I've been wanting to try out some DIY screenprinting for a long time, and this weekend, Craig and I finally got around to some serious experimentation.
A few months ago, Craig built a lightbox; four 18 watt, 4000K, 1350 lumen fluorescent tubes, aluminum foil, some power cable and glass.
I had a Speedball Screenprinting kit that was a present from SolDesign when I left the job and moved here. That's right-- this kit is over a year old...
A month or two ago, our wonderful friends Jeremy and Katie bought their first home. And we screwed up. We didn't get them a housewarming card for months. Seriously, we were really late. To make up for it, I thought we should design our own card; my idea was a snail carrying a house on its back. Craig drew the card, and we sent it off.
But then I thought it would make a good print, too. Craig recreated the drawing, and we overlapped 3 transparencies to get the lines really opaque.
I got the materials together-- the ink scraper, emulsion, sensitizer, ink and screen.
I mixed the emulsion with sensitizer and prepped the screen.
We experimented with the exposure times on our lightbox-- about 8 minutes looked pretty good.
This is what our exposed screen looked like-- the red dots are screen filler. As you can see, the screen isn't perfect; it's not as crisp as Craig's drawing.
We made a few prints, using just copy paper and some fairly ugly shiny blue ink (it came in the kit...)
Our first print was very patchy.
Things got better as we kept printing, but our fourth, and last, print still wasn't that good.
Any of you screenprinting masters out there have any advice for us? Is it possible that I waited too long to use the emulsion? We washed the screen out in our sink, which doesn't have very high pressure-- should I have washed the screen out with a higher-pressure hose? Should we give up on using the lightbox and just try using the sun instead?
I'm looking forward to printing more and getting better at it, so any tips would be greatly appreciated!