#Print52 Week 5: Brush Cones
As you may recall, I actually managed to prepare & expose a decent screen last week…I was chuffed (and very smug). My ‘good’ screen was the product of reducing the exposure time from 9 minutes to 7 and by doubling up on my artwork creating a super dense black ink.
However, because I changed two variables in one session I have no idea which was the actual problem child leaving me just as clueless as before.
What to do?
Exposure Time & Wash Out
Well, I decided to harass the variable I thought was the culprit; the ink on my artwork.
According to all my web research on this matter, the ink needs to be super black and super duper non see-through. My ink to date has be a smokey charcoal and riddled with holes. Except for last week’s, which was blackish and had a smattering of holes.
To test the web’s and my own theory I went back to using only 1 layer of printed artwork on tracing paper (not even the proper stuff from Leapfrog Inkspot) and I exposed my screen for 7 minutes.
The process was indeed easy, the result patchy.
In fact so patchy I couldn’t even shift the tiniest speck of emulsion during wash out with the shower head set to ‘strong’. So I went all power jet on it.
But, it also knocked out smaller sections that I wanted to keep. Namely, all the bits under the tape I used to hold my artwork down with.
Another week, another problem…
Note to self: don’t use tape on screen during exposure, even that lovely smelling 3M stuff.
Speaking of new problems, I also discovered after wash out that my screen had been a little dirty before coating (emulsion) because it was now coated in garage dust. It was pretty, but I am fairly sure that you’re not supposed to end up with a blue speckled screen.
Thankfully all of the garage speckle stayed in place during printing,
Another note to self: check your screen for dirt before coating…and maybe afterwards too.
Registration & Printing
As you can imagine having a patchy screen and knowing that your print work isn’t going to turn out great sort of puts a dampener on things.
Here’s some of what happened/didn’t happen…
- I forgot that because my fabric was unbleached and that my ink might change shade. It did, and not in a good way. Mid brown on yellow-beige is not cool, or pretty. It’s very much warm and blergy.
- Apparently, not only does a patchy screen add unwanted smears and blobs, it likes to pool ink and randomly throw it about. I am not sure why, but on some parts of my printed fabric it looks like I have gone over it repeatedly… back to front.
- A bunch of other annoying stuff happened here
- Lastly, I realised that the little channel running between each printed segment wasn’t caused by miscalculated registration markers, but because I didn’t cut & tape my artwork together to match them. ‘Eyeball and balls it up’ being my preferred method of putting patterns together.
Lessons learned this week:
- Colours like to mess with other colours
- My registration calculations work as long as I get my cut & taped artwork to match
- I need to try that inkjet vellum paper stuff I read about last week
- Screen printing likes to throw curve balls every other week
Do I feel discouraged?
No Way! I haven’t had this much fun in years. I am sure I am learning far more messing about in my garage than I would at a college… AND I get to wear dungarees. They’re three sizes too big, but that’s so I can get my ski gear under them (don’t ask).
Just another 47 #Print52 projects to go!
This weeks’ brush cones were created using a cheapo art brush and black ink…then jazzed up in Illustrator.