Flora and fauna prints on fabrics are the hand made products we made in our craft studio at home for many years. In 2020 we hope to once again release our range of South African nature prints to celebrate our exquisite and exceptional native flora, and the African animals that have been part of Fynbos ecosystems for hundreds of thousands of years. We will be adding new photographs of our prints for your enjoyment on a regular basis, and we hope to continue designing and adding new designs in 2020.
The flora and fauna prints can be purchased anywhere in the world, and will be printed from my original copyrighted hand drawings or hand drawn screen print separations by a company employing craftsmen in your country. As they say here in South Africa, local is lekker (local is delicious and nourishing) and we believe in supporting local craftspeople and local jobs, rather than shipping our goods half way across the world in a finished state and giving them a massive carbon footprint. We welcome new technologies that make this all possible. We printed these designs for years ourselves, and our home became a tiny screen printing factory, each swipe of the squeegee being executed by my husband or his assistant. Now we are in the process of relaunching them on an international platform to make them available globally.
My drawings can be printed on fabric, such as tea towels and cushions, T-shirts, mugs and paper (for wrapping gifts, or posters which can be framed). The orders will be made up individually for each customer.
We have over a hundred designs and are discovering how to prepare them to work with the new technology. These photographs here are just a foretaste, taken from some finished screen printed samples we kept. I hope to bring out a catalog soon with the designs in their final form. Please let us know which designs you like, just by picking a name, and sending us a C2 message at the bottom of the page, so that we can prioritize the conversion process better and pick our winners !
This old print below is rather the worse for wear, and it was a 'reject' in our market. The
blue is off register and the yellow ink is incredibly muddy. The yellow also must have leaked out through a
hole in the yellow screen at the top of the print. I'm in the process of finding out how to redo
this art work digitally, so that the designs can be produced anywhere in a near to perfect state, much more precisely than the hand done screen prints. The new flora and fauna digital prints should have perfect registration, perfect color and no blemishes, or blocked areas. These last can be seen in this print as white marks in the middle of black parts of the design. The screens often got blocked after many prints had been done, because of our hot weather in summer, when the most sales and the most production occurred.
Here below are my first attempts at turning our hand drawn positives into the digital format wanted by printers today. Our old positives consist of hand drawn ink lines on acetate. The drawing process could take up to a month for one design in several colors, as it did in the case of the most complex flower designs. Such a long and indirect process in which I was not able to see what I was doing with the color until it was printed, does tend to loss of the spontaneous appearance in ink drawings, especially my own, which can be really wild and messy. Here I'm starting simple, with the fewest colors and simplest images until I master this technology. The animal designs usually fit the bill. The black outline color usually does the most work of description and almost stands on its own, but the softer gold and white, which have not yet been added, give it some three dimensionality.
Oh dear...Of course ! This website cannot upload SVG files. I will have to do some format changing to show you the result of doing a trace with this free software program.
Above is a photograph of the hand drawn screen printing positive, and on the right is the result
of a new trick I've learned called doing a trace.
Digitizing all these designs is a bit intimidating, but they were all hand drawn and time consuming. I don't think it will take as long to digitize them as it did to make them, over a decade of work, with some designs taking months, because instead of using a camera to do color separations, I imagined them and drew them in non standard colors for which I created special recipes. Now I must standardize everything so that other people can print them.
The image below is constructed from four black ink drawings, and after that is entirely digital, involving no actual screen printing. I've learned so much. There was a significant loss of detail due to my tiny camera, and its file sizes. I had to supplement with another kind of trace to give some weight in certain areas. I'll have to work around having a small camera until we have some cash flow from the designing and I can get a more powerful camera with better resolution. Until then I cannot digitize very large designs like this one.
The photographs were taken on the most sturdy of my three tripods. I was particular about placing the artwork to be photographed in exactly the same place, but they still seemed to move enough, and there was a lot of distortion, so that I had to do more to register the traces one on the other. I struggled with this registration for two days, and what we've got is a compromise, merely an exercise, something that cannot be turned into products yet.
We had designs in many different versions of the big 5, in order to have the right shape and level of detail to accommodate all kinds of items, large and small. I developed some special hybrid screen printing techniques for getting slightly uneven painterly backgrounds, when there were flat backgrounds like those below.
The marvelous flora of the Cape region were one focus of our designing and set us apart from other producers a few years ago. These days fashion has caught up with the design potential in our own plants, and there is a much wider selection of products featuring proteas and other South African flowers and plants. Below is a life size rendition of the spectacular king protea, or Protea cynaroides.
As they say here: "Eish !" each advancing step produces a new hurdle. On the left is a three color picture from photographs, and on the right from scans. The scans seem to be infinitely better, even with their small file sizes. However in the process of merging all the colours together, the beige on the left became almost invisible, and that on the right covers the black so that the rhino gives a dazzling 'golden rhino' effect. I quite like it.