On Block Printing: Jesse Breytenbach of Henri Kuikens - Block Printed Textiles

Redefine

Who: Designer Jesse Breytenbach of Henri Kuikens - Block Printed Textiles
Redefine: "Block Printing"

Block printing is, at its most basic, printing ink from a raised surface. Almost anything can be used as a printing block: plasticine, cardboard, plastic, wood, felt. It's as simple as rubber-stamping, and as complicated as you care to make it.

Today, Jesse Breytenbach of Henri Kuikens Block Printed Textiles redefines "block printing" and shares her love of the art form. Read more below:

Jesse sheds an interesting light on block printing. Through her description, we are shown all that one print can entail. A block print embodies the heart of handmade. It places emphasis on materials, and the artist's personal technique. I love Jesse's description of the flexibility in the art form. We not only see the artist's hand in the final piece, we also see their adventure in the process.

What I love most about block printing is the immediacy. Ink a block, press it down on a surface, and there's a print!

I love its sensitivity to texture; block printing makes the surface of a rough fabric come alive, emphasizing the weave. It records the pressure of a hand, the heaviness with which the block was inked. I love its simplicity, and the flexibility that that allows. Colours can be switched, blocks rotated, new pattern repeats made up on the spot. The medium invites experimentation and improvisation, it demands attention to materials, and rewards planning and the abandoning of those plans.

Shown above the jump, from left to right:

1 Jesse Breytenbach from Henri Kuikens - Block Printed Textiles
2 Jesse Breytenbach from Henri Kuikens - Block Printed Textiles
3 Jesse Breytenbach from Henri Kuikens - Block Printed Textiles
4 Block Printed Pillow Cover, $50.00 from HomeSweet
5 Block Printed Lumbar Pillow Cover, $40.00 from melongings

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About Redefine: Our new column Redefine asks artists to define one term involved in their process. Through this definition, we as buyers will learn a little bit more about the art from conception to realization. We'd like to not only increase awareness of what we are actually purchasing, but also increase appreciation for the process itself, thereby celebrating the handmade lifestyle.

(Images 1-3. Jesse Breytenbach, used with permission; 4+5. as linked)

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