Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Fun World of Screen Printing

 My first experience with screen printing was in my high school graphic arts class. For one assignment we made a mixed CD, created an insert and screen printed the CD with an image of our choosing. My mix was full of Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd and what that had to do with a lion crest is something that has been lost in the sands of time.

I can't believe I still have this!

 What I do remember though is how much I really liked using the screen printing process and how I was really intimidated by all of the steps that it took to prepare a screen for printing. This kept me from trying screen printing for a long time.

Flash forward a couple of years to a trip to the thrift store where I scored a compete screen printing set for a whopping $5! 

While it came with a set of directions, they were less than helpful as I kept getting distracted by the extremely creepy drawings that accompanied the instructions. So the kit sat unused for many years and made the trip to Thailand and back without ever being opened.

What is wrong with his face ?!

What finally inspired me and gave me the confidence to finally take up screen printing again was a series of tutorials posted by Quirkiecraft. The tutorials are really clear and all the photos were really helpful. So, I started my new foray into screen printing by selecting a couple of images that I wanted to use to make some hand printed fabric and used drawing fluid to paint the images on to the screen. 

One thing I did learn from using the drawing fluid was that it is really hard to paint fine lines because the fluid tends to spread and obscure the lines. I actually had to rinse out my screen and start over twice before I created a satisfactory screen.

Screen ready for screen filler

Ready for printing!

Using these screens, I was able to create some really fun fabrics.