9 December 2012

Screen printing at The Make Lounge

Let me start by saying: I have a habit of biting off more than I can chew. This class was no exception. However, this is not in any way due to it being too complex or anything like that. Sadly, it seems I just like to set myself one hell of a task.

Screen printing in its most basic form involves a simple stencil, some fabric (or paper), printing inks and some silk screen equipment - a frame and a squeegee. Having done a fair bit of screen printing at university, I clearly had much bigger ideas. However, an advanced course, this isn't. It is back to basics and brilliantly so. Helen, our teacher for the evening, explained how it works and how you created both negative and positive images. We then set about designing our stencils. Having been advised to have an idea in mind, I brought in a pair fully mocked up designs. Not so much ideas as "I want this please":

These were the simpler of my original ideas too - I was originally going to do a Dia De Los Muertes sugar skull design, but that would have been impossibly fiddly.I settled for the four bird design once I realised that lining up the overlaps on the six bird design was going to be a rather large bird-shaped headache. As screen printing is quite time-consuming (and as my printing partner had also gone for a rather complex design) I decided to go from three colours to two.

The process itself is fun and messy - you set up your frame, sealing off any areas you don't want ink to seap through, then add the ink and pull the squeegee across the image. The result though, is a simple and very eye-catching design.

the finished result

The Make Lounge will provide you with a tote bag (large or small), a tea towel or a pencil case (of which you get to pick two items). If you want any more, you have to buy them or you can do what I did and bring your own items to print. I wanted to make cushion covers, so I ordered them from here a few days ahead of the class.

The screen printing class at The Make Lounge costs £57 and includes two items to screen print, snacks and wine.

The Make Lounge

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