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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making cloth and other things

It’s been a busy few weeks since moving house. From an art point of view I’ve been trying to get things done for the Lake District International Comic Arts Festival where I have half a table to fill with my printed knick-knacks. The main thing to get done is a special tablecloth / banner that I can use at all future such events. I’ve had the cloth and design for a while but was putting off doing anything with it by waiting to move.
cloth-1I did, however, make a tie with the fabrics to do a little practice sewing and because there was a wedding to go to.

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orange swizz

We return to orange cocktail making because we feel that Orange Bam was not very good and we can do better than Orange Bam.

Orange Swizz has a 1920s feel to it (which is an instant improvement) and is a lot better than Orange Bam.

To start skin the orange once again and dump it all in plenty of gin. You don’t have to skin it all in one go, this isn’t Orange Bam you know.







When the gin looks like wee pour a big glug of Cointreau in a glass







and then strain the gin into the glass.







Add a couple of good looking pieces of peel and ice







and finish with soda water. How much depends on how dilute you want it.









This is a robust and dry cocktail and is suitable for getting drunk on, although because the orange oils float it tastes weaker as you go. Probably worth leaving several pieces of peel out of the initial infusion and adding them just before you drink it.

Makes a great aperitif before the mini cheddar and charred sweet potato fritter course.