The Block Shop Sisters Launch Their Framed Woodblock Prints at Rachel Comey's L.A. Boutique
The cult-favorite textile line, which marries the traditional Indian hand-block printing process with a modern California aesthetic, is admired for its collection of richly-colored, graphic print scarves and textiles for the home. The Stockman sisters even designed printed wrappers for the Los Angeles Collection of chocolate bars by Mast Brothers—which are arguably good enough to frame themselves. So, their foray into framed woodblock prints seems to be part of the natural evolution of their work.
To learn about how they view the intersection of family, community, and creativity, take a look at our Q&A with the sisters.
Woodblock prints come with a long and interconnected history that includes both papermaking and hand-block printing in Jaipur and the Indian region that surrounds it. This particular collection is a collaboration between the Stockman sisters, who started Block Shop in 2010 as an art project. To this day, their entire process is manual, and includes working closely with a family of printers and dyers in Bagru, Rajasthan.
The designs are taken straight from the sisters' sketchbooks and document a variety of patterns inspired by architectural motifs from the Art Deco movie palaces in India and downtown Los Angeles—as well as the sidewinder snake's tracks in the desert sand, tiger stripes, and Sol LeWitt's wall drawings. The paper they use is made by hand from cotton scraps that are leftover from nearby textile manufacturers. This handmade process gives the paper a rich natural texture and a rough-edged finish. The designs are completed with wooden blocks and a natural black dye that's produced by the same cooperative of printers that makes their textiles.
To celebrate the launch of the prints, Block Shop hosted a party at fashion designer Rachel Comey's Los Angeles shop on August 2, where they installed their entire collection of woodblock prints. Comey's own collection is known for its use of artistic textiles and modern silhouettes. The prints fit perfectly into the earthy 2,600-square-foot space.