Author Archives: Chris McDonald

Fabric swatch 2

Version 2

Screen-printed furnishing fabrics are currently being developed. The fabric is pure linen, hand printed in our Fremantle studio. Several new designs will be included in our soon-to-be-released range. The first of these are cushion covers and stuff sacks. These will be released during September 2016.





Dingo Flour Mill via Wikipedia

The Dingo Flour Mill is located in Fremantle, Western Australia. This iconic building is adorned with a large image in red of the famous Australian wild dog, that was first painted in 1940.

Here at Blue Lawn Designs, we also love the old Dingo Flour Mill in North Fremantle, and it features in a number of our screen-printed products available online.

The building has remained a landmark for generations of Western Australians. This iconic building is often the last thing seen leaving the Perth coast, and the first seen on returning. Its no wonder the landmark Dingo Flour Mill has achieved the status of an icon, for locals and visitors alike.




Boardies linocut July2016        Boardies worn on grey copy

Linocut prints create distinctive screen-printed images. This original linocut design recalls simple summer holidays when destinations were decidedly local and caravans were unavoidably cosy. Smell the salt in the air.

Because we love the look so much, we’ve recently added prints based on linocut designs to our growing range of t-shirts.  The shirts themselves have good credentials: organic cotton, produced under fair trade conditions (no sweatshops) and carbon neutral throughout all production stages. Our customers report that they wash very well.

We have quite a few more designs in the pipeline. Meanwhile, check out our current range on our website. T-shirts are also at selected stockists, including FOUND at Fremantle Arts Centre, and Angove St Collective in North Perth.


PSAS exterior Jul2016     PSAS interior Jul2016     PSAS Cafe 37 posted Jul2016

The Blue Lawn Designs team works in a great environment with creative colleagues. Painters, printmakers, architects, designers, illustrators, web developers as well as many others. The Pakenham St Art Space (PSAS), in Fremantle’s west end, houses our studio where we design and create screen-printed homewares – primarily fabrics and wood. The PSAS building is heritage-listed and has undergone some dramatic transformations since we moved in five years ago.

A new roof and insulation have been installed upstairs. The ground floor has been re-laid with smooth, polished concrete, and all the studio walls have been raised and upgraded. New bathrooms have been built, and a new café just inside the front door (Studio 37 named after the studio that was the traditional owner of that space). All of this has been done, whilst maintaining the essential fabric of the building. There is now a steady series of exhibitions, performances and arts events in the ground floor space, and even an occasional wedding. PSAS is an inspiring place to work, surrounded many other creatives.

New windows have been installed all around the ground floor, letting light in and providing a stronger link to the street life of Fremantle in. This is thanks to a heritage grant secured by PSAS. As you can imagine, there’s been a bit of disruption to our creative activities, but it’s very good to be part of a longer-term creative vision. And the on-site coffee is a bit of a sweetener, too. Read more about PSAS here

(Reposted from an earlier blog on our old website)




Council House by night 400x400     Council House tea towel 400x400

Blue Lawn created tea towels showing Perth Council House as part of the 50 years commemoration.

Perth Council House was designed by architects Howlett and Bailey, and opened by Queen Elizabeth in 1963 shortly after Perth hosted the Empire and Commonwealth Games in 1962. Ah, Empire!

The building was placed on the State’s Heritage Register circa 2005, after decades of debate about its aesthetics. The office of State Heritage noted it “is a rare intact example of an early 1960s modernist office building in Perth.” In recent years there has been a reassessment of the value of Council House, and the building is now illuminated at night by a multi-coloured light show.

The design for the building was chosen after a competition won by architects Jeffrey Howlett and Don Bailey. Don Bailey who is now in his 80s, was in Perth for the anniversary event in late March 2013. He told the audience that Council House was built at great speed as it needed to be finished in time to entertain the dignitaries coming to the games in 1962.

“We had eighteen months from start to finish. . . We had to design it as we went. It was fast track building and you filled in the details just ahead of the builder.”

The City of Perth produced a book and exhibition to mark the building’s 50th anniversary, exploring the history of Council House, displaying the original architectural plans, photographs of its construction and the opening.


York Town Hall 1 Jul2016           York Town Hall 2 Jul2016           York Town Hall 3 Jul2016           York Town Hall 4 Jul2016

For the York Bzzaar, we decided to make a screen-printed tea towel.

The York Bzzaar is held annually in the beautiful Avon Valley, west of Perth. To help celebrate, Blue Lawn Designs have created a tea towel using the image of the historic York town hall. We thought that this would be a good opportunity to describe how we make our screen-printed tea towels.

As an example, for our tea towels depicting the built environment, we work from a photograph that we convert into a high-contrast black and white image. From there, we then make a ‘film positive’. This is essentially a transparent and opaque image that is then exposed onto a screen that has been coated with a photographic emulsion (red is also UV light proof and acts the same as opaque black).

The ‘film positive’ is placed in contact with the coated screen. By exposing the screen to UV light, the emulsion under the transparent areas, hardens. But under the transparent areas, the emulsion doesn’t harden and remains water-soluble. As a result it can be washed out with water, creating a stencil of open and closed areas on the tightly stretched polyester (not silk) mesh.

For each additional colour in the design, an additional screen is required. The tea towels are then individually hand printed with water-based inks in the Blue Lawn studio.



Southside or Northside Jul2016

When it comes to dog beaches, are you Southside or Northside?

Okay, so we may have to admit that summer is over, but we’ve designed a couple of tea towels to keep the beach memories strong. We spent a lot of time at the beach this year, swimming and walking (great place for a Blue Lawn strategy meeting) and, at the insistence of our kids, regularly ambled along to either of the Fremantle dog beaches.

So many dogs, so many shapes and sizes! We’ve commemorated these happy times on our new Leighton dog beach tea towel and, to the keep the more southern beachgoers happy, matched it with a dog scene from South Beach.

We’ve just made our first delivery to FOUND at the Fremantle Arts Centre, and they’re also available online here and here. Hope you like them.

Prod TT South Beach 1500x1500     Prod TT Leighton Beach 1500x1500


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