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Master the Art of Block Printed Repeat Patterns

Enrollment for the Deep Dive 2024 winter cohort is closed.

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Dive Deep into the Magic of Block Printed Repeat Patterns

Build a strong block printing and repeat patterns foundation and unlock your creative potential. Learn to transform simple designs into intricate patterns, empowering you to craft unique products of your own. 

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Does this sound familiar?

You want to bring creativity back into your life in a group of like-minded creatives.
You are fascinated by block printing & repeat patterns but don't know where to start.
You want to take your block printing or repeat pattern skills to the next level.

NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE ON YOUR JOURNEY

You are in the right place


The Repeat Pattern Deep Dive course is where you will master the art of stamp carving and block printing repeat patterns.

What is the Deep Dive?

The Deep Dive is an 8-week online training program for those who want to learn the art of block-printed repeat patterns. 

Whether you have carved stamps for years or have never block-printed before, this course will meet you where you are. The Deep Dive will give you a strong foundation in stamp carving and block printing and will guide you step-by-step on how to build up repeat patterns from your own stamp design - starting at simple repeat patterns and gradually building up to more complex designs using one or multiple hand-carved blocks. 

Join 100s of students from around the world who have mastered the art of repeat patterns. 


"I made work I have never expected to be able to do‚ÄĚ ‚Äď Vesta Dobreva-Stefanov, USA¬†

MEET YOUR INSTRUCTOR, ALI BAECKER OF 3 DOTTED PENGUINS

Hey there, I'm Ali!

I am a self-taught printmaker and surface pattern designer based in Zurich, Switzerland. I am here to teach you all about my passion for block printing and pattern design. I discovered my love for block printing in 2018 - with no previous experience with stamp carving or block printing and no understanding of how patterns worked.  Since then, I've been carving blocks and creating countless prints and patterns. Through trial and error, I've learned what works and what doesn't, and I'm excited to share my knowledge and my tips and tricks with students like you to help kickstart your block printing and pattern journey.

 

Since 2020 I have taught hundreds of students from around the world in online workshops. There is no bigger joy than seeing my students experience the magic of block printing and creating beautiful handprinted repeat patterns. 

 

When I'm not working on 3 Dotted Penguins, you can find me chasing after my little printmaker (aka my daughter), exploring the world, or playing board games.

HOW STUDENTS DESCRIBE ALI'S CLASSES IN ONE WORD

The classes are ...

amazing   comprehensive   brilliant   encouraging   creative   fun   innovative    excellent   inspirational   thoughtful   exhilarating   joy    confidence-building    outstanding    enthusiastic   artful   illuminating   empowering   essential   delightful   wonderful   enlightening   informative   excellent   deeeeeeeeeeeeep   transformative   heartening   community   exceptional   fantastic   inspiring   great   well-rounded   kind   motivating   eternal   resourceful   suuuuper   magic   successful   thorough  fabulous   helpful   awesome   engaging   immersive

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The Deep Dive got me back in touch with my love for printmaking ‚Äď Wendy Digel, USA

What students say

I now look for ways to make patterns, specifically as carved blocks. It gives my work such a unique look. Working with the small blocks also makes it so easy to explore printing in ways you never planned on, generating new patterns and ideas.

- Wendy Digel, USA

Taking the course was an amazing learning experience on so many aspects of the block printing world. The course was very well structured and designed to slowly build our knowledge and practice what we learned before moving to the next step. I acquired the ability to make a lot of different blocks and create a wide variety of prints.

- Marina Marangolo, Italy

Ali’s ability to explain the process and predict problems is very unique. And her style of training guarantees good results.  All students from my course showed incredible progress by the end - beautiful projects they could’ve never imagined they could create.

- Vesta Dobreva, USA

I took the Deep Dive course to learn more about carving. What I learned was so much more than that. My abilities to carve more intricate patterns changed dramatically. Ali taught us how to use different shapes of blocks and make them work together regardless of the pattern inside. If you are hesitant about the class don’t be. Sign up and do it. Every level of experience can benefit from this course. Ali is an excellent teacher.

- Joanne Howard, USA

All the tools you need ...

  • a strong foundation in block printing
  • master repeat patterns
  • work with different block shapes
  • design your own tesselating blocks
  • carve and combine different stamps
  • get confident in your pattern work
  • build a repertoire of patterns¬†
  • make pattern play part of your toolbox
  • apply to projects of your own
  • show your work and receive feedback
  • get support in the community
  • stay motivated¬†& inspired

The Deep Dive curriculum

Tools & Design

Module 1 is a week of preparation, with lessons on tools & materials, the principles of block printing and design, as well as designing for block printing. Module 1 will give you the opportunity to get any supplies that you might still want to get and - under my guidance - you will prepare your first design(s), to be carved in Module 2.

Intro to Block Printing

This module will give you a strong foundation in stamp carving and block printing. We will go through everything you need to know step-by-step, from transferring your design onto the block, getting to know your carving tools, an extensive carving exercise, carving and printing the block. 

Intro to Repeat Patterns

Module 3 sets the stage for repeat patterns and is the foundation (together with Module 1 & 2) we will build upon in the upcoming modules. We will dive deep into how to design blocks specifically for (tesselating) repeat patterns, what to look out for when carving them & what to consider for the best possible alignment during printing. 

Polygonal Shapes

In Module 4 we are continuing our journey into a series of standard tesselating shapes, like triangles, hexagons and diamonds. We will dive deep into each shape and explore their possibilities and how they lend themselves to different types of designs and repeat patterns. Latest in this module, you will start to immerse yourself in pattern play and working with color. 

Curved Shapes

In this module, you learn about curved shapes like shell shapes and ogees and will work with these shapes extensively. While you have been carving and printing in every module (except module 1), you focus on precision carving and aligning your blocks precisely in this module to bring your skills to the next level.  In this module you also start setting the stage for your final project. 

Next Level & Opportunities 

Module 6 is about leveling up your block printing and repeat patterns game and the possibilities that come with it. You learn how to make new patterns with blocks you already have and combine them, design additional blocks for more complex patterns and get introduced to making your own tessellating shapes. You learn about the possibilities & opportunities of block printing and get ready for the upcoming project week. 

Plus, an implementation week mid-course to consolidate what you have learned so far and a project week at the end, where you will apply everything you learned on a project of your choice!

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My biggest takeaway from the course was confidence with designing more intricate designs, including tessellating shapes!

- Mel Beach, USA

IN A NUTSHELL

The features of the Deep Dive

Pre-recorded lessons

The Deep Dive course contains 90+ pre-recorded lessons (released in 6 modules) over 8 weeks. 

A full week to implement 

Modules are released on Thursdays, so you can get started on the weekend and have 1 week until the Q&A.

Live Q&A calls

Each module comes with a live Q&A call (Wednesdays at 9 pm CET Europe/ 3 pm EST US Eastern, recorded). 

Project Week

We will build up to a project week at the end of the course where you will bring your patterns to life and apply everything you learned to a product or project of your choice. 

Supportive experience

Get all your questions answered with live calls, a community platform to share your work and connect with other like-minded students. You are not going through this alone! We are in this together.

Interactive community

The Deep Dive comes with a private community during the live part of the course - perfect for connecting with your classmates, asking questions, sharing your course work, and receiving feedback.

Go at your own pace

No matter if you work through the course live during the 8 weeks or go at your own pace, the Deep Dive comes with at least 2 years of access to the course. 

Worksheets & Captions

Selected lessons come with worksheets and templates to support you in working through the content.

All pre-recorded lessons come with transcripts and closed captions in English. 

Invest 100% risk free

This course comes with a 14-day money-back guarantee. If you are unhappy with the Deep Dive within the first 2 weeks of the course, I will give you your money back.

What students say

Thank you for providing me with an exceptional foundation in technique while generously providing lots of inspiration and tips to boost my confidence and love of block printing!

- Mel Beach, USA

I love the fact you take what seems like something hard to do as a newbie and make it easy to do with very clear and manageable steps. And that I can walk away each time with a designed stamp that makes me smile that I did that!!

- Deanna Cole, USA

I loved the practical nature of the course - easy to understand and the use of techniques with real examples.

- Maureen Zamarippa, USA

Where Ali's students have been from

Australia Austria Belgium Brazil Canada Denmark Estonia France Germany Great Britain Greece Hungary India Ireland Israel Italy Kuwait Netherlands New Zealand Paraguay Philippines Poland South Africa Spain Sweden Switzerland Thailand United Arab Emirates United States of America Zimbabwe
... and counting

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Examples of student work from previous Deep Dive classes

Designs & Prints by Deep Dive Alumni Mel Beach (USA), Clare Hyatt (UK), Silvia Bravo (Spain), Vesta Dobreva-Stefanov (USA), Susan Klemetti (USA), Rose Stardust (Canada), Wendy Digel (USA), Syelle Willing (Germany), Barbi Lill-Rastern (Austria), Marina Marangolo (Italy), Veronica Glattauer (Australia)

What students say

I also have some printmaking experience, so I wasn't sure I would learn a lot. I'll tell you, that I learned soooooooo much!

If someone were on the fence about joining, I'd say that from designing to carving, to printing, you'll come away with all the tools and knowledge to make beautiful blocks and patterns. Even though I have made linocuts before, but I learned something new in every single hour of the course. I'm so excited to take this further!

- Michal Sommers, USA

I have always felt motivated after the sessions and proud of what I managed to create. I thought that one had to be absolutely perfect, but it is the imperfections that I think make it my own. If you are wanting to escape into a world of creativity, and be guided by Ali's infectious enthusiasm I would highly recommend it

- Veronica Glattauer, Australia

"Ali's Deep Dive classes will advance your carving/printing skills, confidence, and enthusiasm for block printing! You'll build upon your block printing experience and leave with new design inspiration, shapes, and lots of tips/tricks.

Ali generously shares her experience and expertise, thoughtful answers to participant questions, and provides positive feedback along with lots of encouragement along the way!"

- Mel Beach, USA

My biggest ah-ha! moment was when Ali explained how to align stamps so they are aligned. It can get complicated so I appreciate Ali's explanations which gave me confidence to try it myself. I was able to get great results by following her instructions.

- Brenda Boyd, USA

Ali has a wonderful way to describe step by step what you need to be successful. She also provides the needed background for further understanding of your tools, your planning; and your implementation. You get more than what you expect but not more than you need!

- Julie Byrne, USA

My biggest improvement in the course was to develop new delicate patterns using different block shapes. To somebody on the fence about joining the Deep Dive I would say, do it, do it, do it! This course takes your block printing to a whole new level.

- Ernst Kienle, Germany

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The Deep Dive is for you if ...

  • You are excited about exploring a new medium or deepening your block carving and printing skills
  • You love working with your hands
  • You enjoy learning in a community of like-minded people
  • You are looking to add a new dimension to your art practice or hobby
  • You want¬†a break from digital screens and immerse yourself in a hands-on activity
  • You want to add a manual component to your digital work
  • You are looking for a relaxing and meditative activity to add to your self-care routine
  • You enjoy creating unique and personalized designs and want to learn a skill that can be applied to various projects and mediums
  • You want to create custom prints for personal or commercial use
  • You are open to experimentation with color, texture, and composition
  • You are excited to see the process of your designs come to life through printing

The Deep Dive is not for you if ...

  • You are afraid of sharp carving tools
  • You don‚Äôt like to get inky fingers
  • The world of patterns bores you
  • You don‚Äôt enjoy being creative with your hands
  • You are looking for a purely digital or technology-based art form.

What students are using their Deep Dive skills for

GREETING CARDS FABRIC PRINTING POST CARDS JOURNALING SURFACE DESIGN STATIONARY DESIGN PATTERN DEVELOPMENT HANDMADE BOOKS WRAPPING PAPER WALL PRINTS COASTERS HAND FANS POTTERY CUSTOM PRINTS TOTE BAGS QUILTING

and so much more ...

"I'm using my pattern blocks for making postcards, Christmas ornaments, and printing into my pottery." 

- Doris Buchegger, Austria

"I am feeling confident to begin using my knowledge to start a small block printing business, hopefully soon."

- Marina Marangolo, Italy

"I still feel inspired and continue to develop new patterns. I especially like smaller stamps, which I use - among other things - to print on envelopes." 

- Syelle Willing, Germany

"I use my new block carvings to enhance my art on cards, wrapping paper and customized prints." 

- Julie Byrne, USA

"I joined the class to be able to make more complicated repeating patterns that I could apply to the fabric block printing that I do. I’m now screen-printing these more complex repeating patterns onto fabric using natural dye pastes."

‚Äď Susan Klemetti, USA

"Since the course, I've continued carving and printing whenever I have time. I am currently exploring implementing my designs to products, like tote bags, hand stitched notebooks, coasters or hand fans."
 
- Silvia Bravo, Spain

"I'm starting to print with card and envelope designs in mind, and I'm also working to incorporate the designs into handmade books with hand lettering. I have an alphabet block series in mind, too." 

- Michal Sommers, USA

"The course has added multiple new layers of design-thinking to the way I create surface patterns and my prints. I infuse bits of what I've learned in the course into both, plus I also love to carve small blocks to get out of creative ruts."

- Rose Stardust, Canada

"If you're unsure, consider these: Firstly, Deep Dive is a great addition to any other surface design courses out there because it will improve your designs by teaching you new ways to think about how patterns come together.

Secondly, if you are a printmaker or a dabbler, this will give you a whole new way to make prints.

Thirdly, Ali is an excellent teacher and her approach is unique as she is not only an artist but also an engineer, and again, that will make you see pattern design and/or printmaking in a new light. It did for me and I think the experience improved my creative practice and how I approach design as a whole.

Last, but not least, I had a great time and was full of inspiration after the classes."

- Rose Stardust, Canada

"There is nothing better than taking a class like this for self care. Having time set aside specifically to work on your blocks is true therapy" - Wendy Digel, USA

Investment

THE 2024 DEEP DIVE WINTER COHORT WAS $497 USD. 


Enrollment is currently closed.

Sign up here to be notified when we open the door again later this year.

We respect your privacy. By submitting your email address you agree to receive emails from 3 Dotted Penguins with news, tips & resources, and special offers in the future. Unsubscribe at any time.

Frequently Asked Questions

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