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Experimenting with screenprinting

One of my main aims this year was to get to grips with screenprinting. I have mostly worked in studios where the majority were screenprinters. I was envious of the way they produced results so quickly, with ink that dried and could be re-printed almost instantaneously.  I can hear the screenprinters out there laughing already. I had obviously blocked my ears to any of their moans and frustrations!

Before anything else, I must thank Annee, Jule, Alex and many of the key holders for so generously sharing their knowledge. Armed with a good introduction, and with a constant barrage of questions for Jule, I worked on coming to terms with a jig, the vacuum beds, the light exposure unit, the washout room. I quickly learned the benefits of always keeping a bucket of water by your side and investing in shares in hand cream.

Like lino cutting, a lot of the art isn’t art, it is careful planning: cutting your papers to the same size, creating a reference acetate map (invaluable), preparing your screen thoroughly with gummed paper and then parcel tape; having every single thing you will, and may need, at hand before you start as yes, that ink does dry quickly. And like life often is, there is more prep and cleaning up than action!

I decided to practice screen-printing with stencils. Below are some of the stages of the print I made. You will see many errors, but It has been a great learning process. I feel confident in using the equipment and in understanding the hows and whys of the basic process. However, as printmakers, we know once we begin a technique, we open the door onto a world of possibilities………..I share the studio with people printing on fabric, painting directly on the screen, creating printed cubes, fabulous blends, complicated designs on wood…..endless……