Monday, 28 May 2012

Monday 28th May 2012 - Screen Printing Ahoy!

So yeah, being a loose cannon who plays by nobody's rules except my own, I totally disregarded my last 3 week assignment and wanted to screen print instead.

Okay, that may be overplaying it a bit, I just didn't really go into too much depth with my last assignment - after painting 26 images in 2 months, the last thing I wanted to do was any more painting. What I really wanted to do was print t-shirts.

My main aim was to have the design on a jacket, it's something i've been spitballing for a while, and my thoughts were; if I can screenprint the design onto a number of t-shirts, and some thick fabric, I can then trasnfer the fabric to my jacket, attatch, and voila!

When i've screen printed before, I've got the design printed onto acetate via printer. But, as I'm now a stereotypical poor student, and as I am unwilling to wade through shoulder high photographers, graphics and fashion design students to get to the printer, I decided to hand paint it onto acetate.

I used Posca liquid chalk pens, these were wonderful on such smooth acetate - just gliding across the surface.

The problem I faced, however, was the unsightly weather the U.K currently has, and the inks I applied one day had cracked and bubbled in the heat by the next, so by the end of it each area had been inked at least three times. Fun!

Having each part cut out separately meant I could easily position to my desired measurements - This is what I currently do as a living on football shirts (yuck), but, leaves me in a position where this is no problem, and I kind of have an eye for it now!

Aha! Exposure! This went a lot smoother than my last screen print, where my design got washed off  before I could even use it. I was the only person in the print room at this time, it was lovely, nice and quiet, and the coolest room in the illustration block.

It also meant I got to use the best print bed! This esoteric monster, which has more metal knobs, arms and gadgets than Terminator was a right pain in the arse to set up to get a nice print, but once I did, it was a totally smooth ride.

Unfortunately, once you get going with screen printing you can't stop to take photos - one must keep printing, else the ink will dry and the screen will need to be totally washed and reregistered. But, the mix I made of medium and white turned out to be a pretty nice balance, and even the test prints on black paper turned out well!

The thick denim style kind of fabric, carelessley hung on my wardrobe door to stop creasing/errant cats sleeping on it.

And finally! The T-shirts came out awesome, and everyone who has been presented with one has been pretty happy with it - I just have one person's left in my posession.

But, even though that's done, the original reason for me screen printing has just begun! Embroidery, well, it's very... Time consuming. About an hour per letter, give or take, so roughly estimating about 25 - 30 hours of embroidery in this design - using a Satin Stitch for block filling. The 'E''s a little rough around the edges - I started it when drunk - but the 'I' is far more acceptable in my opinion!

More craftable blogs on their way also! Wax Seals, Postcards, Business Cards! I have a backlog of photos to blog about!

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