For my birthday my colleagues bought me a gift voucher for Print Club London to do a screen printing workshop...I had wanted to do it for ages and so I had obviously gone on about it enough for them to decide that it would make the perfect gift!
It took me a while to get my act together and actually find a weekend free to do it, but a couple of weekends ago I headed over to Dalston on a rainy Saturday morning ready to get messy and go through all the process of screen printing.
I'm afraid I didn't take loads of pictures because, you know, I was getting on with the business of actually making my screen prints and the ones that I did take are a bit fuzzy and from my phone but hopefully they give you an idea.
The lovely Barry and Oli led our workshop. We started off with a talk from Barry going through the basics of screen printing and showing us lots of amazing examples of things that had been created at PCL. Then Oli talked us through the process of taking our artwork and preparing it so that it was suitable to go onto a screen.
All our black and white artwork was printed onto tracing paper ready to expose onto our screens. We then went into a dark room with red light to cover our screens with emulsion. These were then left to dry. While the screens were drying we checked our artwork for any imperfections.
Once the screens were dry we used the large exposure unit to expose our screens. It literally took 40 seconds! Crazy. We rinsed the screens down to get the emulsion that hadn't hardened off (the bits that hadn't been exposed to the light because they were covered by the black artwork) and left them out to dry.
After lunch we were ready to start printing. The major dilemma was picking which coloured ink to use!
We all helped each other out with printing on the table - and after doing a few test runs, all eventually came out with 6 beautiful prints. I loved seeing everyone's work on the drying rack and it was fun to see people's image choices and colour choices coming together.
The prints came out really well considering it was a beginners workshop and most people's first go at screen printing.
I will be honest I fell in love with screen printing all over again (I had done a little bit at university and also some fairly rudimentary printing on my kitchen table) - and the thought of spending hours and days in those studios really appealed. It took me back to the very happy days of art college and having lots of time to experiment. I might save up the pennies and try and become a member in the new year because I would love to be able to offer all sorts of screen printed items in my little shop.
If you have ever wondered about screen printing or just wanted to give it ago I can't recommend this workshop enough. All of the people running the course and on the course were so lovely and friendly and it was a great way to spend a Saturday!