Monthly Archives: January 2010

A screen printing lesson.

Here are some screen-printing basics, just so we’re all on the same page here.  It’s not meant to be a tutorial, but there are some great sites out there on the internet that can show you detailed instructions.  This is just my process.

First I draw an image in pencil and then I go over my lines in a dark pen, being a clean and precise as possible with my lines.  Then I scan it with my printer.  In photoshop, I blacken areas I want to be colored and make a different layer for each color.  When I print them, each color is literally a layer.  I print each of these layers out on a sheet of transparency paper, as seen below:

At this point, my screen is coated with green “photo-emulsion” which is a light senstive substance.  When exposed to light, it hardens.  The black lines on my transparency protect the screen from the light, after the rest of the screen is exposed (and hardened) with a photo flood bulb (see below) I am able to wash the screen clean where the black lines were.  This basically creates a very precise stencil.

This is the resulting screen:

Previously, with a different screen containing my “color layer” I printed the marigold color on my paper:

I let that dry, and now I’m ready to print the lines.  I line up the color image below the screen with the lines, and I scoop out some paint and lay it across the top of the image:

I then take my squeegee:

And I scrape the paint across the image, pushing it through the screen to the paper below.

The result:

The little imperfections are what make this art.  As my screen-printing teaching in college said “You are not an Epson.  If people want perfection, they should use a printer.”

And as we all know, perfection is boring.


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Filed under Paper Goods

Hungry Fox Poster

I am proud of this poster; I really liked the way it turned out.  The ink is more yellow in life than it looks here, fyi.  More of a marigold.

I printed this poster a few days ago for the first time, and when I sat back to admire it, I was horrified to notice that it read “Invitions” instead of “Invitations.”

I seriously considered leaving it and hoping nobody noticed, but I then thought about what I would say if a prospective client asked me about my “Invitions,” and I went ahead and bleached my screen to remove the image and started over again.

It sat on my table at the “Marry Occasion” Bridal Show (along with cupcakes and all my printed goods).  It was my first bridal show, and I think a raving success.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you:   The Hungry Fox!

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Poppies are one of my favorite flowers.  It’s extraordinary when you come upon a field of poppies in the median of the highway.  I always want to stop and sit at the edge of the gently stirring red expanse.  It’s like the flowers are slowly inhaling and exhaling.  Which, I guess they are in a way.

I mixed red and neon orange to come up with a living, vivid red for these invites.  I love the result.

And thank you notes, too!

I did these with black lines, but I also made some with brown.

What I love about screen printing is that the “imperfect” prints are sometimes more beautiful than the “perfect” prints.

This print lined up as well as can be expect.  And I think it’s lovely.

This print was a little off, and I can’t take my eyes off of it!


Filed under Cards, Invitations, Thank You Notes

Sewn Invitation with Tea Bag

Hand drawn and screen printed design, sewn to dark blue cloth and a tea bag.

Personalized tea bag tags are available.

And in blue…

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Filed under Invitations

More calligraphy examples

I love doing these banners.  And I love colored ink on envelopes.

And I love kraft paper.

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Filed under Addresses, Calligraphy

Sewn Save the Date

Threaded dots with zig-zag stich.  Orange and gray on white paper, sewn to gray paper.

Choose your favorite colors and away we go!

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Filed under Save the Dates

Eric and Mikaela Guestbook

Our guestbook reflected the colors of our invitations: poppy red, light green and brown.

I sewed buttons to the fabric cover and I love the way it turned out.

A blueberry bush stood on the title page…

…and foxes guarded the interior.  All screen-printed.


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Filed under Books