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Art Academy Workshop: Block Printing on Fabric at Southeast Missouri State University

Teresa Cole

Teresa Cole, woodcut on paper, Explore, 2008

July 25th and July 27th 3:00pm-6:00pm


Block printing or Relief Printmaking is one of the oldest forms of mass-producing imagery and text. Traditionally, drawings are made on blocks of wood. Today we will be working with a modern alternative to speed carving time, Battleship Gray Linoleum.

We will begin by designing an image conducive to pattern printing, carve away the negative space, and then learn the printing process on fabric.


Through the presentations, demonstrations and activities in this workshop, participates will:

  • Recognize the basic principles and terminology of relief printmaking.
  • Observe and participate in demonstrations on the processes of carving relief printmaking blocks.
  • Visualize their own imagery conducive to pattern printing.
  • Transfer imagery to blocks and carve away the negative space by hand.
  • Learn the process of relief printing on fabric and print individual blocks on fabric.


Hand-carved relief block printmaking on fabric

Design Focus/Elements/Principles:

Pattern/repetition, positive/negative space, line quality, implied value, texture, color

Supplies Each Student Will Receive:

Battleship gray linoleum block; newsprint paper for backing; fabric to print on

Shared Supplies & Equipment:

Carving tools; brayers for inking; masking tape; rags/paper towels; pencils/pens; rulers; relief presses; barrens and wooden spoons for hand printing; spray bottles of water; vegetable oil and dish soap + water spray for cleanup


Day 1:

  • Introductions, Print Viewing
  • Demonstration: Drawing and Transfer Demonstrations
  • Demonstration: Use of Tools and Carving Relief Blocks
  • Demonstration: Preparing Fabric for Printing
  • Remainder of time + Homework: Plan Ideas, transfer to blocks, start carving! Finish carving up as much as possible before Thursday.

Day 2:

  • Group Activity: Talk about student blocks
  • Demonstration: Ink Mixing, Hand Printing, and Press Printing
  • Team Activities: Students will work on mixing colors and printing their block prints on fabric
  • Wrap-Up Activity Curating prints, discussions on potential uses of prints on fabric, & sharing prints!

See more of featured artist Teresa Cole’s artwork on her website,

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