I'm hooked on screenprinting. I finished up the 2nd half of the screenprinting workshop at Pratt this past Monday and I'm more than ready to keep going. I'm trying to see how many different ways I can veer everyday conversations toward the subject of screenprinting. Friends may be hearing me say things like "wow, when that leaf fell off that tree just now it totally made me think of this screen I burned..." or "you know, all this talk of foreign policy and seeing Russia from my window reminds me of the time I was screenprinting and..."
For those new to screenprinting, there is at least 3 methods of getting your artwork onto a screen and printing it (either Lena's or Lotta's books are great starts for more information), but we concentrated on photostencil, also called photographic emulsion, or "burning a screen". A mesh screen is coated with photoemulsion liquid, and your chosen artwork is printed onto a clear transparency, solid black. Then, the transparency is laid onto the screen, and exposed to a very strong UV light for a specified period of time, "burning" the image of the artwork onto the screen. That's my burned screen above (Story Trading's icon, a clipper ship). From there, you can get clear and detailed prints or "pulls" over and over again using a properly burned screen (or, these screens can be cleaned and reused). I burned two of my own screens (which I purchased at Utrecht if you're local).
The top photo is the clipper ship image I burned printed onto some solid cotton/linen fabric I had at home. It took 4 pulls over the screen to get a clear print (pulling the ink over the mesh screen with a squeegee). But then I printed the screen onto some textured paper and it only took two pulls. You really never know. Exactly the reason I need to make sure I do plenty of test prints.
I'm going to add more to the paper versions, but its my favorite so far, I love it! I think the fabric may become a cat bed for Gracie, to further spoil her...
This is one of many examples of the bad "pulls". The ink didn't coat well (click on it larger to look at the body of the ship and see the lack of coverage) and there was a wrinkle in the fabric that totally missed the print altogether in the top left of the image. I can see where going too fast and not taking adequate time could really leave me with some messes.
I will say again, it all makes so much more sense to actually do it. To know how much pressure to put on the squeegee when I pull, to hear the proper ziiiipppp sound when the squeegee goes over the screen at the right speed. I now have a screenprinting project in mind for the charm bracelets I'll show you on Monday. And my next stop on the road to screenprinting independence will be the vera project, located here in Seattle. They have the equipment to burn your own screens and open studio times for a small fee (after you've taken the screenprint workshop they offer). I don't see myself setting up any sort of screen burning contraption here at home, so that's mainly what I'd be using it for, which is totally worth the price of admission into the program.
my daughter digging in the panty
for her cereal... talking to herself. she's growing up so fast, and i
couldn't help but stare at her.
the morning fog comes in a close second. oh how i love morning fog!
Erin, send your address to me at wisecraftblog(at)gmail(dot)com and I will pop your book in the mail. Thanks to everyone who played along, I loved reading about your mornings!
Have a great weekend everyone. Be back on Monday with the shop update!