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Screen printing

I had no idea how process-based screen printing was, it’s really quite labour intensive. Of course, I only found this out while it was taking me a full day just to make the screen…

My first screen

I’m just using the first screen to experiment with and get used how screen printing works. That’s why I’ve printed out three different sizes of my image, to see how the detail might vary depending on the size, finding out if size effects the image at all. I think the picture below was the one that came out the best, the colours contrast really effectively (and not too festively!) and the white lines, which occured due to a slight offset of the image, highlight the shapes well. Some yellow may or may not have crept across the image while I was being messy doing the other tests, but I kind of like the yellow streak. I know I’m unlikely to be comfortable with allowing the dyes to get all over the place in the future so seeing how interesting the ‘mistakes’ and accidents can present themselves is nice for a change.

Green on red

 So while there are no mistakes, necessarily, during experimenting, lets just say that the image below is the one I’m least pleased with. It was a lovely red on purple background, but while I wasn’t concentrating I accidentally did another print over the top, that’s why there’s a faint ghost image  to the side.

Colour cacophony

Luckily though, when it came to the next day to do some proper prints onto silk and aida, they came out pretty neat. I chose to make a pink/peach coloured dye simply because the original ball of yarn is that colour. I opted to stick with the larger sized image because I want to be able to embroider the prints made on aida.

The dye room

It made sense to me to print onto a natural silk fabric as the ball of yarn is a silk cord that has been treated with natural dyes. I could just as easily have printed onto wool, canvas, chiffon, synthetic, anything really, and I doubt people will be able to tell that the fabric is silk, but I felt like there was something slightly poetic about using the same materials where I could.

Silver on Pink

For me, this silver dye over the top of the pink came out really well. I offset it on purpose, else the pink underneith wouldn’t have come through at all and as I’d seen in the red and green image, offsetting can be used to good effect. I like how striking the print is, it’s crisp and bright, and it reminds me of graphic design. However, compared to the original sketch I made this print looks quite flat, probably because the minute details have been lost, and I think it was those details that gave the drawing some shape and texture. I wanted to use silver dye to try and capture the lustre of the silk cord, obviously rather a futile thing to try and do, but sometimes when you try to communicate something like that and you fail – it just shows you how great the original thing was.

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