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((WORKSHOPS in FRANCE)) a block printing summer break

Hi there! As usual I'm back to France for summer and so happy to spend 2 months in my country, close to my dear family and friends. As you may know, this year, workshops planned in the capital and South of France make my vacation a bit special, happy to combine travel, vacation and passion.

After intense sewing teaching all year long and sewing camps in June, like every year, I closed the studio and left San Diego very excited with my 3 girls and this time, with my suitcases full of printing supplies. I brought linoleum, carving tools, inks and lots of samples of my prints.

Two workshops took place at the Atelier d'Art Rrose Sélavy in Paris. A large and beautiful place dedicated to sewing and arts, specially sculpture, ceramic and clay. Beside large artist studios, there is a beautiful sewing shop driven by my lovely friend Olivia, sewing teacher but also embroiderer, crafter, knitter, crocheter and beyond.

As I visited my mom in Montpellier, I proposed another workshop in the Mediterranean city, at the MoNa Market, a beautiful concept store for home decor. This shop is just like Aladdin's cave, kind of dream place for furnitures, lampshades, carpets and a ton of decoration accessories you won't easily find anywhere else. The owner, Elizabeth, is interior designer and picks awesome pieces only with very fine taste. Elizabeth is extremely nice, open and happy to host workshops and yummy Sunday brunches.

Brought by different interest, in both places the participants were very creative, involved in their work and surprised me by their prints. At the end, strong of new skills, they looked all happy to leave with their handmade and original creations and interesting ideas for the future.

During the first part of the class, we learnt how to draw and transfer a motif on a medium, same technique on foam and lino alike. I proposed to make the first stamp on a piece of foam sheet. Everybody was amazed by the quality of the result and the potential of this material. Affordable and easy to craft, foam is indeed a fantastic way to stamp.

Most of the time, people use foam with no expectations and once they print with it, outstanding results make them very happy.

Lino blocks and foam stamps prints were often mixed on the same surface, and finally at the end, frankly, it was difficult to make a distinction between these two mediums.

After this first try on foam, every participant had a block of lino to realize another design. Lino offers more potential, it is much better to get very thin details.

Block printing is not limited to fabric, you can print on paper, wood, cork and certainly many other flat and smooth surfaces I didn't try yet. Here we printed postcards and wood sheets in balsa. I also brought my own blocks so as everybody was able to print with them and eventually to customize tote bags, tea towels, post cards...etc.

It was nice to meet new people and make new friends: artists, designers, crafters, sewers and all the people who came to have fun and create with their hands. I feel extremely thankful for those people who helped me to make it happen and also to all the participants, who came with their enthusiasm and smiles.

For those who are in France or plan to be in the future, I will move back to France next year and I will be able to propose more workshops in different places of the country. And if you would like I come somewhere in particular and you know a good place, let me know!

For now, I keep block printing for myself and I'm very excited to show you soon everything I recently made for my country side house in Savoie. After being under South California influence and designing cacti and succulents, you'll soon see how I'm inspired by my own beautiful and charming country.

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