A listing on an online event portal brought me to The PRINT Journal, a cozy print studio in Bangalore, India, and the creative haven of Suhana Medappa, a textile artist.
Long tables covered with fabric dominate her workspace, where art lovers are encouraged to get their creative juices flowing. The fabric tabletops are itself works of art, created by remnants of paint from each workshop. Apparently, these “drop cloths” which absorb the excess ink, are often sold in many parts of the world, says Suhana, at one of the conversations during a workshop.
A graduate of the design school Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology (Bangalore, India) Suhana never imagined herself in a full-time job. Setting up her own studio has allowed Suhana to work flexible hours and meet and mingle with people of different shapes and sizes.
Our session typically begins with Suhana mixing some fresh colours (water based binders) in plastic bowls. I get started by putting a dollop of paint on a stretched silk screen (resembling a fine mesh), and then pulling it down with a rubber blade called a ‘squeegee’. The ink pushes through the screen, onto the fabric or paper. Don’t apply too much pressure as it might flood the ‘image’.
Images on the screen are prepared beforehand, and to learn the intricacies of preparing the screen, you will need to take a more advanced class.
I just wanted to have fun! My first project is a set of greeting cards and paper bags where I experiment wildly with colour to create abstract prints. Suhana’s vibrant personality is evident in the way she encourages her students to let loose, and create wonderfully eclectic prints.
But my favourite project is the aqua elephants I print on a silk stole. Check it out below:
Yes, Suhana can help you print anything from colourful bicycles, cute elephants to bold geometrics on paper and textile. You can create gift bags, greeting cards, tablemats, stoles, and wrapping paper. Once you’re at the studio, product ideas just keep flowing. For the time being, I’ve assured Suhana I will be back to make some dresses for my recently arrived baby girl.