Screen printing, also known as silk screen, is a stenciling process, whereby the stencil is attached to a nylon mesh. The ink is pushed through with a rubber blade called a squeegee. The most versatile method of making the stencil is to coat the screen with photo sensitive emulsion, and expose your image using UV light. You can also use paper cut outs, vinyl and draw directly onto the screen
Artwork and designs can be printed in a wide range of colours and inks. Images can be printed onto almost anything that is flat, including paper, fabric, metal, wood, and plastic.
You can create a stencil for screen printing using paper, by cutting out the shape that you want to print and adhering it to the screen. Left and above is artist and surface pattern designer Shiori Naruse hand printing her work.
Screen printing is a popular way to print a limited edition onto paper. We worked collaboratively with artist and graphic design tutor Mike Pinkney. Using the photo emulsion method, each layer of the artwork was exposed onto a screen using a transparent postive and a UV exposure unit.
To print more than one colour, each colour must be printed on a separate screen. Pictured below, Mike is registering his third colour, so that it lines up with the previous layers.
Here is the final print, 4 colours, each hand mixed by the artist, edition of 20
Artwork can also be hand drawn onto film or tracing paper, before being exposed onto a screen. This is a more direct way of working, without using digital means. It can also create unique textures.