Ok, this is my screen printing project for the Collectors draw I offered to donate to for the Huntsville Art League. I decided to do a screen print of one of my photos and if I have a set deadline, I know I'll actually complete it. This is something I've been wanting to do for a while, so I have to get started since it's due Jan 25!
First up I had to set up a home exposure unit to actually burn the screens. This includes:
2- 500W halogen bulbs with the UV safety glass removed
1 piece of sheet glass
Black Fabric covered foam
String to hang the lights up
You will see my set up in the picture of burning my screens.
Next, I had an ordeal trying to get Kinko's to print solid black images on large paper for me to use as my stencil
4 trips, 2 CDs and a jump drive later, I have all 7 images ready to find the center
In order to let the light hit the emulsion the actual white of the paper has to be transparent. One way is to print on really expensive vellum, another way is to use some vegetable oil and oil the paper up! That way the black ink will block the light but the white paper won't.
Next, I am ready to coat the screens in my bathroom! I need a place with a sink and no carpet so I can make a mess and have easy cleanup. I taped some wood on the floor to hold the screens in place while I run the scoop over it (the metal thing on the paper) That's what holds the emulsion and actually applies it in an even layer onto the screen.
For the actual coating part, I have to use a safelight so I didn't get any good pictures of it. After the screen is coated with emulsion, you have to let it dry and then you are ready to burn!
Above is my setup in the back of my closet. 2 lights hanging from PVC pipes resting on the metal shelves, and a fan in front of it. All rigged up to a power strip so I can just flip the switch and both lights as well as the fan turn on and I can start the timer. I did a few test runs and discovered the perfect time is about 13.5 minutes. Here is a close up of my set up:
I have a the lights shining onto a piece of glass to hold the paper down onto the emulsion side of the screen. Under that I have the fabric covered foam to get nice even pressure so there is no undercutting. 13.5 minutes go by and My screen is burned, yay! Now I have to wash it out in my bathtub... not so easy. I really need a more powerful stream, but I couldn't get the hose to work outside...
While all of this is going on, I have to have my tunes!! Rilo Kiley Pandora for burning, Vampire Weekend Pandora for printing!
Alright, screen is burned and drying, time to mix up my dyes. The first 2 colors I am printing with actual dye that soaks through the fabric and the other 5 colors are being printed with pigment that sits on top of the fabric as paint might. This is to give it some depth and various textures.
Colors mixed, screen dry, time to print my first color!! I already pinned down my silk bamboo satin, so I couldn't test my screen first but I was lucky and it all went well. Brown is down!
Here is a close up of the color I printed:
Bermuda was about as much company during this project at Fred Jr. My cardboard moose!
That's all for now, my brown is about dry so I can go ahead and print the black and hand paint the rest of the background so it's not stark white in the cracks between my pigment.