A few months ago at an auction I placed the winning bid on a screen printing course with The Egg Factory in Hebden Bridge. It is a creative Co-working space and screen printing studio, with a wide variety of artists as members of the co-op, most of whom specialise in screen printing.
I was so excited to do my course but work load wise needed to wait till I had my exhibition launched. I though it would be a great skill to have under my belt as an artist, especially as a mixed media print maker. My only previous experience of screen print was from GCSE art, but this course was a world away from the one lesson I did 20ish years ago, my god the print I produced back then was shockingly bad! But I could say the same about the one lino print I produced at school and probably some of my early lino prints as an adult.
Anyway the weekend of my course finally came. I had the most amazing time and I think produced some fairly decent prints. My course was run by Amy who was a fantastic tutor, she provided all the support and guidance I needed and at the same time encouraged independence. She allowed full creativity, so I could develop the rough ideas I arrived with in my sketchbook and mind, she gave me great advice on how I could turn my ideas into prints.
The course was very comprehensive but still relaxed considering it was just one weekend long, I certainly feel like I learnt so much. I covered everything you need to get started as a screen printer including coating and exposing a screen using the photo emulsion, two colour separation, registration and handling your squeegee correctly. I had a little bonus of being taught about mixing inks and extender and screen flooding.
So here’s a little slide show of what I produced over the weekend. I went with the intention of beginning a new phase of work for me, layering contrasting and complimentary patterns, working with negative spaces that form shapes among a pattern, and creating patterns that morph across the print.
I’ve totally fallen in love with screen print! I’ll certainly be including it in some of my work now. The images and marks it’s possible to produce with screen print are in some ways different from linocut but still have the bold and crisp quality of print that I love. Its definitely a quicker, more immediate way of producing the image you want, which can help when the ideas are flowing fast. But still for me, print is not about producing multiple copies, it’s about making an image that can not be made in any other way, multiple copies are just an added bonus. I think I’ll be able to make the two work well together in mixed media prints, combing screen print, lino print and hand drawn illustration. I’ll be getting myself a little frame and squeegee to produce screen print elements for my work. Then when my littlest starts school I’ll be joining up to their co-op work space. So watch this space for more screen print!
Finally many thanks to Amy and everyone at The Egg Factory for a brilliant weekend!