THE COOLEST PRINTING TECHNIQUE
Out of all the printmaking techniques I teach, screen printing is by far the coolest. Thumping the screen down, pouring on the ink, nestling the squeegee onto the screen, pushing it down and pulling it steadily towards you. Oh, so, satisfying.
But wait, it’s not over...you then triumphantly lift the screen to reveal the final print. Wow!
Four NECESSARY elements
There are four elements to make a screen print: a screen, which in its basic form is a frame with a nylon mesh pulled tightly over it, ink, a squeegee and a stencil.
Screen printing is known as a resist printing technique. The stencil which forms your image is known as the ‘resist’ part of the process because you’re resisting (or stopping) the ink from going through the tiny holes in the screen at certain points which creates your design.
DIFFERENT STENCIL TECHNIQUES
There are a number of ways to create a stencil. For example you can expose your image onto the screen using UV, you can paint the stencil onto the screen using drawing fluid and screen filler or the most simplest way is to create a paper cut stencil.
However you make your stencil it needs to be firmly fixed to the screen for the next step...the print.
MATERIAL OF CHOICE?
Decide what you want to print onto - t-shirt, fabric, paper etc - and make sure that it is lying flat with no creases. Place the screen with the stencil on top of the t-shirt and pour a good amount of paint onto the screen just above the stencil. Place the squeegee above the ink and holding it at a 40 degree angle push down firmly and glide the squeegee towards you. Lift the screen to reveal your print.
This is a very quick explanation of screen printing. For a demonstration please go to printmaking tutorials or book onto a screen printing class.