Screenprinting Workshop

Day 1 

As an extensions of the screen printing workshop that we completed a few months ago, I decided to continue and sign up to learn a different technique on how you could screen print. Prior to the start of the workshop we were asked to print an A4 image that was contrasting black and white. I decided that using a threshold from photoshop on my image would give me the best contrast between black and white.

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Image used for screenprinting

The first thing that we learnt was to prep the screens, using an emulsion which coats the screen and allows the image to transfer onto the screen to allow us to print it. After prepping the screen and placing them in the drying rack we had to allow 30-40 minutes for them to dry. While this was happening we learnt about how we could create hand rendered style prints through drawing on acetate using markers. The black marker lines would transfer onto the screen allowing them to printed. This was a really interesting technique as it allowed me to become really creative.

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Acetate and Photo

Once the screens had dried it was time to transfer the photo and acetate onto the prepped screen. To do this we needed to expose them using infrared light to transfer them onto the screens. For photocopies and acetate 3 minute and 30 seconds was suggested to us as the best amount of time, obviously this changes depending on the thickness of the material. Once transferred using the pressure washer we had to wash off the rest of emulsion, by doing this also allowed us to see out image transferred onto the screen. Compared to the initial technique that we were taught I thought that this one worked better for the type of imagery that I tend to use in my outcomes.

We then set these to dry ready to be printed in the next session on the following Monday. As the final print outcome would be a combination of the three techniques (paper, acetate and photo) we were asked to print the paper stencil using the technique that we had previously learnt. I went for a simple square at the bottom of the A3 page to provide a contrasting background for the acetate image and photo to sit on.

Day 2 

On the second day our screens were completely dry which meant that we were able to print the images that we had transferred using photo emulsion. As we had two images on the same screen we had to tape around the first image that we were printing to stop the ink from going onto any of the other stencils which were on the screen. I decided to print the light blue first as I thought it would be interesting to experiment with the hand drawn (acetate) stencil over the top. I used a yellow ink to print the lightbulb as I thought that it would create an interesting composition. Printing the lightbulb proved to be a challenge as I think that the ink that I used wasn’t the right consistency which meant that the paper kept sticking to the screen. This meant that on one of the prints I was left with an interesting texture. I experimented with printing the lightbulb at different angles, I printed one the way I imagined then (green block at the bottom), but I also printed the lightbulb upside down to create an interesting outcome.

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Once this was completely I washed and then dried the screen before I was able to tape off the second stencil and print this onto my images. I thought I would use a bright orange to create a clear constants between the green and yellow.  Again I printed the first one light I had imagined but played around with the angles to create unique compositions. I think that through doing this I have created outcomes which are interesting and have a distinct colour contrast.

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Overall from this workshop was useful to me as I have now been inducted into the space which means that I will be able to use this process for further projects. I think that this process could lead itself nicely to further poster design projects that I do, it could bring a handmade element to my work. I really enjoyed the working with the photo emulsion I think that this will allow me to take my digital work and turn into hand rendered work.

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