Monday and the last of our first mini block rotation, this week, Print. In the print studio Danny Flynn takes us all through the procedure of screen printing. First off he goes through the process of cleaning a screen. Using the cleaning liquid with a sponge, you wipe over the front and then holding the screen on its side as to not damage the mesh, you then wipe the back, making sure it has a good amount of liquid covering it, this makes sure that it wont dry out when you leave it for five to seven minutes to work. You then wash the liquid off with the water gun to make sure theres no air born chemicals, washing from top to bottom, front and back, with the gun pointing downwards. Once clean turn on the power hose, put some ear protector head phones on and blast the screen, this is the best bit, as its very satisfying watching the previous image peel away where ever you point. Again you do this to both sides. When you feel you have cleaned it all off, hold it up to the light and check for any blockage, any areas where there is still a solid piece of emulsion that will stop your print going through. Once satisfied, place in the bottom of the drying rack and wait five to ten minutes for it to dry. Now to prepare it for printing, prop your screen up at an angle, put a pair of gloves on and pour the U.V emulsion into a troff and holding firmly, place it against the bottom of your screen above the frame, tilt until the emulsion touches the mesh all the way across and pull up, all the while pushing solidly against the screen to create a even consistent application, then taking a small piece of card and dipping it in the emulsion, cover any blank areas on the sides, pulling the card outwards towards you. Then place back in the drying rack, this time at the top. Pour the left over emulsion back into the tub and wash your tools. The screen should take about 25 to 30 minutes to dry. Next you expose your chosen image onto the screen, placing your image face up on the glass in the U.V machine, then your screen face down on top of your image, close the top, lock it, and press the vacuum button, wait for it to suck in, make sure the frequency is around 18 and then press start. Leave the room. The U.V stops automatically, so once its done, press the vacuum off, wait for the air to re-enter the rubber and then unlock and you can take out your image and screen. Now with the water gun wash the screen front and back to take off the excess emulsion, like before, hold up to the light to check you have cleaned it well enough, then place back in the bottom of the drying rack for 5 to 10 minutes. Once dry place your screen on the bed between the two horizontal arms, adjust until parallel and securing your screen in, then clamp down. Choose your colour, pick a squeegee and pick up a spatular, take the spatular and dip it in the ink, then spread the ink across the top of your screen, just above the image. With the squeegee in both hands, drag it firmly from just before the ink to just after the image, then stop, pull up the arms, push the squeegee back down the screen at the same angle to re flood the screen and there you have your print. Now just repeat, repeat, repeat.
Danny also took us through preparing your image and text. So for text, go on Illustrator, write out your text then create “type outline”, this makes your text into a solid image which you can edit, you can also ungroup if you want, this way enabling you to move the letters around separate to each other.
For the image, open your image in Photoshop, change the mode to grayscale, then to Bitmap, halftone, and set the frequency to something like 20 or 30 for quite a course dot tone.