I’m kind of a grump today, I’m sharing more of what I learned.
In that, as an unintended consequence of blogging about the print process, I have a good start on documentation for the project!
I shall explain.
SCA documentation scares the crap out of me. Mostly it’s because I tend to overdo and overthink everything, but also because it’s kind of intimidating if you’ve never done it before, especially if half of your Society friends are Peers (you make friends with one, others shall come along). So there’s a pretty high standard.
I have not as yet entered a single thing in an A&S competition, mostly because (a) I have not created anything worth entering yet and (b) I have no documentation to support the things I’ve made.
Not so anymore. The block printing project has opened a wide world of documenting my projects, which is relatively easy and painless and something I can do!
Last night I found myself discussing things with Robbing Peter that I need to record because they, too are part of a good set of documentation.
The main point that needs recording is the fact that I should not beat myself up about what I didn’t do with the project so far, but should rather applaud myself for what I did do. That is, the work of several people. Even in modern block printing shops, there are some things that no single person undertakes that because of limited and Western resources, I had to do by myself.
I drew and cut the block myself. Then I prepared the pigment myself, and printed the thing myself. I prepared the fabric myself.
Another thing to take into account is that in reality, if I were doing this on a mass-production scale (or what passes for mass-production at the time the originals were made, in that with a block you can make many identical copies of one textile), I’d have used something larger than a small folding table as my printing surface. With six yards of table, you simply pin the entire length of fabric down and print it all at once. There’s no moving and repinning. The issue that arises from repinning the fabric is that fabric, unlike paper, has a lot of give in it. Though the lines you printed on the first bit might be straight, when you move the fabric, it stretches in some places and not others, and the line becomes slanted or wavy. Perhaps if I had used a big table I wouldn’t have had the gap and overlap problems I encountered (probably). So a lot of the little nitpicky details that bother me are ultimately not a huge deal at this point (and will potentially go unnoticed by the casual observer).
I do plan on recutting the block for the next round, though, this time incorporating the small dots that line the edges of the medallion. I have neither the time nor the patience to put those in by hand.