Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Things I Need to Learn... Fast

I'm not a trained artist. The DIY joy that drives me means that most of what I do is ad hoc - there are little details that I miss in form and method, especially when it comes to actually screen printing the clothes.

Recently, I was having a lot of problems with prints bleeding around the edges of the image. This made the lines fuzzy and lame and me frustrated. There were other inconsistencies, too. Why was this happening!!!??

I turned to google for help and discovered a wealth of videos that were just the kind of tutorial I was looking for. Honestly, I'll admit right now that before I started a few years ago I had never seen a person make a print other than in photos... weird right? Ok... moving on.

Make Magazine posted this video. It's a good run down of the basic principles and has a solid ETSY connect to boot, featuring one of the executives of the site, Matt who is also a screen printer as well. What got me interested was later in the video when Matt explains how to flood the screen(spread the ink on the screen) and pull the squeegee to push the ink onto the shirt.

This helped, but the librarian in me (I am a librarian) wanted more... so I kept looking.

I found Roger Jennings' Vimeo page. Roger appears to know his stuff when it comes to the silk screen business (he's backed by a 30 year career... and some crazy background in electrical substations) and he's posted a wealth of videos on common problems and things like that.
This video was particularly helpful because Roger spends the first few minutes evaluating some common flaws in a new printers' work.

Screen Printing Overview - How to Print from Roger Jennings on Vimeo.

He's got a lot to explore.

Anyways, the problem appeared to be that I wasn't distributing my ink unevenly (called flooding...oooh industry term). And, I was applying too much pressure when I pulled with my squeegee across the screen.

After I figured this out, I took some scrap fabric and practiced. Right away, I started to see improvement!

So... thanks Roger.

No comments: