Recap: Distill Creative DC’s February Block Printing Workshop

Photo Credit: Seul Rhee

Photo Credit: Seul Rhee

On February 5th, the Distill Creative DC Chapter hosted a Block Printing Workshop at Colony Club where eight ladies gathered to learn the basics of block printing from me, the DC Chapter Leader, Shenneth Dove-Morse. Attendees designed and carved their own blocks and printed their block print designs on tote bags. Workshop attendees enjoyed snacks and cocktails from the Colony Club bar while they worked hard at their designs. Workshop attendees came from a range of backgrounds and some ladies had prior art experience while others just wanted to start indulging in more creative pursuits.

Block printing is a textile design tradition used in a broad range of cultures but has origins in China. Block printing is traditionally done with wood, but using materials such as Speedball linoleum blocks makes it more approachable for novices and more experienced designers alike to do this craft. Workshop attendees started off the evening by looking at block printing inspiration including a pig in honor of Lunar New Year (2019 is the Year of the Pig), West African/Ghanaian Adinkra symbols, plants/flowers, various patterns and prints, among others. Once attendees were satisfied with their block printing ideas, they started drawing their designs on tracing paper.


After drawing their designs on the Speedball linoleum blocks they used the Speedball lino cutter to carve out their designs. The resulting block print designs attendees created ranged from the animals, to symbols to lettering for initials, to abstract geometric designs. Once their blocks were completed and carved, they used rubber brayers and Speedball block printing fabric ink to design their tote bags.


Attendees created impactful designs on their tote bags and took home their Speedball linoleum blocks and a brief instruction guide so they can easily use them for future projects!


If you’d like to participate in an upcoming Distill Creative DC Workshop, visit our website, Instagram or sign up for our newsletter for updates!