Unique designs are showing up in independent boutiques all over Calgary — just head to Kensington, Uptown 17th Avenue or Art Central and you’ll find drawings on T-shirts by Calgary artists.
The reason many are designing images on fabric is because they’ve taken a silk screening course through the Alberta College of Art and Design’s extended learning program.
“I always wanted to learn how to silk screen, so I figured ACAD was a good place to start,” said Karen Klassen, a freelance illustrator in Calgary.
The process is relatively simple, instructor Heather Huston said. Once you’ve got your design, you impose it on a screen of silk or other fine mesh, with blank areas coated with an impermeable substance. Ink is then forced through the mesh onto the printing surface.
“What’s great about silk screening is that it’s really accessible and easy to learn. People come out of the class with good technical abilities,” Huston said.
“But mostly, they have the opportunity and the ability to find their own voice within this medium. You can play with colour and mix a lot of elements together. I hope they can now use the silk screen to produce their own ideas.”
Klassen has found success selling her clothing line, Cabin Fever, on etsy.com.
“I’ve now incorporated silk screening into my work on a weekly basis,” Klassen said. “I’m glad I took the course. It’s my job to create and I needed a little boost. The course provided a lot of input to help spark some new ideas.”
The course runs next from April 29 to June 24 on Wednesdays from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. The fee is $499 plus GST.