Friday, July 23, 2010

The Screens Arrived!

The dozen silk screens I ordered from Lynn Krawczyk arrived last night and I've spent the whole morning playing with them.

I know that silk screening is "nothing new" to a lot of people, but being able to work so easily and effectively with perfect renditions of my own images is a new thrill to me.

Let me first say that Lynn was absolutely awesome through this process. When I started talking to her about Thermofax screens, I knew very little about how to create clear, crisp imagery to burn onto the screens, and knew only a little more about how to actually use the finished screens.


She took a huge amount of time in educating and guiding me and now that I've had a chance to play with these beauties, I am even more grateful to her for being so meticulous.

To give myself plenty of time to practice, I started with paper that had previously been painted.

Back in my painting days, I off-loaded a lot of paint from my brushes, palette knives, stencil materials and stamps onto many sheets of paper.

I saved all those "neutral" background papers, knowing that one day more could be done to them to make them interesting and useable.

While these prints are hardly art, I can see many of them being used in my collage work.

I used both the Tulip Screen Printing Paints Lynn sent along (thank you, Lynn!) and some of my own Versatex screen printing ink.

I was particularly fond of the fine-tipped squeeze top on the Tulip paints... they made it very easy to squeeze the paint out into the duct tape well (thoughtfully provided by Lynn) in small, controllable amounts.

I used a large palette knife from the hardware store to pull the prints.

One of the things I found really important to keep in mind was something Lynn had told me about using screens that contain a lot of very fine lines: use a gentle touch! She was absolutely right.

I also found it really important to not only keep tight control of the angle at which I held my palette knife as I pulled the print, but also to watch the bead of ink rolling under the knife to make sure I didn't lay the ink down too quickly.

I needed to be sure I didn't smoosh too much paint down into those fine lines, or the whole image would have blurred.

While I didn't dawdle too long (thereby not allowing the ink to dry on the screen), I didn't rush the process either.

Next to my elbow, I kept a shallow, flat container of water about two inches deep. When I was done with a screen, I laid it flat in the water and swished it around a little to make sure it was fully submerged.

This kept the inks and paints that remained in the screens from drying out  until I could take them all to the sink at once and wash them.

Never let ink or paint to dry in a screen because it will clog the mesh of the screen, making it impossible to use again.

When I was finished with my printing session, I took all the screens to the sink and washed them very gently with a soft sponge, some dish detergent and cold water.

I'm totally hooked, and I can see myself using these again and again for years to come, as well as spending a lot more time, effort (and money) to create and use even more screens in the future.

Happy creating!


kathy said...

These are awesome Judi...loads of fun! And great images too.

Fibra Artysta said...

Oh I'm so glad you shared the prints - they came out so great! I always wonder how the screens look printed when I'm making them - thanks! :)

Robbie said...

Very nice!!! Love each of the pieces!! What fun and great inspiration for us!!

Liz Kettle said...

I love thermofax screens...they are so fun. Great imagery.

ann said...

WOW! I love this approach. How do I get some of my own screens made. Please send me contact info for Lynn. I want to have FUN too.

Anonymous said...

Okay Judi! that's it!
i'm packing up some supplies and coming to play with you in your studio....

this was such a fun post! your excitement was oozing right out of the computer screen here!

I have a you-do machine...and I love using it....!

so much fun!
thanks for sharing!

ciao bella
creative carmelina

Judi said...

Those are awesome. thanks for sharing

Quilter Beth said...

This looks like so much fun. I won a screen from Lynn in your giveaway and can't wait to get it. Thanks for sharing these prints. They are beautiful.

Unknown said...

Oh WOW!! Judi those are so awesome! Just glad this is not a "view" blog because I'm currently GREEN with envy! LOL! I have a feeling this is only the first day of many playing with THOSE new toys!!!

Terry Jarrard-Dimond said...

You're just a little art factory! Keep it rolling Judi. The work is looking gooooood.

Unknown said...

oh dear, I knew that I'd love thermofax screens. Yours are marvelous! thanks for sharing the results.