February 09, 2009

From Concept to Creation

This is harder than I thought it would be.  I'm should have gone with my original plan. Now, after a few trials and non-tribulations I have decided I am going to screen print. 

I haven't printed anything since college.  I don't think I have silkscreened since I taught arts and crafts at summer camp.  Luckily for me there are plenty of people who have put up You Tube videos to refresh my memory on just what I need to do.  First step is getting a machine that will allow me to do more than one color.  I've placed an order on ebay for a simple 4 color, manual press.  It's a basic machine but as long as it can get my registration marks to line up it will work. Now I wait for it to arrive, and watch more you tube videos.

While we wait, let me take you through the journey that is bringing us right back to printing.

I completed my designs months ago but I've been humming and hawing on how to produce them.  My first thought was to paint.  My background (and degree) is in fine art and painting so that seemed like the natural choice for me.    I also loved the idea of using natural wood and allowing the grain to show through.  So here are pictures of my first attempts.  Acrylic paint on wood.

 I liked the colors and the feel of the designs, however, I couldn't get the lines crisp and neat and clean.  I felt like the designs were popping enough because the paint brush didn't allow me to keep it clean and crisp enough.  (maybe it was my unsteady hand, but it's my blog and I will blame the brush if I want to!) 

Next I played with the material.  I found a small local screen print shop with all natural paints and environmentally friendly practices.  I bought a roll of fair-trade, sustainable canvas hemp (one thing I never waivered from is my need to be "green") I commissioned them to do the printing for me.  Results are below.

Although the design seemed more graphic, I didn't like the way it soaked into the canvas and the soft texture. Despite my specific pantone color instructions, I didn't like how all the blues turned out.  It was then that I realized, to do it right I would have to do it myself.  By doing it myself I could experiment with materials, mix my own colors and make my own mistakes. 

Now I wait. 

Wait, and watch You Tube.


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