There is a little art studio on the corner of Baker and McAllister that caters to the diy inclined. They will teach you how to make a lamp from a booze bottle, create a terrarium from a mason jar, start your own etsy shop, and much more. A couple weeks ago I decided to wander down to Workshop to wrap my mind around the concept of screen printing.
When you sign up for the class, Workshop gives you the option to design your own screen to take home. You send them your image and they burn it onto a screen for an extra $45. I couldn’t resist. Screen printing as always appealed to me partly because of the idea of creating my own textiles. So I hand-painted three different patterns, scanned them, and sent them on their way.
The class started with an overview of how to make your own screen. The process is pretty straight forward, but there are pieces of equipment that you have to have. The steps are something like: 1. Design your screen. 2. Put your design on a transparency. 3. Coat your screen with emulsion in a dark room and let it set. 4. Place your image on the screen and expose it to light. 5. Rinse and dry your screen.
Once you have a screen to work with your are ready to print.
After the lesson was complete, music was turned on, paint cans were opened, and we were allowed to use Workshop’s many screens to print anything we brought with us. The Pandora station was set to Salt N Pepa, there was a bucket above a mini fridge where you could drop a dollar and take out a beer, and giant work tables waiting to be covered with art. It was a little slice of heaven. Three shirts, two notebooks, and one screen later I headed home inspired to continue my exploration of this new art form.
- You flood the screen with paint before you use it to print.
- You can install hinged clamps that allow you to raise and lower your screen while keeping it in the same location. This way you can tape down a test print which shows you exactly where your next print will end up. Useful trick!
- If you use water soluble ink, rinse your screen quickly. That stuff dries fast!
- You can use blue tape to mask any part of the screen you don’t want to use.
- I heart Workshop and can’t wait to take my next class there.
In the end I used Workshop’s screens because I knew I couldn’t take them home with me. Now my head is swimming with ideas about how to use my own screen. I cannot wait to show you what I come up with.
Have you tried anything new lately? I would love to hear about it!