Print Workshop by Christine Schmidt of Yellow Owl Workshop

Print Workshop by Christine Schmidt of Yellow Owl Workshop

Laure Joliet
Feb 7, 2011

TITLE: Print Workshop: Hand-Printing Techniques + Truly Original Projects
AUTHOR: Christine Schmidt of Yellow Owl Workshop
PUBLISHER: Random House

Just in time for DIY month I received a copy of Print Workshop from the uber-talented Christine Schmidt of Yellow Owl Workshop. Organized for the at-home DIY-er, the book is chock full of amazing hand printing projects that range from hard core wall coverings to simple customizable placemats.

First Impressions: I've been a fan of Yellow Owl Workshop's aesthetic for a long time so I was excited to see it translated into projects I could do myself. I was surprised to find such depth in the research that went into explaining each technique and also relieved that the book really celebrates the imperfection inherent in hand printing. And I was inspired by the simple processes involved in making some pretty rad customized stationery, wax seals, t shirts, wall murals, placemats, canning jars, etc.

The Angle: And alternative to the perfectly printed world we live in, Christine Schmidt opens the book with this statement: "To behold a handmade print is to marvel at its intrinsic aesthetics, as well as the time, skill, and intention that brought that work of art into being." And so the book celebrates the imperfect, the humanness of printing and the beauty in that. Geared for the home printer, the materials and tools are simple and easy to find at a local craft store. Most projects can be done in an afternoon, while a couple of the more ambitious projects would take longer.

The Projects: The book covers a history of print making, the tools and materials needed, some nice background on composition, color theory and design basics. It's divided into projects that involve relief printing, stencil printing, sun printing and image transfers. The projects really range in style from something as easy as a diy stamp pad and a stamp made from some string and a wood block to surprisingly (and seemingly unrelated to hand printing) projects like a transfer paper mobile inspired by Alexander Calder.

Among my favorite projects (and the ones pictured) are:

• Aspen Tree Forest Mural:
for creating a wall sized printing project.
Miss Manners Placemat: A simple technique for creating custom placemats.
Water Slide Decal Jars for customizing your preserves (or really any jar) using packing tape, water, rubbing alcohol and mod podge.
Veggie Picnic Set: Potato printing at its finest. A great guide for making a picnic blanket, but the idea could be translated to curtains, sheets, dishtowels, etc.

Overall Impressions: The book is a great way to dive into hand printing, an amazing starting point for customizing household items and a really nice guide for bringing more life into your every day. The aesthetic of the projects is incredibly current and inspiring and still approachable enough to feel comfortable attacking them on your own.

Recommended? Absolutely. It's a great book for learning how to customize everyday items like desk blotters, invitations, letters,for making artwork for the house, making gifts, giving as a gift. For those that are new to DIY-ing, this book is a perfect introduction to a variety of techniques that can be applied in a lot of different ways. It basically gives you tools for your own projects, but with enough explanation to get comfortable and then move on and experiment with your own ideas. For those experienced in DIY-ing, the book is great for pointing out different applications of familiar techniques to get your creative juices flowing.

Buy The Book: Find it on Amazon.

Images: Courtesy of Random House

Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.

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