Deborah Emmett's textiles with flowing block prints

Deborah Emmett: wood block textiles

Deborah Emmett's textiles with flowing block prints

Deborah Emmett
Coral Paisley kaftan wood block printed cotton voile, 2011
Iris shirt wood block printed cotton voile, 2010
Artichoke cloth wood block printed cotton organdie, 150x220cm, 2010

My design practice over the last ten years initiated from my observations of materials and techniques used to produce traditional textiles in India. I utilized these to realise my own design concepts. From the beginning I have always valued the relationships developed with the artisans I am working with and their input into my design process. Although I create my own woodblock designs they are carved and printed by the artisans using traditional methods to produce printed textiles that are then used to produce clothing or home furnishings. My textile print designs are a result of a collaboration between modern and traditional techniques. Usually beginning with photographs I use Photoshop and Illustrator to abstract the usually natural forms, as well as develop the separations of each part of the design into different colours. These I take to Dinesh in Saganer, Rajasthan. Dinesh is from a family of woodblock printers but about eight years ago began his own printing workshop. After discussion and sometimes some small design modifications Dinesh arranges for the woodblocks to be carved of my designs, one block for each colour. The completed blocks are then tested to make sure that the print is clear and at the same time I work with the printers or chhipas to produce samples where colours, and the placement of the design on the cloth, are determined. Although Dinesh and his team are frequently amused by my designs they enjoy the process offering their advice on how a design should be repeated along a length of cloth.

3 thoughts on “Deborah Emmett: wood block textiles”

  1. As an Australian of Indian origin and a lover of handicrafts, I strive to bring the two cultures in every aspect of my life, be it in how I raise my children, or in cooking, interior design, art, craft. Often I struggle to bring harmony between the two. I am thrilled to have discovered Sangam today, just by chance, while browsing the internet for some aboriginal design cushions and rugs. Your projects seem to find the harmony I was seeking. Thank you. Please keep me informed on your projects.

    I would very dearly like to follow your ventures.

    1. Welcome to Sangam, Rohini. Please subscribe to our newsletter to get information about upcoming events. It would be great to see you at one of them. We have events in both Melbourne and Sydney coming up, then Brisbane next year. Your contribution would be much appreciated.

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