Monday, November 2, 2015

Screen Printing

I have been taking a screen printing class the last month or so and have been loving it! I thought it would be fun to show my process and some other projects I have been working on (besides the pizza rat in the previous post).

This is by no means a full tutorial. I know I am missing some critical and key steps and things to consider when screen printing.  This is more like a guide to help those who are unaware how screen printing works to get a general idea.

Please excuse that these photos were taken from different projects, but show the overall process.

Step one: Create a black design on see-through vellum or acetate.

My design had two colors so I was making sure my second layer lined up with the first one below it. 
I need a second screen to make the second color.
My full design also did not fit onto my screen so I did it in sections.

Step two: Create your screen, which is like a fancy stencil.
  This process includes coating a screen and exposing it to a light source with your design, 
which hardens the coating on the screen except where the design was. 
Then the screen is washed (see photo below) and the design washes out 
because it was not hardened by the light.
Also tape the edges so no ink goes through where the screen was not coated.

This photo is actually of me cleaning an empty screen, but you get the idea.

Step three: Preparing your surface.  This might be paper or fabric or any flat material.
Usually you'll need to cut the paper to be the size you want, or iron your fabric and have it stick to a board using sticky stuff (I'm not exactly sure what it is though).

Step four: Mix your color and get it to the right consistency.

Step 5 (not shown): Align and register your paper or fabric so that the prints are consistent.

Step six: Flood the screen with ink before printing.

Step Seven: Use a squeegee to pull the ink across the screen.

Step Eight: Put the print on the drying rack to dry. 
Repeat pulling the ink across the screen on paper or fabric until you are 
finished with that color or screen.
Then make sure to clean the work surface and screen thoroughly.

Step Nine: Eagerly wait until you can return to the printshop to continue printing!
(Or if you're lucky and have enough time continue printing once the ink is dry.)

The above tea towels will be available for sale in my Etsy shop soon. Stay tuned!

For a more complete guide to screen printing visit this awesome blog:

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