checking off the list | no. 8: screenprinting

i love art, i love color, i love making my own stuff. so does nancy, a local gal who designs + teaches stuff. she showed us how to screenprint with a stencil.

the basic idea is to have a template with solid + void spaces (i.e. cut out and not cut out) in which you pull the paint through the screen onto the paper. what was negative is positive and vice versa. think: old school film exposure – the light goes through the light parts and exposes the paper below. the template we used was good ole fashioned printer paper. we had to create a design, cut it out and screenprint it onto paper.

first, we got inspired. there were a ton of magazines laying around so we perused. i was inspired by a geometrical pillow, something like this one. i thought the design had 3 colors, but nancy said it was two, the third being the combination of the two colors. i love how her knowledge of layering colors informed her.

inspiration pillow

so i created my design. i created two templates (wish i had a picture) and got ready for my two-color printing.

using her diy screenprinting board (plywood), i placed the first template down with masking tape sticky side up (the black part shown is the cutout part – she had some black photopaper on the board that could be wiped clean if necessary). next, i duct taped the screen to the top of the plywood so that it could hinge open and closed (probably wouldn’t do for precise projects, which these weren’t). then, i aligned the screen over the template and taped it to the bottom side of the screen. i also taped the edges so the paint wouldn’t go thru the border area.

tape to board  tape to screen

next, i taped some scratch paper on the plywood. then, with the screen down, i took some paint, spread it out across the top and pulled the paint back and forth over the screen with a squeegee (fyi, this is not my project below – i was busy with process + excitement to document this part – but i wanted to show this step visually). after a few scratch pulls (i think six or seven?) where the paint was able to seep through the screen evenly, i placed the good, thick paper down for the final pull. i let these dry and did the same steps with the second template: align + tape template to screen, scratch pulls, final pull on top of the already dried first template, layering the colors.

pull  scratch

check out my “E”! as well as the other cool students’ work! was supposed to be for my daughter’s room, but loved it so much, it’s retained permanent residence in our family room – framed, displayed + cherished.

set out to dry  framed



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