Saturday 10 November 2012

Book Review: Print!

Print! by Joy Jolliffe is a great introduction to the world of printing - from potato prints to stencils to store-bought transfer sheets to screenprinting.

This hardback book includes 25 projects, rated either easy, intermediate or advanced but all the projects in the book seem relatively accessible.

There's a "short history of printing" and a guide to materials and equipment, and then 5 technique-themed chapters: stamp, potato & block printing; sponging & stencils; transfer printing; open screen; and combined & advanced techniques.


The projects introduce different techniques as well as suggesting motifs to use (with some templates for this at the back of the book, though you're very much encouraged to design your own) and a whole host of different surfaces to print on. Most of the projects include clear step-by-step photos, and many include instructions on how to make the item you're printing on (e.g. a cushion cover, napkins, etc).

I really liked the idea of using a lace curtain as a stencil...

... and using paper snowflakes to create this screenprinted table runner:

The "transfer a photocopied image to a ceramic tile" project also looks very cool, especially as it doesn't involve any fancy specialist equipment/materials.

I have to admit that I thought this project was a bit odd though - transferring an old photo onto a skirt:

Maybe everyone else thinks this is awesome (?) and I've just missed it's appeal but I do think it looks a bit strange just having a random photo on the skirt like that. (Transferring a whole bunch of photos to create a collaged effect would be pretty cool though).

I also think it's a bit of a shame that some of the "advanced" projects are just variations on previous projects/techniques shown in the book... e.g. printing one layer in one style, and another layer in another style to create a finished picture. This is most obvious (and frustrating) with the "nature negative wall art"...

... with basically the same project repeated in the "advanced" section, just repeating the process with a second layer in a different colour!

This is a book best suited to introducing crafters to printing, rather than a book with genuinely "advanced" projects for people already familiar / confident with printing techniques. I think it'd also make a great resource for crafting with older kids and teens, as there are loads of family-friendly projects and lots of suggestions for personalising stuff that would make great decor for kids bedrooms or fab Christmas gifts for friends & family.

Print! is published by Collins & Brown. RRP £16.99. It's available from Amazon UK, The Book Depository and many other bookshops.

[Disclaimer: Collins & Brown sent me a free review copy of this book, and the Amazon & Book Depository links in this post are affiliate links]


bairozan said...

A remarkably objective review that is really helpful!

Bugs and Fishes said...

Thank you! :)