how screen printing works

In January I did a screen printing workshop at Sheffield Print Club and since then I have been going screen printing as much as possible so I can start getting good at it. I can’t write about how to be very good yet, but I can write about how the process works, which is cool.

All printing techniques involve putting one or more layers of ink down on top of each other on a substrate, typically paper. The different layers are different colours. All printing techniques allow the creation of multiple copies of the same print from a master version of the design. In screen printing the master version is held on screens. A screen is a fine mesh, that ink can be pushed through, stretched across a frame.

I’ve been making prints from ink drawings. Here’s two ink drawings that are the designs for the 2 layers of a 2 layer print:

Screen 1

I’ve soaked them in oil to make the paper translucent. Now you can see how the two layers align on top of each other. I assume most professional screen printers will work on their designs digitally in some fashion. Designing digitally means you can diddle with the shapes and colours of the layers until you’re happy that it’ll all work together just as you like.

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making frog lantern

I made a lantern for Sheffield’s Sharrow Lantern Carnival. It was a week or so ago and it was pretty great. I did a few shifts helping out with the workshops, which were quite quiet when I was there so I had the time to put my own together. Twas jungle themed so I done a frog. I thought it would be a pretty modest first lantern. Other people didn’t seem to think so.

To make one you bend and tape wet willow together to make a frame
frog1which dries and sets into place, and then you put fairy lights in it, and make sure there’s a big stick sticking out of it so you can carry it.

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april clupdate

Hello. mini clupdate here. The Moon Underground Club is three months old, which means it should be at 30% capacity. Well, the great news is we’ve totally smashed through that by a whole ten percent, check it out:

percentometerforty

I achieved this by halving the club capacity, which is pretty smart right? The most important thing is that Dawson cries sometime this year.

I’ll do a proper blog post soon. I’ve taken lots of photos of screen printing so I can do a process post.

In the mean time, invest in our joint futures by joining The Moon Underground Club today.

march clupdate

We’re into the third month of 2017 already. Oh. My. Gosh. Well, the club has already fallen behind target. I’m very disappointed in myself, but mostly I’m disappointed in you. Let’s see how things look on the Dawson Leary Memberometer:

percentometer20

Not great. He’s closer to crying. But not much. At this rate I’m going to have to let him join the club.

In better news, I’ve installed an awesome digital display to help track the club funds, and there’s already nearly five hundred quid in the kitty. Club members can rest assured that they’re going to get plenty of cool stuff. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, click on this picture to find out about The Moon Underground Club:

tmucpertinent newsIn club pertinent news, the next batch of hand-written notes that just say “thank you” for the membership megapacks are on cut up screen prints, so there has literally never been a better time to join.

notes

Also, last weekend I was at Sheffield Zine Fair selling stuff. It was very good and nice. I think I’ll try to do a little bunch of these smaller events this year. Here is a photo of me there that was taken without my consent by my table mate Nick Soucek:

zinefair

I had made some zines from old blog posts to sell there, which was easy and quite fun, so expect some in the club packs at the end of the year.

zine

I think I’ll make brand new ones for it though, rather than sending out the stuff you can find on the blog.

If you’re already a member of the club, feel free to post a picture of yourself wearing your exclusive membership badge and looking happy about it. You could post it beneath this post or even on some sort of social media. Or print it out and pin it to your work bulletin board. Or post it on your work intranet. I honestly don’t mind 😉

I’ll try to do a different sort of post before the April update, otherwise it won’t look good.