How it's done

Introduction

When we think of a print today, we tend to see this as a computer generated image.

Screen printing is very different from this. It is a traditional art form that began in China as far back as 960 AD and came to Europe in the late 18th century.

It is a process that is created completely by hand from start to finish.

Each handmade print in an edition is an original; there is no automated or digital reproduction involved.

A woven mesh supports the stencil of the image and acrylic ink is forced by hand through the mesh using a rubber squeegee.

I use a photographic process to make the stencil. This handmade process makes every print an original work of art.

Design

This is often the longest part of the process.

From an idea to final design can take weeks to perfect.

Once this is finalised, thought must be given to colour and density of ink as this will contribute to the mood of the image.

Preparing the screen

In the past a silk mesh screen was used but this is now a fine nylon mesh in a wooden frame.

The screen is:
- First coated in a light sensitive emulsion.
- And then dried with a hairdryer.
- The design is put beneath the screen and together they are inserted into a powerful light box.
- Exposure time is typically 10 minutes.
- The screen is then washed with a powerful jet to remove the emulsion & once again dried with a hairdryer.
- The design is now visible on the mesh of the screen.

Printing

The screen is laid over the paper and ink is pushed through the mesh by hand using a rubber squeegee.

After use the screen is rubbed with a chemical to break down the emulsion and cleaned by blasting with a jet wash.

This process is repeated for each colour application or modification to the image. In this way the art work is built up to completion.

Look at the images on this page to see how each element of the design is printed to build up a complex image. The final artwork is "Snow on the Tuscan Hills".

Terminology:

Edition of 6 (1/6) - There are 6 hand prints available. They are all originals and may vary slightly.

Varied Series (V.S) - Although the main image remains the same, the colours or composition varies within the edition.

Artists Proof - A single print or a small edition that was created as part of the artist's creative development of a fuller edition.