Spring Break

Pigments for screen printed drop using magna print FF base

Over the spring break, I made the decision I wanted to create a long hand screen printed registered length to present in my graduate show. Wanting it to be over 2 meters long, I knew I’d lots of room to spread out to avoid any mistakes and drips of excess pigment onto the print, coming in during the easter break seemed like the best idea. I decided to mix my pigment beforehand meaning once I got into the print room I could get straight on to printing. Working out this print I realised I’d need 250g of each pigment.

This design was created by hand painting 4 compositions of florals and arranging them to interact with one another using the software AVA CAD CAM. This design really suited being used for separated screen printing, the graphic style mean that’s the individual screens fitted really well together.

In terms of keeping track of what screens I had used and what colour was for each screen, I thought it would be easier to do one screen at once and do all 4 prints of it, I did this to avoid mixing up pigments.

I ended up doing this whole print in two days, 10 hours all together. The first two screens I did on the first day as it took me a while to get into the rhythm of it, print, technicians dry the print with a hair dryer while I power wash the squeegee and the screen, then dry screen with a cloth and finish with a hair dryer, ready for second print. This process took a lot longer on the first day, the second day we got that whole process down to 15 minuets! Meaning I could do a whole screens print in an hour, resulting in the last 5 screens being done the second day!

I decided to do this print onto a lightweight linen that had a slight brown/green colour to it. I though as though the colour of the fabric went well with the pigment colour ways I chose to use.

Wanting the fabric hung for the show, I am still undecided whether I want it hung by a wall or in front of a window, allowing light to shine through. This is why it is important to have a slight transparent fabric. Because of the slight open weave to the fabric, it meant that the pigment actually went through to the backing cloth, which soaked up the excess pigment. It wasn’t till I was pealing the linen of that I realised I would have a second ghosting print left underneath.

Because of how important this print is to my collection, I decided before I started printing that I wanted to have a completely clean backing cloth, so there was no chance anybody’s prints left on the old backing cloth would transfer onto my print. I am so happy I decided to do this as it left me with a clean white/cream base for my print to transfer on. The linen fabric left a really nice texture on the second print, meaning the darker colours have a slight check to them.

Finished length

This is my finished printed length, I am so happy with how it has turned out, I ended up doing 28 prints all together. After it taking so long, it was hard at the end to not rush it and try and speed up the process, but I am so happy I didn’t. The prints line up so perfectly and the colour pigment mixing is just perfect. I am so excited to see this hung up at the show!

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