2/16/2010

Experimenting with Screen Printing Methods

Earlier in the year, I had said I wanted to do more screen printing in my work this year.  It's always been something that I've really enjoyed doing. My passion for screen printing started my junior year of high school, when I began to feel the limitations of freezer paper stencils.  You know that freezer paper stencil craze on craftster.org and _thestencilry or whatever that livejournal community was called, where you would painstakingly cut out your intricate design with an x-acto knife, then iron the freezer paper to your t-shirt or whatever you wanted to stencil, paint it with fabric paint, and then throw that intricate stencil away because freezer paper is one-use-only?  Yeah, I made dozens of those, and my closet was filled with enough stenciled hoodies and t-shirts to make me a walking billboard of my political views, haha.  But stencils really limit you in the detail of your designs, and you have to mind your bridges too.  Ahhh I hated those!  When I learned it was possible to DIY screen print, I jumped headfirst into learning it.  I decided to jump straight to learning the photo emulsion method, and skip the film method since that was too similar to stenciling.  I was done with cutting out tiny shapes!  I checked out books from the library and scoured the internet to figure it out.  One resource I found to be particularly helpful was a zine called The Gospel of Screenprinting.  But anyways, five years later, four laundryroom-converted-darkroom set ups in two different states, and over two dozen screens burned and printed, I decided it was time to try something a bit different.  Painter's tape!

I know, so high-tech! But I really like how it turned out.  Cutting out thin strips of painter's tape to make bold, geometric prints, and all without a plan for a design.  I just started laying down strips, and it was so neat to see what would come out of the negative space when I taped off one shape.  The design just sort of came alive as I kept taping.  My only concern is that it won't hold up very well over multiple printings.  I got the "no bleed edge" kind of painter's tape, so I'm hopeful, but I guess we'll see.  This print is going to be in a lot of my designs for Spring and Summer this year, which are all coming along nicely, so you can expect some previews soon!

2 comments:

  1. I just found your blog through BlackCig.
    It's so interesting, I love it. :)

    Grace
    http://www.addiction-and-grace.blogspot.com

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  2. I'm a bit late to coming here - but this has been a very timely find for me. I am just starting to think about getting my illustrations onto new mediums and have been thinking about screen printing. It's good to hear advice from creatives who've tried and tested it before x thank you

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