Beauty & Fashion

Baruch Creations: Printed perfection

Baruch Creations: Printed perfection

Bianca Keet of Baruch Creations is a true artist and her love of textiles can clearly be seen in her creative designs and products. Get it experiences her enthusiasm first-hand at her printing studio.

Baruch Creations is situated high up in the hills surrounding Da Gama Dam with 180° views of the picturesque surrounds. Last year Bianca moved to the heart of the Lowveld plantations between White River and Hazyview from Bloemfontein to take over the late Hans Kumpf’s textile printing press. The press has colourful stories to tell: years ago Hans built the printing press where he printed fabric for the South African National Parks Board, among others.

Bianca studied textile design at the Tshwane University of Technology and loves fabrics, colour, textures and screen-printing. She passionately states that she has never wanted to do anything but textile design and printing and in the times she could not work with textiles, she suffered from depression.

Her creativity knows no boundaries and is evident in her designs. She handles the whole process herself – from the initial planning and sketches to sewing of the end products. Bianca explains the screen-printing process. “First of all I start by putting together a storyboard or collage of all my ideas. After that I sketch a few designs and read it into the computer by using Photoshop. I choose one of the patterns and the image is then printed on film or positives on a huge 44-inch printer.” From here on the process becomes more complicated. She sends the positive to a firm in Johannesburg where a negative stencil is created – the open spaces are where the ink will appear on the substrate.

The screen is coated in a dark room with coating emulsion and dried in a special-purpose oven at 52°C before the film is vacuum framed on top of the screen and exposed with an exposing light. Extra emulsion is rinsed with water. Rolls of linen and cotton mix are spread on the huge printing tables and the printing process can start.

When the workload is too much she employs temporary workers to help. According to Bianca, she has chosen manual printing with a view to create more jobs as soon as she has firmly established her business. “If I wanted to print more easily and by myself, I would have printed digitally,” she declares. Bianca has chosen the road more difficult – for the love of art and people.

Bianca is already famous in the Lowveld for her beautiful original designs handprinted on natural textiles and the products she creates from the prints. The options are unlimited: A-line skirts, aprons, place mats, tablecloths, table runners, fabrics per metre and many more. There are even a few new designs in the pipeline Get it had a sneak view of. She also designs and prints custom-made fabric for guest houses, lodges, boutique hotels and anyone interested.
Up until now her mother, Hannie, has helped with the sewing, but had to stop because Bianca’s dad is very ill. Her husband, Christie, also assists after hours wherever he can, but it is still hard work and little time for fun. Although she emphasises that her job is actually her idea of fun!

After finishing her studies, Bianca had a difficult time finding a job in the textile industry and she had to work as a sales representative for different companies. “It was a hard time and I suffered from severe depression. I am an artist at heart and not being able to practice art, was frustrating and debilitating.” Her brother invited her to stay with him in Bloemfontein so that she could get better and after eight months she took out her frames and started printing again. Hannie cut out an apron pattern and Bianca sewed it and thus establishing Baruch Creations in 2011.

She remembers the time she sold her products at the Bloemfontein Farmers’ Market every single Saturday morning for four years. At first she only had one stall, but in the end she ended up with three because of the popularity of Baruch. Now her products are available at the Bagdad Farmers’ Market as well as online and at festivals. It is also sold at the huge Kloppers department store in Bloemfontein. A lot of her work arises from commissions from private clients. This year she exhibited at the Innibos National Arts Festival again with great success.

Bianca’s enthusiasm and energy are contagious and no challenge seems to be too big or overwhelming. “Baruch” means “blessing” and that is exactly how she sees her business. “When I was experiencing difficult times, I prayed for many months for relief. And you know what they say: the darkest hour is just before dawn. Baruch came as a blessing and I still experience it every day.”

Get in touch
Bianca on 083-703-6136, bianca@baruchcreations.co.za, www.baruchcreations.co.za or visit her Facebook page at Baruch Creations.

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