Sunday, February 12, 2012

Silkscreening is HARD work!

I keep choosing artistic endeavors that are lots of work and mostly prep work. This is certainly true for sewing and I am discovering it is true for silk screening as well. I spent all morning yesterday prepping to print and did not get even one decent print for all my hard work. Now I remember why people who are learning to sew get so frustrated, sometimes projects do not work out on your first try.

Step one is to come up with the art work that will become the image for your silkscreen.

It is hard to see but this is my pencil drawing where I was practicing what I was planning to draw for my design. Yes it is an old rotary phone and an old TV. I have a fascination with old technology lately and thought that this would make for an at least somewhat interesting screen print.

This is a picture of my drawing on mylar.  My plan was to print it in a sepia tone-ish brown on gray paper making it look old since it is old technology. Well my plans did not work out.

I am not sure why but I was having major technical difficulty. There are tons of steps with fancy equipment that I will not bore you with. Mostly since the fancy equipment is not available to regular people and well therefor you don't really want to know.

But the short version is that I could not get a good print. I have two ideas of what the problem might be. One could be that I have an old re-claimed (aka recycled from last semester) screen and it may not have been properly cared for and be clogged. Two is that I did not mix the ink right and it was drying too fast.

I did the entire printing process twice so I am leaning towards the screen being the problem. So I am working on getting a new screen and we will go from there.

This is the best print I got. It the ink was bare in the same places no matter what I did. This is what makes me think it is the screen since it worked well in some places.

Any way I guess I will spend some time at class on Friday trouble shooting this. Urgh!!! It makes me crazy when I am not good at something. Practice and experimentation are the only things that are going to improve this problem.

In sewing news I got the invisible zipper into my dress perfect first try! The instructor showed me a little trick that I may have to share with you if anyone is interested? Only problem with the dress is that I have lost weight since I started it and I think it is going to be too big! Oh well I will throw on a belt and a cardigan and "Make it work"!

It is COLD and windy today so we ventured out to Whole Foods for brunch and groceries and are now snuggled up in the apartment.

Tomorrow night is the panty workshop over at MAKE! Should be fun and hopefully less frustrating than my silk screening has been.

Happy Sunday!
Hugs - Chrissy


  1. I love your design. And I think that even though the ink has some spaces in it, enough of the design shows up that it just looks worn and faded--vintage, if you will, to match the technology! I would love to learn how to silkscreen--I've seen laptop cases with typewriters screen printed on them, and thought they were terribly clever, but they never seem to come in a size large enough for my gargantuan laptop!

    1. Hi Breana - You make a good point that this set of prints may not be a total loss ;) I also love the typewriter lap top cover. I like the idea of keeping in mind where these things came from. Thanks! - Chrissy