Monday, 23 April 2012

Hand screen printed lampshade

I LOVE screen printing. I think its the quick results you get once you've set up your screen. I like the clean sharp lines you get when you print and I like creating repeats with the same image too. So my weekend has been amazing fun as I've been on a weekend screen printing course at Leicester Print Workshop and the best bit was you got to print on fabric and then turn it into a lampshade! 

The Leicester Print Workshop is set up to cater for any type of printing, a lot of which I don't quite understand yet but the old machines and letter press stamps looked lovely. 

We made our screens by coating a screen with emulsion that is sensitive to UV light. They have a big machine that exposes the screen to a certain amount of UV light. Black and white contrast images that have been copied onto acetate are used during this UV light exposure to create areas where the emulsion is removed, thus creating a type of stencil. The now dried in emulsion is fixed until you remove it with a special chemical, meaning you can print to your hearts content now with the prepared screen. 

My screen had quite a lot of images on it so to select the image I wanted to work with I just used masking tape to cover up the surrounding images. 

 I used system 3 acrylics which were mixed with a special binder.

 The screen was secured onto hinges that were attached to a melamine board. This made it super easy to print consistently in the same place. So much quicker than trying to line up prints by placing the screen down on your own. 

Registration prints were then done on acetate. The acetate was masked to the board at one edge. This meant that you could position your paper or fabric under the acetate and see where the print would end up. Then just flip the acetate to the side and print!

The key thing to remember so that your screen doesn't get blocked or ruined is to flood the screen after each print. This is done by just pulling ink over the image after you've done your print.

 Its best to set up your area with a clean and dirty section...below obviously being the dirty section. 

 To print the fabric for the lampshade we were given a long strip of calico. I then decided to create a border at the top and bottom. It took a while as the image had to be repeated (printed) many times. The picture below shows 4 repeats of my pattern. 

 I then masked off a section of 3 butterflies and printed them in-between the borders. I then used a lemon yellow colour for a second row of butterflies in-between the purple. 

I then used a lampshade kit to turn the fabric into the lampshade and here it is....I need to get a larger base for the shade but I wanted to try it out to get an idea of how it would look. 

 When the light is on, it makes the colours look even more vibrant. 

Below is a selection of prints that I did onto paper.

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