Friday, March 6, 2009

The Magic of Screen Printing

My interest in graphic design started when I was in high school. My school actually offered graphic arts classes where we primarily did screen printing. It was the most fascinating process. This was more like a shop class with lots of huge equipment. There was only one computer with some very basic clip art and one scanner, which was like a new toy for everyone. I came out of that class with some fabulous band t-shirts, Charlie Brown pillowcases, and countless numbers of notepads. Ben recently bought me a screen printing kit and it has been fun to get back to my "roots" and experiment a little at home.

I designed a logo for a band I'm loving lately (Great Lake Swimmers) and we used the photo emulsion method to transfer the design to the screen. We were pretty happy with the results. I'm still completely amazed by the process.

I recently discovered another home method for screen printing which is not as easy, but cheaper. I LOVE using things for purposes other than what they were originally intended. I made my own screen using an embroidery hoop and sheer curtain material. This process involves painting the negative space of your image with glue. I was completely surprised that this actually worked. I printed a bunch of cards and then a little apron for Amelia.

These are the two different screens.

I still like to do the freezer paper stencils, although they are only good for one print and you are limited by your ability to cut with an x-acto knife.

My latest stenciled was originally going to be just an umbrella, but it seemed rather lonely.