english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England

Screen Printing Workshop

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Last weekend I attended a two-day screen printing class at Midlands Art Centre. We had a day of learning techniques, followed by a day of making whatever we fancied. In my case, I wanted to make items to sell at the craft fair me and colleagues were organising at work this week (p.s. things went well & we raised £1,717 for charity) so I made six tea towels. I used a stencil design and did two-colour fox and three-colour plant prints:

Fox Screen Print

Floral Screen Print

I also tried a couple of other screen printing techniques. These were direct stencil techniques – where the image is applied directly to the screen rather than creating a separate stencil which is placed over the screen.

The direct application techniques I tried were using charcoal and water soluble crayons. In both cases the image is drawn directly onto the screen and then printed onto fabric using a squeegee to push binder across the screen & print the image. A number of members of our group had a go at direct printing using procion dye, which gave a lovely watercolour-style effect. Unfortunately I didn’t get time to try the procion dye as I was too busy getting my tea towels finished!

I took a few photos of the process of printing using charcoal, which are included below.

I began by printing a simple block of colour as a brackground to my charcoal image:
Screen Printing Workshop at Midlands Art Centre

I then drew an image (of a beetle) directly onto a screen:
Screen Printing Workshop at Midlands Art Centre

And then, once the background colour had dried, I printed the charcoal image:
Beetle Screen Print

Direct application techniques using charcoal and water soluble crayons produce monoprints, as it’s only possible to get one true print before the medium begins to fade. You can see below I did a second print of my charcoal beetle drawing and it is much paler than the first print:
Screen Printing Workshop at Midlands Art Centre

Here’s the simple print I did using water soluble crayons:
Heart Pattern Screen Print

And another print using a paper stencil:
Screen Printing Workshop at Midlands Art Centre

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Author: Charlotte

Sewist, crafter & blogger, based in Birmingham, England. I'm spending the year growing and gathering to create natural dyes and enhance my sewing projects. Find me at www.englishgirlathome.com

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