05 February 2013


This is the name I have given to a square of Plexiglas with a suction cup handle.

The name came from the sound it makes when pulled off a surface.

This fabric was done with "Sloppy Monoprinting" from Claire Benn and Leslie Morgan. I covered my 4' X 8' table with heavy weight polyethylene (Plastic sheeting). Then Judith and I painted with very broad strokes thickened dye onto the plastic. It beaded up. We monoprinted the fabric (washed cotton). Then we repeated. I decided to paint the thickened dyes onto my smack. This is the finished fabric. You can see the outline of the smacks.

This next fabric is one of the first pieces I ever dyed. The dye came out great but the fabric was rubbish (coarse). 

Above is the smack and some ProFab fabric paint from ProChemical and Dye.

I painted the fabric paint on to a sheet of plate glass I've had just under 50 years (no kidding)

I placed the smack down on the wet fabric paint and Voila'

Oh Yeah!!

Periwinkle fabric paint smacked on to hand dyed fabric. Imagine the possibilities!!

OK, now on to paper. This is where Marcella Christenson, my other half of MidCoast Surface Design Workshops, meets Linda and Laura Kemshall - metaphorically speaking. Linda and Laura have been going on since the day I first "met" them about working in a sketchbook. Well, I don't like paper or so I said for years. Marcella who is an artist with a Masters Degree and retired art teacher loves paper as well as other media but not fabric. However, because of our joining forces to create MidCoast Surface Design Workshops, we have our toe, so to speak, in each others media now. 
She did start out first wanting to learn various surface techniques for fabric and then I took her "Paste Paper" workshop and LOVED it.

The cover of the sketch book I showed yesterday was a piece of "smacked" paste paper I made with Marcella. This is how it works:

I did this just for this post so I kind of did a slap dash job to get it up by tomorrow. I do my posts about a month in advance for M-W-F and the in between ones are sort of off subject posts like the help I needed with "Peneobscot Bay Sunrise".

Paste Recipe (for Paste Paper)

  1. 3T white rice flour
  2. 4 T unbleached flour
  3. 3 cups cold water
  4. 1/2 t glycerin
  5. 1 t Dawn or Dr. Bronners green soap
I was in a hurry and did 7 T white flour

Whisk rice and wheat flour in a pan, add a small bit of water to make a roux - maybe a half cup. When smooth add all water and heat med/high til almost boiling. Don't boil. When just about to boil turn down heat and cook 2 more minutes. Add soap and glycerin. Cool. Will keep covered in refrigerator for a month or more.

A wetted piece of (both sides) heavy sketch paper 18 X 24

meat tray with paste and acrylic paints

Mixing acrylic paint in with paste  No real rule here. The more paint, the deeper the color. The more paste, the paler the color.

Making green with the yellow and adding paste

Surface covered with paste/paint 

 First smack

I added this picture to show laying the smacker down ( lower left) on the wet paste/paint so that when lifting it makes the smack impression.




Entire sheet which looks a bit like a map of the Yucatan Peninsula

The End! 


  1. Do you wipe off the smack or just keep going until the sheet is finished? Do you overlap or does that make the 'design' too mushed together? Have you done this on both paper and fabric? It's a beautiful effect.

  2. Great way to do this and now I know the "smack". I have done this before with two pieces of glass and added the fabric on the glass. That give the same results. But this, like using a stamp is a much easier way to put the print onto the fabric. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Love the effect you get with the smack!

  4. Awesome! Now I know... gonna have to add this to the list of things to try! Great idea, Beth!

  5. Love Love Love this effect! I can tell this calls for a shopping trip! Where does one find those suction handles anyway? Any suggestions?

  6. Thank you for the explanation. It look really interesting, though i think i'll make it on paper. Doesn't the fabric get too stiff from the paint? Well. i'll just have to try it out!

  7. Very smart way toget a great effect, thanks for sharing!

  8. This is really very interesting. Somthing to try out.Thanks for the explanation!


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