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Inspiration Board : Screenprinting

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Best known for her indispensable organizational skills around the office, Whitney gives us insight today on the joys of screenprinting:

"When I’m not organizing the craft room, helping the members of the craft team, or performing my other duties as a Crafts Dept. intern, I’m diving into the world of art and crafts in my own studio. One of the things I do most often in my studio is screenprinting. I love the graphic qualities of screenprinting and the way I feel instantly gratified after pulling a print. Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to share my passion for this art form as a screenprinting instructor at the Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn and Make Workshop in Manhattan. It’s so fulfilling to see the students’ ideas develop from creative brainstorms to striking prints on fabric and paper.

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One participant pulls her first print.

1 One participant pulls her first print.

What a beautiful first try!

2 What a beautiful first try!

She made this hip and adorable T-shirt for her daughter.

3 She made this hip and adorable T-shirt for her daughter.

Spraying the screen after burning an image with photo processes.

4 Spraying the screen after burning an image with photo processes.

The result is a lively, abstract screen design.

5 The result is a lively, abstract screen design.

Everything is ready for printing multiples on paper.

6 Everything is ready for printing multiples on paper.

All of the great work that my students were doing inspired me to try a quick, fun print. My older brother in Arizona just defended his Ph.D. dissertation and will be celebrating a milestone birthday next week, and I wanted to make him a gift. He adores his dog, Otto, so I decided to screenprint a graphic portrait of Otto to perch next to his new “Dr.” nameplate."

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Otto, the stately American Eskimo Dog.

1 Otto, the stately American Eskimo Dog.

I like to use paint swatches as reference colors when I mix printing inks.

2 I like to use paint swatches as reference colors when I mix printing inks.

Gathering the supplies in my studio.

3 Gathering the supplies in my studio.

Printing the first of four colors. This always makes me a bit nervous.

4 Printing the first of four colors. This always makes me a bit nervous.

Lifting the screen to reveal the print.

5 Lifting the screen to reveal the print.

The results of the first color.

6 The results of the first color.

After the second color.

7 After the second color.

Color three. I really enjoy observing as the color separations build an image.

8 Color three. I really enjoy observing as the color separations build an image.

After the fourth color. Now I just have to decide which is the most perfect print.

9 After the fourth color. Now I just have to decide which is the most perfect print.

Trimming the edges of the selected print.

10 Trimming the edges of the selected print.

Otto is ready to head to Arizona!

11 Otto is ready to head to Arizona!

Comments (3)

  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Susan Sargent and Ernest Gonzales, handymoms. handymoms said: Screenprinting: Best known for her indispensable organizational skills around the office, today Whitney gives us... http://bit.ly/eKTKej [...]

  • I love screenprinting but am a little freaked out by the chemicals that are used to burn the screen and the inks...do you know where to find any eco-friendly/people-friendly screenprinting supplies? Do they exist?

    Thanks!
    Molly
    Craft Ideas Weekly

  • Crafter Comment:

    Hi Molly,

    Here's what Whitney suggests: "There are many readily available non-toxic, water-based, low impact inks on the market. Jacquard makes a couple of good options for paper, textiles, and other surfaces. Dick Blick also has a pretty good textile ink under its own brand. As far as burning the screen goes, the emulsion is a photo-sensitive substance, so it does contain some volatile parts. The bigger problem with that is the solvent that is used to remove the emulsion from the screen - that can be quite toxic and caustic. I would suggest looking into a less technical method for creating a screenprinted image, specifically the one that uses Speedball brand drawing fluid and screen filler (both water-based substances)."

    Thanks for your question!

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