Tuesday 29 April 2008

Experiments in Screenprinting

I had very enjoyable birthday with a workshop at Rainbow Silks on Freehand Screen printing (thanks to George and Sheila) and wonderful fishy meal in the evening at 'Oporto' (thanks to Sue and Peter )
I did 'proper' screenprinting at school for 'A' level art ( involving one of those vacuum presses which suck the paper down). Even then I had a loose scribbly style so I didn't take to the time-consuming process of accurate cutting of individual screens, getting the registration right and waiting for ink to dry. I thought the ones that went wrong had more character but got marked down on those. This method was much more fun! First of all in true Blue Peter fashion we made our own screens from duck tape and net curtain and then for templates used freezer paper ( for curvy shapes) and sticky-back plastic (for geometric shapes). Results on paper using poster paint above
My favourite technique however was using torn strips of masking tape (above)
After lunch and some retail therapy in the shop ( silk rods and 'BubbleJet Set ) we moved onto fabric, Ruth demonstrating scribbling with Neocolour 2 crayons and using acrylic fabric medium instead of printing ink to push it through the screen. Magic!
I noticed that the colour went through more than 1 layer so used some silk organza in the top layer. When it came to using the printing inks (below) the colour went through 3!(silk organza, thin kimono fabric and cotton sheeting as well as leaving a trace in the old sheet I had as a printing table). I realised afterwards the similarities between what I'd produced and shibori!

Several people in the group were discussing how you never use do anything with the samples you produce on workshops. I'm not sure I agree - I'd made an effort to bring fabrics which I thought I could use in potential projects rather than just relying on those supplied. Also with limited time and money for workshops I select ones I think I can get the most out of. Having said that, I'm not sure how much screenprinting I'll do in the near future - the main drawback is the rinsing out of screens and as our kitchen sink is tiny and made of white resin, even washing my brushes out is a trial! However I did bring my home-made screen back and I've yet to try out the 'thermofax' screens I bought a while ago (along with some 'Speedball' Inks) - the Neocolour crayon technique appeals.

1 comment:

Tricia Garrett said...

I'd like to do some more screen printing with kids. Did you really use net curtains? Try it outdoors, less messy. Also pieces of tissue paper can be used as stencils and the colour gradually softens the edges and bleeds through - quite effective. I love screen printing!