Monday, 27 February 2012

Construction


This promises to be the longest, picture-heavy blog post of my life (edit: not as long as I thought!). Well, depending on how much I can possibly say about drilling and screwing, which is what I have done over the few days to get my workspace near completion. The above picture shows my desk, which is basically the aforementioned tabletop paired with some simple trestle legs that I picked up from IKEA.

Next, I drilled some pilot holes and screwed my hinge clamps into the tabletop, ensuring they were far enough apart to hold the screen steady, and also far back enough to accommodate a larger frame in the future. The screens I have at the moment are 24" x 20", 3 with 140T mesh and 1 with 120T. I would have photographed them, but you'll see them later on when I start printing anyway. Plus, no biggy, they're just 4 seemingly identical frames!


My final task of today was to suspend a make-shift exposure light over my desk. The lamp is a basic security light(400W) picked up from a supermarket, and the bracket was extended by screwing a piece of wood into the top. The top of the bracket is about 34" from the desk surface, so cross your fingers with me and pray it will be the right distance away from the screen for exposing. (I have done a bit of research, so I am hopeful!)

.. And that's about it for today. I already have my first project lined up, but before I can begin I need to do a test run with the exposure light, and organise a few little bits that should be arriving in the post this week. Until then - au revoir! - and if you have any questions, pop them in the comment field.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Initiate Launch Sequence

Recently I decided to get back into printmaking, and took the plunge by investing in a small amount of screen-printing equipment. I have been preparing a space in the back room of my generous uncle's house; today my freshly painted shelves were dry, and my table cut to size. I'm off to IKEA in a few hours to pick up some cheap trestle legs for the old boy, and a bracket for suspending my exposing light.

I thought it would be nice to document this set-up (and my preliminary test runs when I'm ready for them), and share my experience with anyone out there who's thinking of doing the same thing. Or, for that matter, anyone who is even mildly interested.

Pictured above:

  • Stencil Strip, Degreaser, and Ghost Remover
  • A cat mug with some stationary in it
  • 2 squeegees: 1 x 8" and 1 x 15"
  • Photo Emulsion and Sensitizer
  • An assortment of Daler Rowney System 3 acrylic paints
  • Daler Rowney System 3 screen printing medium
  • 2 x spray bottles
  • Mixing sticks
  • Screen tape
  • Ply wood 'tabletop': 1220mm x 1090mm x 18mm

Although I have experience with screen printing, I have never attempted it on anything other than a proper screen printing bed, with access to a giant exposure machine, drying unit and jet-wash.

Watch this space.