Last weekend I attended a two-day screen printing class at Midlands Art Centre. We had a day of learning techniques, followed by a day of making whatever we fancied. In my case, I wanted to make items to sell at the craft fair me and colleagues were organising at work this week (p.s. things went well & we raised £1,717 for charity) so I made six tea towels. I used a stencil design and did two-colour fox and three-colour plant prints:
I also tried a couple of other screen printing techniques. These were direct stencil techniques – where the image is applied directly to the screen rather than creating a separate stencil which is placed over the screen.
The direct application techniques I tried were using charcoal and water soluble crayons. In both cases the image is drawn directly onto the screen and then printed onto fabric using a squeegee to push binder across the screen & print the image. A number of members of our group had a go at direct printing using procion dye, which gave a lovely watercolour-style effect. Unfortunately I didn’t get time to try the procion dye as I was too busy getting my tea towels finished!
I took a few photos of the process of printing using charcoal, which are included below.
I began by printing a simple block of colour as a brackground to my charcoal image:
I then drew an image (of a beetle) directly onto a screen:
And then, once the background colour had dried, I printed the charcoal image:
Direct application techniques using charcoal and water soluble crayons produce monoprints, as it’s only possible to get one true print before the medium begins to fade. You can see below I did a second print of my charcoal beetle drawing and it is much paler than the first print:
Here’s the simple print I did using water soluble crayons: