Mono-type Silkscreening Print

Objective
The objective of this project is to produce "one of a kind" prints through the process of silkscreening. The technique makes use of stencils, which will be destroyed while printing, and provides an easy method by which an elementary school-level participant can create art.

Materials

There will be some cost incurred for acquisition of necessary supplies.
  • 1 silkscreen with wood frame, 12" x 14" prestretched (approximately $20.00 each)
  • Fabric: 8XX or 100 mesh (monofilament)
  • 1 wood squeegee, 10" long with a medium blade (approximately $15.00 each)
  • squeeze tubes (as many as inks) (approximately $1.00 each)
  • tempra inks or acrylic inks in red, blue, green, black, yellow, white (other colors can be used)
  • markers or crayons in the same colors as the inks
  • 11" x 17" paper on which to print (have on hand twice as many sheets as students)
    Note: Please use a thicker paper rather vs. copy machine paper. Thick newsprint or 80# velum bristol is recommended.
  • rags and newspapers for cleanup
  • 2 door hinge with screws
  • 2 C-clamps
  • stick or spray mount
  • a bottle for used ink
  • lacquer, brush and mineral spirits

Preparation

  1. With a pencil, on the flush side of the fabric and wood of the silkscreen, draw an 8"x 10" rectangle on the fabric within the frame. The 8" x 10" rectangle should be 2 inches from the inside edge of the wood frame.
  2. Using lacquer and a brush, on the flush side of the fabric and wood, paint the entire area between the 8" x 10" rectangle and the wood frame. The center of the 8" x 10" rectangle will remain clear. Dry and add a second coat. This should be done in a well ventilated space or outside. Be careful, as the lacquer is permanent. Clean the brush with mineral spirits.
  3. With the fabric side of the silkscreen facing down, screw one door hinge leg into the short side of the frame about 1" from the corner. 1" from the other corner on same side of the frame, screw the second hinge into the frame.
  4. Lay the silkscreen flat on the table with the hinges next to the edge of the table. Use the C-clamps to hold it in place, and mount the remaining hinge legs to the edge of the table. If mounted correctly, the silkscreen will swing like a door on the table.
  5. On the 11" x 17" sheets, draw an 8"x10" rectangle (you will need one sheet for each student, but I would recommend preparing extra sheets since mistakes happen). Take one of the sheets, place it under the silkscreen and align the 8" x 10" rectangle on the paper with the rectangle on the silkscreen. Carefully lift the screen making sure you do not move the paper, and pencil in cross hairs on the table at the corners of the paper. Remove the paper during printing. If you have spray mount, a little spray on the area will work better.
    You are now ready to print.
    Printing Procedures
  6. Ask each student to draw a picture with a marker or crayon within the 8" x 10" rectangle on the 11" x 17" paper.
  7. Working with one student at a time, place the student's picture under the silkscreen (align the corners of the paper with the cross hairs on the table). Lower the silkscreen to about a 1/2 inch above the drawn image. Place a small, stable object like a pink eraser between the screen and table to secure the gap between the two.
  8. Squeezing inks out of the tubes (the inks should be of a creamy consistency, not watery), have the student redraw the picture onto the silkscreen. The entire area on the screen within the lacquered border will have ink. Any space within the rectangle that does not have color, will be covered in white ink.
  9. Now the hard stuff.
    Gently lift the screen a little and replace the original drawing with a clean sheet of paper. Remove the small object and lower the screen onto the new paper.
  10. Stand on the side of the frame opposite the hinged side. Place the squeegee on the inside of the silkscreen parallel to and against the hinged side of the frame. With both hands equally spaced on the squeegee, pull the squeegee with constant pressure towards yourself. As you pull, the angle of the squeegee should be around 75 degrees from the horizontal. Pulling can only be done once, don't try a second time.
    Cleanup Procedures
    After printing, lift the screen, remove the paper and place newspapers under the screen. Lower the screen and allow it to lay flat on the newspapers. Scoop the used ink and put into a bottle (this is mixed ink).
    After most of the ink is scooped up, use the towels or rags to mop up the excess ink. If a large sink is available, the entire screen should be rinsed off and dried . The screen is ready for the next student when the screen looks dry and clean.
Information: Miles Hamada, Little Tokyo Art Workshop, 213-625-0046, 628-2725


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