My Adventure into Screen Printing

So I have seen a few people use silkscreen prints to create amazing prints on clay. I wanted to give this a go but being me I didn't like the idea of using a design anyone could get a hold of. I like everything to be me and my design.

So a year later and after lots of research, I decided it was not going to happen but then I found an easy way to create a screen print. Without the complexity of making a screen print from scratch.

How? I used my Cricut machine to cut a vinyl stencil and then bought a cheap screen. I then stuck the stencil on the clay.

I choose a simple design as knew anything too complex and intricate wouldn't work with the vinyl. So I choose a spot design because of the collection of Ice Cream Sundae so I thought it would be alike a sprinkle effect on top which I liked. So then I proceeded. With paint, glitter, mica paste and gilded leaf.

Wow, I loved it! I loved the possibilities. I loved the effect. Once the collection was done and launch it kept on my mind. I wanted more. More options of design and more intricacy.

Research. So I dived straight back into research and found a kit online. EZ Screen. From America which made me a little uneasy. But after lots more reading I took the plunge and ordered.

This kit basically comes with everything you need to print and expose a design in too photosensitive silkscreen and thus creating a silkscreen stencil.

So now probably the reason you clicked on the article.

How to make a silkscreen print?

Ez Screen had a really great Youtube video on how to use the kit. As a dyslexic who struggles to read instructions was very helpful for me.

So with the video as a guide, I started.

Attempt 1:

1. Printing the acetate;

The first thing that is needed is to print a design on specially coated acetate. I had drawn some flowers into my sketchbook and then digitised them onto procreate and then made them into a pattern.

So I printed this on to acetate.

Mistake 1: I meticulously went over the print settings but then neglected to check the scale.

So the image was very small on the corner. But I was hoping it could still work.

Design I created for the screen print. Floral print hand drawn and digitalised in pro create
Design I created for the screen print

2. Exposing the screen;

Then it is time to expose the screen. Still being guided by the video. I have a lamp I got with the kit but it was a gloriously sunny out so I decided to use the sun to do the exposure.

I clipped it into the exposure unit. Which is effectively a piece of glass and a piece of black felted card. I used a piece of cardboard to protect it from the sun on the way in and out of the house, as guided by the video.

I set the timer for 2mins and lifted the cardboard. Once the time had elapsed I replaced the cardboard on top.

Adding the acetate and silkscreen to the exposure unit. For screen printing
Adding the acetate and silkscreen to the exposure unit.

3. Water emersion;

Once I returned to the house I removed the silkscreen and submerged it in water. I left it there for 15mins. I then returned I gently shook the screen and then washed it while brushing the screen. At this point, I was worried as I couldn't see much. I lifted it to the light I could see a faint pattern I then left it to dry.