Today, I did screen printing all day. The reason for this is because I wanted to show I could work in other forms of printing, besides stencil. Also, I wanted to see how far I could go and how many prints I could make. With the help and supervision of print technician, Tony, I made many prints based on my drawings and stencils. While I have done screen printing before at Abingdon, I’ve never done something this advance and It was a lot of work.
First, I showed Tony the images I wanted to print from my sketchbook and he blew them up. After that, He took me to a screen print room and showed me an example of more advance printing techniques. First, Tony took the photocopies of my drawings and stencils and placed them on a printing screen. He then placed the screen inside a print screen machine, turned it on and left it for a few seconds. This resulted in the images becoming embedded in the print screen. Now, when ever I print anything, the images will appear on the surface. All I needed now was a background to print my images on.
After lunch, I collected my spray paint from my room and went to the workshop to print my background, I wanted to sue canvas, but then I remembered what Tony said about using different surfaces for the screen printing (paper, wood, and metal). So, wanting to try something new, I took a piece of wood from the shop and sprayed orange paint onto half the surface. I then went back and together, we put the wood onto the screen-print machine. Before we could print on the wood, we took one of my canvas pieces and did a sample. First, we lay the canvas down on the printing with tiny air holes on the bottom (vacuum holes to suck the air from the paper and keep it in place), and a print screen. Once the canvas is firmly secured between the screen and the press, a gallon of printing paint is smeared over the bottom on the screen and spread upwards with a printing squeegee and push it downwards across the canvas as hard as I could. Tony had to help and once that was done, we had a perfect first print. We continued with the screen printing all for the rest of the afternoon, printing on the wood, as well as doing multiple prints over some of my previous stencil pieces. Some were good, but others good have been better. Overall, it was a great experience. As I mentioned before, I did screen printing last year at Abingdon and Witney, but it was nice to go through the steps again in case I want to do screen printing alone. Not only did I have to clean the print screen afterwards, I also had clean the squeegee thoroughly in the sink next door. But, it was worth it, because I now have several new prints to add to my portfolio.