here’s one I made earlier :: screenprinting

I recently had the great pleasure to spend an evening at The Make Lounge on their Screen Printed Textiles workshop. I first tried my hand at screenprinting at the Print Block in Whitstable, during the Oyster Festival and I’m starting to think I might have caught the bug!

Screen printing ink

Screenprinting ink

We started with a demonstration from the lovely Helen Rawlinson who led the class. (Forgive me if this post is a little repetitive of my previous screenprinting post; I felt I’d learnt more, so I thought this was worth sharing.)

The stencil

The stencil

Screenprinting is based on the premise of ink passing through (a screen and) a stencil to print on the fabric or paper below, so the stencil is always where you start. We were working with the simplest form of screenprinting, using paper stencils. Helen placed her stencil onto the canvas tote bag and positioned in according to where she wanted the final image to appear.

Taping the screen

Taping the screen

She placed the screen over the area to be printed, screen-side up and taped off the area that was to be printed, creating a frame for the stencil.

Taping the inside of the screen

Taping the inside of the screen

She placed the screen (carefully because the paper stencils stick to the screen through static, so once it’s put down, that’s where it will be when you print) screen-side down over the stencil and tote bag and taped the inside of the screen to match the tape on the outside. The outside is the side that creates the outer printing edges, so on the inside the tape should be slightly further out than on the outside.

Screenprinting ink being applied to the screen

Screenprinting ink being applied to the screen

Helen then liberally applied screenprinting ink to one end of the screen using a spatula.

Squeegee-ing ink across the screen

Squeegee-ing ink across the screen

With a glamorous assistant(!) to hold the screen in place, she dunked the squeegee in the ink to ensure it was covered, placed it behind the ink and at an angle of 45 degrees, leaning onto it, she pulled it down across the screen, flooding the screen with ink, creating a pleasing ‘squee’ noise that explained the onomatopoeic “squeegee”.

Removing excess ink from the squeegee

Removing excess ink from the squeegee

The process was repeated before Helen used the spatula to scrape the excess ink back into its pot.

Lifting the screen off the print

Lifting the screen off the print

She then showed us how to carefully lift the screen off the print “opening it like a book” from right to left. The stencil clings to the screen and so comes off too.

Cleaning up!

Cleaning up!

And then everything is cleaned with soapy water, the stencil going into the bin. If you want multiple prints, you have to do them from the same screen.

Sadly, I was too excited about getting cracking with my own prints to get a picture of Helen’s finished tote bag – sorry Helen!

Image for my stencil, ISOTYPE design by Gerd Arntz

Image for my stencil, ISOTYPE design by Gerd Arntz

We’d been asked to bring along pictures that we might want to make prints from, so I’d brought this lovely ISOTYPE design by Gerd Arntz.

My stencil

My stencil

To create my stencil I carefully cut out the image with a scalpel, removing the sections I wanted to be printed and keeping the sections I wanted to stay white.

Inserting lino into the bag

Inserting lino into the bag

I then inserted a piece of lino into the bag, to make sure the ink didn’t seep through to the other side. If you’re printing onto a single sheet of material or paper, you just place this underneath to protect the work surface.

Screen on design on printing surface

Screen laid over stencil

Then I positioned the stencil on the bag where I wanted it to go, and put the screen, screen-side up, over the top, so I could see where to tape it.

The taped screen

The taped screen

I taped off the printing area on both sides of the screen. In this case, because I was printing a negative image, the taping was particularly important because the ink would print right up to the edges of the tape, so the tape was forming the shape of the printed area.

The flooded screen

The flooded screen

I flooded the screen with ink as Helen had shown us (unfortunately there are no photos because I couldn’t print and shoot at the same time!) and carefully removed the screen to reveal…

Finished ISOTYPE tote bag hanging up to dry

Finished ISOTYPE tote bag hanging up to dry

… my finished bag! I hung it up to dry, finishing it off with a hairdryer and then just had to iron it on a low heat for a couple of minutes to fix the ink when I got home.

I also tried another design – this time a positive image.

Birds on a wire

Birds on a wire

I started with a fairly classic silhouette of birds on a wire, and again carefully cut out the image with a scalpel.

My stencil

My stencil

This time, because I wanted to print a positive image, the positive image was the bit I discarded; keeping the white spaces around the birds and the wires.

I went through the same process, choosing this lovely vibrant blue colour.

Blue screenprinting ink

Blue screenprinting ink

And here is my finished bag, pinned up above my desk at home for inspiration…

Finished tote bag

Finished tote bag

You may also be interested in:

Further reading for the especially geeky:
Advertisements

8 responses to “here’s one I made earlier :: screenprinting

  1. Thanks for giving a detailed step by step, Katie. I’ve not tried screenprinting before but have long wanted to try; your post has inspired me further to give it a try. Especially liked the bright hues you went for – great choice! 😉

    • Thanks Will – that blue is stunning, isn’t it?

      I would definitely recommend screenprinting, and The Make Lounge workshop is a great taster. Be warned though – you might get hooked! I’ve already booked my next course!

      xx

  2. Wow, looks great! Thanks for your lovely post. 🙂

  3. Wow! What a good student you were, you remembered everything!
    I’m glad you enjoyed yourself and thanks for the great post.
    Helen x

    • Did I get the neatness of the tape front versus back the right way around? I couldn’t remember, so was trying to see which one had to be perfect / closer in on the photos! I’m glad you liked the post – thank you so much for the course. I found it really inspiring and am off to do more screenprinting next weekend! Thank you!

  4. Ahh, screen printing brings back memories of primary school and carefree hot summers. Thanks for sharing, lovely work 🙂

    • Thanks Sam – I’m glad you liked it. I didn’t ever do screenprinting at school, but my parents must have bought me a little kit – in fact I’ve still got it under my bed, so I must dig it out and see if I can get some half decent results at home! Thanks again for the lovely comment – oh for a carefree hot summer! x

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s