Until now, I never...
Silkscreened onto Fabric

silk-screen sample

Hooray, I finally did it!  I had burned my screens at the Vera Project, cut my fabric into squares, and got my workspace set up.  I’d read so much, and now it was finally time to do the real thing.  So I placed the first piece of test fabric down, placed the screen on top, put a bunch of black ink towards the top of the screen, and pulled down with my squeegee.  Now the fun part: I lifted up the screen to see the results.  Uh oh.  Not so good.  The ink didn’t come through in a lot of places.  So I tried again, and this time pulled the ink back and forth several time.  Darn, the same thing.  So I tried again with a different squeegee, and good grief, there were just places on my design where the ink just wouldn’t go through.

But I remained calm.  I wasn’t upset.  I didn’t expect perfection on the first try; I expected a lesson.  And the volunteer at the Vera Project studio told me this might happen, so I wasn’t surprised.  My design is large – 16″x16″ and my screen is only slightly larger, which means getting an even exposure is tricky.  So I’ll have to go back to the Vera Project, clean off my screen, re-apply the photo emulsion, and re-burn the image onto the screen.  I’m excited to learn how to do this well and get it right.

Here’s are some photos:

silk-screen workspace

This is my workspace – a big table covered with two layers of felt material and some masking tape to guide me.

print samples

Here’s how the printed design looked.

silk-screen sample

Notice how the ink didn’t come through in areas? I need to do a better job getting an even exposure when I burn the image on the light box.

Cleaning up was a challenge and I wish I had taken a picture of the bath tub, filled with dark black water, as I washed the (water-soluble) ink off the screen.  And maybe I should have taken a picture of my panicked face too because I wasn’t sure if the black ink would stain the white tub or not.  But alas it was fine.  And now I know I need a better set up for washing the screens.  Hmmmm……