Last Sunday, I spent the day at Steffi's screen printing studio in the Old American Can Factory in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Steffi works as a crafts designer here at Martha and runs a small company called Winter Water Factory. Steffi prints fabrics and t-shirts for her collection at her studio. On top of having tons of fun, I learned a lot about the screen printing process. I printed some t-shirts and tote bags for take-me-with-you, a side project I've been working on for fun. Come on in and take a look...
We printed my artwork on an ink-jet transparency. We placed it under the screen and exposed it in the darkroom. (There's a big vacuum table that holds everything in place while it's exposed to a strong light on a timer.)
Next, I washed out the screen at the wash-out sink. The emulsion washes out wherever the light was blocked– it was neat to see my artwork slowly appear on the screen.
All different size squeegees...
I measured and mixed inks to make the colors I wanted.
I placed the screen onto the fabric and pulled the ink across with a squeegee. This pushes the ink through the screen onto the fabric.
There's something really gratifying about printing your own artwork. The fact that you can print multiples so easily makes the possibilities seem endless. The studio is amazing! I was so lucky to have spent the day there. Now that I know the basics, maybe next time Steffi will show me how to print pattern repeats. They are actually looking for a couple of studio-mates or a company to share the studio. If you know anyone who is looking for a space in Brooklyn have them contact Steffi.