This week Andrea from Anchobee challenged us to create a design inspired by shells. But …. the technique used had to be new to (or rarely used by) us!

I toyed with a few ideas – collage? mono printing? painting? But then as I was organising some computer files I found a tutorial on “glitch prints”. There are several of these online, but the one I used was from Pattern Observer. The full tutorial is only available to Textile Design Lab subscribers.

Starting with a fuzzy indistinct scan of a shell,  I duplicated it and created a repeat across the base layer. On the next layer, I made stripes of various widths and colours from my chosen palette, and then used the liquify filter to distort this layer. At the point it resembled mint and choc chip swirl ice-cream! I then played with the different layer settings to combine these two layers. This became my ‘glitch’ pattern.


I wanted the shell shapes to be stencil-like, so that the pattern underneath would show through. As I am going through a tossed repeat phase at the moment I stuck with this, using lots of scaling, reflecting and rotating.

Although I didn’t follow the tutorial exactly, I am still pleased with the result. I especially like the painterly distressed appearance of the shells – almost like their imperfections and marks of their previous existence in the sea.



Thank you Andrea, for this challenge.

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