I’ve read extensively throughout this section as my screen printing knowledge was scant at best. Even now I realise that I’ve only scratched the surface. The notes provided in the course were excellent and provided a good start point. An unavoidable issue is that products and suppliers mentioned are always in the UK and products here in Australia go by different names – so making mixing a different process as well.
Screen Printing by Claire Benn & Leslie Morgan has been invaluable and the accompanying video provided the printing process in action. Always nice to see photos but having the benefit of watching Claire and Leslie working was a bonus especially as they used thickened dyes. In this 30 minute ‘how-to’ I picked up a lot of tips which helped my work run more smoothly.
There were small things I hadn’t thought about in advance, such as: where do I put the used squeegee once I’ve done a print and want to lift the screen? They suggest having a kitty litter tray where all used items (spoons, empty mixing containers, etc.) can be deposited and the squeegee can sit across the top corners while the screen is repositioned for the next print. Great idea as it frees up my second hand to help the accurate lifting of the screen.
This book covers the use of dyes and also fabric paints so it is quite versatile.
Art Cloth by Jane Dunnewold covers a lot of surface design ideas. At the start of her chapter on screen printing she describes it as a modern adaptation of the basic stencil (Page 127) which is very appropriate. She also devotes an entire chapter to discharge methods which was very useful.
Her instructions are clear, formatted in a step-by-step approach, easy to understand and accompanied by numerous photographs. She also has a troubleshooting section after many of the techniques so you can assess where you might have gone wrong. However, she only covers the use of fabric paints and doesn’t give instructions for using and processing dyes on cloth.
Silk Screen Basics was of limited use as the processes it describes are not covered in the OCA course, its focus is coating screens with sensitized emulsion and then burning the screen to produce a permanent image. However it did still describe setting up the workspace, making and meshing a screen, clean-up and the like. I borrowed the book mainly to wander through the 100 pages of featured artists work. All of the pieces are very intricate, layered compositions and couldn’t be done using the processes we have been exploring. Paper stencils, acrylic paint or wax resists wouldn’t create the fine detail that the screen image burning can achieve.
The Little Book of Screen Printing uses similar techniques to the book described above. It has a short introduction but the bulk is artist portfolios so I flicked through to see what piqued my interest.
Being a member of ATASDA I am lucky to count as my friends some textile artists who are much more in the world of screen printing than I and they kindly either rang or emailed me information to help as I struggled through the dye printing process where each thing I did seemed to turn into a saga. So thanks to you all for your encouragement and your notes, tips and advice have become part of my resources folder now.
Claire Benn & Leslie Morgan, Screen Printing – Layering textiles with colour, texture & imagery. Published by Committed to Cloth, Betchworth, Surrey, UK (no year indicated). ISBN 978-0-9551649-5-8. http://www.committedtocloth.com/our-books/the-bookshelf
Jane Dunnewold, Art Cloth – A guide to surface design for fabric. 2010. Interweave Press LLC, Loveland, CO 80537. ISBN 978-1-59668-195-8.
Texts by Claire Dalquié & Matteo Cossu, Silk Screen Basics. 2011. Gingko Press Inc. Berkeley, USA. ISBN 978-1-58423-419-7.
Caspar Williamson, Little Book of Screen Printing. 2011. Chronicle Books, San Francisco. ISBN 978-1-4521-0259-7