Screen Printing rotation part 2

Returning for the Thursday. The last and final day of this rotation, it was a lot of hard work, but enjoyable.

I came back with the image I needed to edit and had it printed off before the lesson needed to start, so I was prepared for print. I couldn’t do that until later in the day. I’ll explain why further on.

Right, as a group, we were set a task of editing a photographic image, making it greyscale, editing it to make it halftone, then having the option of either putting text on the image or leaving it as it was.

I, originally had the idea of wanting to use an image of Ru Paul as a photo to edit (Progress for this is in my sketchbook, which a scan of that will be uploaded later), though, I thought it would be a more appropriate idea if I linked this task with last weeks Photography rotation.

I found a photo out of the many photographs I’ve taken from the week before and loaded it in to Photoshop.

Carrying on with the edits I wanted to make, I chose the photograph of the TowerHill lion. Personally, I thought this would be a great link in to my Photography work and it also gave me so many ideas of how I could edit the lion to give impact or even creep some people out, if it were to be in greyscale.

Following the tutorial I was given, I adjusted the frequency to around 72 to make the circles/dots small, so it wouldn’t affect the image as much. I honestly couldn’t get myself to agree with the big and chunky dot look. It just reminded me too much of something Chuck Close would do. In fact, the end result of the lion photo; regardless of it having small dots or large ones reminded me of Chuck Close’s work and how he uses different instruments to make marks on huge canvases, to create detailed paintings of people.

As I stated at the beginning of this update, I printed off the end result and brought it in to the studio to get it photocopied in A3 form. Why I chose A3? If I were to print it in A4, make a screen out of it and later use the screen print, the result would look terrible. You wouldn’t be able to see the dots created, or the dots and image itself would be so crammed into one place on the page. I had it set out nice and large, so I could get a nice result and see how well the dots effect would look for the image.

I also think the pick of the image was a good decision because the photograph of the Lion wasn’t a real lion, but it was a Lion sculpture made out of wire. This gave the Lion an overall textured look to the Photo. I was pretty pleased with the end result, when I realised.

Before I even get started on the printing process, the image needs to be exposed on the silk screen.

Aprons and gloves on.

My silk screen was dry, so taking it out now, I placed it against the table of the paints area and got it prepared. I have to now carefully apply a very thin layer of emulsion to the screen. When this is done, I can take it to be dried again.

Once it’s dry, I took it out and placed it on the vacuum with the photo placed underneath the screen and set the machine for 18 seconds. Turned the light on and it started.

The 18 seconds went by quickly; it was finally ready.

I thought I was ready for printing at this point. Though, I was told in disappointment that the screen must have been exposed or someone or something must of tampered with the process of the image getting on to the screen because the result was cloudy.

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Later that day, I had a new screen made for me which I shared, and the image was exposed on to the screen.

I had a couple of turns to print in the thirty or so minutes, I had left of the lesson. Which did leave me pretty irritated. It couldn’t be helped.

There were many reasons as to why the printing progress didn’t go well that day. I had to wait a whole extra hour for the machine to recharge; there were a queue of people waiting to print and make stencils, there was also some times where I had to pause what I was doing to wash or dry equipment.

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My two prints though, I was very happy with the results. One was slightly out of place on the page, but if I were to do this in future again, I need to be patient, take my time and make sure that every thing is in place.

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Screen Printing rotation

Quite a busy week this week. It was time for our change in the rotations, and this week it’s the screen printing rotation as it states in the title of this post.

We started the Monday off with learning how to properly clean the left over screens from the last group. But, before we do that, we needed to sign up for which numbered board we wanted. I chose 49 at first, however, that one didn’t seem to exist as I entered the drying room. I decided to get number 31 instead. It was extremely grubby and there were still remains of the previous stencil design on it. This definitely made my progress of cleaning the screen slower and more difficult. It to me that even if I were to rewash, rewash and rewash the board using the same method as I was shown, the stains wouldn’t of come out anyway.

The cleaning process follows as this:

  • You must always wear an apron and gloves before entering the chemicals and cleaning room. If you don’t, there’s a chance that you’ll spill chemicals, such as the stencil cleaning fluid all over your clothes, or you may splash water all down yourself.
  • You must wash over the fluid on to your silk screen, to make sure that it soaks in to the stencil to help get rid of it.
  • Once, you’ve let the liquid soak for about 5 minutes, you can move on to get it washed off.
  • Thoroughly wash the screen on both sides; make sure that you’re washing it off carefully on each section.
  • When we’re done with cleaning it, move on to the jet spray wash. Clean your board with detergent and rub the substance in with a sponge. Wash, soap, lather, repeat.
  • If we’re unsure about the stencil or stains coming out, hold the silk screen up in to the light. If there’s no sign of marks, the screen is cleaned.

Moving from that very tiring process; the board needs to be placed in the drying unit with the heater. To keep in mind for future reference– Always keep the draws closed or the board will not dry!

The cleaning task took the whole day and it really wore me out. I was going to consider, that if anyone else were to do this task in future, they should split up in to two small groups. For example, while one group cleans their boards in the wash room, the other group should go do a demonstration on how to screen print or something related to the task.

We had around 15 people, so the task of cleaning boards with all of those people in one room was pretty crazy.