its own advantages and disadvantages. Results can vary depending on the printer, the brand of product used, the fabric used, etc. Colour and light-fastness will depend on the number of washes, the detergent used, etc.
But this workshop was a 'hands-on' introduction to the possibilities of incorporating printed photographs, drawings, documents, etc. into your own work to personalise it further.

Those attending the workshop came from different backgrounds in weaving, felting, patchwork, photography, costume design, etc. So hopefully everyone went away having learned something new to apply to their own work in the future.
As for me......
  • I learned a lot, as usual when I teach a workshop.
  • I received a warm welcome on a rainy night with delicious homemade soup and brown-bread.
  • I slept cosily under Mary and Pat's thatched roof in their lovely home.
  • I woke to a beautiful November morning on Inisheer looking out at the Atlantic.
  • I reminded myself of how magical Inisheer is at any time of year.

A big thanks to Mary for inviting me and to everyone at the class for such a lovely welcome. Go raibh mile maith agaibh!


  1. Sounds like total Bliss Ester and a great range of image transfers no doubt. You need to move closer to the east side of the country!!!

  2. I have just been listening to the news about Ireland on the radio and I want to tell everyone to go and visit because its so beautiful, as you describe. I think we may be going to Ballyvaughn again from about 7th March next year. perhaps if I organise it better there may be some textile opportunities?

  3. Like many other countries, Ireland has economic difficulties. However, a weekend on Inisheer which is so wild and beautiful, with a warm welcoming community, is a great reminder of the importance of the simple things in life that don't cost a thing! We'd love to see you next March Jackie!