making sh!t for your girlfriend since 2007


soon come

Craft Mart ~ Nov 8 (6pm - 11pm) & Nov 9 (11am - 7pm) ~ Hamilton Artists Inc. ~ 155 James Street North, Hamilton
Halifax Crafters Society Winter Market ~ Nov 30 & Dec 1 ~ Olympic Community Centre ~2304 Hunter Street, Halifax
City of Craft ~ Dec 14 & 15 ~ The Theatre Centre ~ 1087 & 1095 Queen Street West, Toronto

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Week 2: Silkscreen Printing

Inspired by last week's Gocco printing adventure, I decided to explore printmaking a little further and tried my hand at silkscreening. It was hard. Here's the result: I was so happy with my Eazy-E drawing that I thought it was worth trying to print him on fabric. I managed to score some lovely, all-natural hemp book bags and had some ink kicking around, so why not, right? Right. But, I was not interested in making my own screen (I will one day, just not now), so I headed on over to G&S Dye, where they will expose a silkscreen for you for not too much money. Armed with my screen and squeegee, tubs of ink, and lots of bags, Moleskines, and file folders (I decided to make a set of Boyz N the Hood school supplies to sell at Woolly Grooves) I got to work. Here are some of the things I learned: 1. When the guy at the silkscreen place says, "Hmmm, you're going to have a tough time printing this image," believe him! Because the writing is so fine, I could only get one print done at a time because the ink would clog up the screen, and I'd have to hose Eazy down after each one. Exhausting. 2. It's probably best not to do your printing outdoors, on a windy day, on a patio table that has a huge umbrella-hole in the centre. For the life of me I couldn't figure out why each image always had a toonie-sized spot that was lighter than the rest. In the end, the dining table proved to be the ideal surface. Oh, and leaving open ink tubs around isn't a good idea either, 'cuz things (book bags, waiting to be printed on) blow around and stuff (and land in the ink tub and get ruined). 3. Never underestimate the importance of wet rags, and keep your freaking hands clean. 4. Invest in the proper hinges and clamps and things to keep your screen in place. This way, you don't have to guess where to put your screen and end up printing half of your image on the fabric and the other half on your patio table. I now have a very cool patio table. 5. Screenprinting requires patience, practice, and precision. I am not interested in any of these things. By the end of the week I managed to print four acceptable book bags (I ruined 5), two Moleskines (ruined three), a binder (perfect on the first try, sucka!), and about fifteen file folders (ruined a whole lot of 'em, but I stole them from my previous office job, so whatever). Now I just have to figure out what to do with the casualties - I'm thinking a lot of applique and collage are in order...

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