31 March 2014

Call Me Crafty: Screenprinting

It has been a long time since I challenged myself with an art class. So for the past year I'd been eyeing the continuing education classes offered at the Corcoran. They aren't cheap but I loved all the interesting options they had and I was able to take the audit option. So I narrowed down some options and decided to take the screen printing class. 

After being 45 minutes late to the first class (cross town during rush hour on a bus is the worst) I've gotten a pretty good hang of the process.

We have four projects this semester each one using a different technique of making our design, but the shooting and printing part remains essentially the same. We've just started our third project, so I'm a bit behind on updating you.

The first project was to take construction paper shapes to create a print with three layers of three different colors.

Most of the other students are "art" students either full time or are art teachers learning a new technique. So in the actual design of the projects I find I am much simpler. But when it comes to the actual printing, where being type A is beneficial I am having far fewer problems than the other students. 

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This is a printing screen. When its clean it is the yellow color. We put the green emulsion on it and let it dry in a dark box. Then you lay your design in a light box and put the screen on top. Depending on your design you turn the light box on for a 45 seconds up to a few minutes. Then quickly take it from the box to the dark washing room to wash the emulsion that wasn't exposed to the light out. That area becomes your design. In the above photo I covered the areas I wasn't printing with tape and freezer paper.

So for my first project I did my cow.

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The green was printed first, then the purple and finally the pink. I was just trying to use pretty colors, but my teacher has proclaimed it a Zombie Cow.

For the second project we used india ink to make abstract designs. I'm not so great at abstract. I started slowly and finally drew a few designs I liked. I printed each of them a little different. I used the same three colors in the same order, but printed the designs in different orders and used five different designs. 

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This was one of my favorites. At first I didn't like the project, but I ended up with several that I liked and a few that I hated. I printed on small pieces of paper and was able to do three each pull so these went really quickly.

The third project involves india ink pens and tracing and text! I'm excited to see how mine turns out.


  1. Cool! Love the cow and the abstract. Art for your walls.

  2. Sounds like great fun! I would love to go with you, but I would be really late. Anxious to see your next creations. I am not a real fan of abstract, but I like yours. I think it is very hangable - I do not think that is a word, but your know what I mean.


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