Block Printing with Kari Fisher

Beautiful fabrics tend to stop me in my tracks, particularly ones that translate an artist's unique, creative spirit.

These one of a kind pillows and fabrics have all been crafted by the hand of Kari Fisher, in a style I was not all that familiar with. Until now...

Last Monday on a visit to AmericasMart in Atlanta, I came upon a booth of colorful, eye catching fabrics. I asked the woman there how they were made and she replied, "this is hand block printing." I then asked (hoping the origin would be southern), "from where?" but she said, "India." So...I instagrammed a shot of this fabric I'm now obsessing over to ask who in the South does this? Lucky for me, I got a reply...

Turns out, Kari Fisher lives just a few miles away from me in the Virginia Highlands area of Atlanta. On a recent visit to her home, I learned how Kari was an interior designer for six years before starting her own business in crafting block prints for pillows and custom pieces. 

Block printing has been around for thousands of years with origins in India, China and Japan. The earliest surviving examples come via China, which date back to before the year 220. This art form became popular and lasting as the artist at hand was able to create vibrant, intricate designs without the need for multiple tools or arduous processing. Plus, the results were immediate and impressive. 

A lover of art history, Kari taught herself how to block print and when I asked what she loved about it, she shared that it's "causal, flexible and impefect." As each imprint is done by hand, there will always be variations in coloring, texture and alignment. That's what makes each piece uniquely beautiful. Plus, as Kari will attest, it's an inexpensive business (or hobby) to start as materials needed are minimal and the medium provides incredible flexibilty in playing with pattern, color and fabric.  

What's beautiful too is how Kari can take an ancient art and make it feel modern and accessible. The colors and designs she creates are very fresh and in demand, yet still feel timeless. These are well made textiles that are made to be passed on, generation to generation. 

Kari has bunches of cool wooden blocks that she has designed throughout her workshop. It just made me want to sit down with a block of wood and knife and start carving...


Kari made this incredible elephant pillow for One Kings Lane, which was recently featured in their shop. I'm a sucker for this Draper pattern too which is a geometric Greek key print. Plus, how can you say no to turquoise? 

It was certainly a thrill to take a sneak peek into the workspace of a block print artist and learn more about this amazing art form (that I hope to see more of). Kari doesn't know another artist in the state of Georgia that does what she does and believes there are currently very few hand block artists thoughout the US. 

All of Kari's creations are handmade using 100% linen fabric. As an Interior Designer by trade, Kari custom makes much of her work for designers throughout the state and beyond. So whatever your heart's desire- if you want a specific hand block print made in a particular color and size with this or that fabric and embellishment- she's your girl. Bookmark her site as she'll be expanding her line of wares this year to include napkins, tea towels and fabrics by the yard. And thank you Kari- not only for teaching yourself this lovely, ancient art form, but for answering my Instagram!

 

Photos: karifisherdesigns.com and Sweet Peach       Content: Sweet Peach