Saturday, March 12, 2011

Printmaking at Home

I once spent an entire day making an edition of prints in my bedroom. It was probably a 5 or 6 color screenprint using drawing fluid and screen blocker based on a portrait of Edie Sedgwick. It took all day, but it worked, looked pretty good, and was pretty well registered.

I also once took over the kitchen floor to make a few screenprints of a city scene using photo emulsion on a giant self constructed screen frame and printed on canvas.

When I graduated from college, I used a screen at home to burn an image I used to make Thank You notes.

I have also ruined 3 or 4 screens trying to do photo emulsion at home.

I have been ready to try it again, and over the past 3 days have done just that. I bought some really nice aluminum frame screens from the internet, and we almost have a room set up at home where we can do arts and craft stuff without messing up the living room with all our art junk.

Every night for the past 3 nights I have coated these screens, and then attempted to burn them. I am using the same lights that I am pretty sure have worked in the past, only this time I am trying to work my way up with the timing so I don't waste my money with these screens.

The first night was 10 minutes and it washed the whole screen out.
The second time was for 20 minutes and it washed the entire image out and left the border.
The third time it was for 30 minutes and washed most of the image out.
Last night I tried it for 45 minutes and it still washed the image out.

This is beginning to frustrate me because i don't have a lot of time on my hands to do this kind of stuff, and I definitely do not have the money to keep buying equipment meant for pros, or using all my photo emulsion on attempts and not prints.

I already bought the new frames, and a new hose attachment for spraying out the emulsion. I have plans from the for an exposure box, so I think that I might have to actually go out and construct this thing from scratch.

It will cost around $100 according to most estimates I have read, but I think really what's going to bug me is buying all the pieces and waiting to construct it. Due to my work schedule, this will no doubt delay my screenprinting by around 4 days just to buy the materials. But I guess it is better to do it right than to keep trying to do it wrong.

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