So this is the first step for silk-screening – getting the image on the screen. And this is a pretty messy and difficult step, which is why I’m doing it at the Vera Project and not on my own. The Vera Project has amazing volunteers who know a ton about silk-screening, so they have the expertise I need. So after some painstaking ordeals at Kinkos/FedEx getting the image to print on a clear transparency, I headed over to the Vera Project with my three screens to get started.
I started with the small screens. It’s one pattern on two screens because I’m trying to do two colors. And everything went well. Phew. Next was the big screen with the text, and this was a little unwieldy. I got the emulsion on the screen and let it dry for a half hour. No problem. Then I taped the transparency to the screen and put it on the light box, put several heavy books on it, covered it with a black cloth, and turned on the light for two minutes. Then I took the screen to the sink, and started to rinse out the emulsion. Where there was pattern, the emulsion doesn’t set, and so you rinse it out in those areas, and that is where the ink will pass through. And that’s where things clearly weren’t working out very well. I couldn’t get all of the emulsion off in some parts. Uh oh. And the volunteer there was great helping me out, trying to rub out those parts, but to no avail. Apparently I must of had issues during the light exposure step, perhaps not getting enough pressure with the books, and so the screen didn’t lay completely flat on the light box. But the text is pretty thin, so I decided to call it good enough, and see what happens when I tried the printing.
So after a couple of hours at the Vera Project I packed up my stuff and headed home with my three screens. I can’t wait to get printing! I’m not expecting it to go perfectly at all. I’m expecting it to be a lesson in what works and what doesn’t, so soon enough I can start making some decent prints and start sewing up some stuff. I’m so excited!!!