Printmaking Workshop / Screen Printing

I often participate in printmaking workshops when the opportunity arises, Since I haven’t completed all the processes available at Hallam, I was hoping that their would be a new technique to be learnt in this series of workshops, which there was. I have only ever screen-printed once before, it was nearly two years ago now and it was a very rushed process so I hardly learnt anything.

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I took an experiment I had made in my work previously (pictured above), wanting to make it into a screen-print. We first made the design onto acetate, I used Copier ink on a paintbrush to achieve the dripping and when it was dry, I used a scribe to achieve the scratching details within the words. Next was to make the screen, these were pre prepared for us as the workshop had a time limit, but our designs then had to be put onto the screens, which is done using a light-box. Your design is placed onto the glass and then your screen placed on top. The chemical on the screen is light sensitive, so any areas where the light is blocked, the chemical will wash off and allow ink to pass through.

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The screen was then ready to be printed. Now comes the very lengthy process of setting up, printing and cleaning up every time a print was made. I think I was put off by the amount of time it takes to make one print and then the results are very basic, to me it just looked like a computer printed image. This was possibly because I used black ink, but I think I was expecting more, with the more handmade printing processes like etching or lino, you achieve very unique results which I didn’t find in screen printing.

In terms of my actual design, I’m really pleased with it. I will credit screen-printing on the crispness of the lines and the detail that has been achieved, but I don’t think it’s worth the time. I may come back to screen-printing in the future, with a more ambitious design and colour palette, but I think I will stick to the other printmaking processes.

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