Learning lessons in the print workshop

3 Oct

Nearly 2 years ago now, one early Spring night, I did a sketch of St Pauls. Just biro, just quick. I liked the heavy shadows made by the spot light.

Back in January, when I decided to embark on some kind of printing plan, this was, ambitiously, the first thing I attempted to print. I used my tiny screen, bought from the art shop, meant for printing on fabrics, but I didn’t know this at the time. I was confused about that ink/paint I was supposed to use. I bought what seemed intuitive and just gave it a go.

The stencils, made out of acetate, were well planned and cut but the paint dried on the screen, and on the paper had a strange bubbly effect. It didn’t work.

Yesterday, at the print studios I gave it another go.

With the help of photo emulsion there was no need to cut complicated stencils. I could have worked straight off of a photocopy, but I decided to give another technique a go. True-Grain.
Once you’ve coated your screen with photo emulsion (as shown here) you simply draw or trace your image onto the True-Grain, which is like a slightly textured acetate, using marker pens. With my St Pauls picture, I originally planned to have the shading a slightly lighter colour than the outline so I made two different copies on separate pieces of True-Grain, one with only shade and one with only outline.

Once this is done and the screen is dry, you can expose your screen and burn the image onto it. Watching a video here of a homemade exposure unit. Basically you place the True-Gain with your image on it, on top of the screen. You then shine string lights onto the screen. The marker pen lines stop the light from reaching the screen. Where the light does hit, the emulsion is fixed to the screen. Under the marker pen, that emulsion will just rinse off with cold water leaving a perfect stencil.

And so, after lots of fiddley work lining up the different parts, I succeeded in printing St Pauls. There are 12 for sale. They will be up in my online shop shortly, or you can send me an email to fools.prints@yahoo.co.uk to get your hands on one for just £2.50!


One Response to “Learning lessons in the print workshop”


  1. Fool’s Prints 1 year on « Fool's Prints - January 2, 2011

    […] got to work producing some note cards and gained more confidence in experimenting and learning in the print studio. Confidence led me to […]

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