Wednesday, April 9, 2014


I  decided that I needed a newer family tree with more spaces in which to write important information and update the look a bit.   The paper size is a full sheet of Lenox Printmaking Paper, 100 per cent
rag, 30" x 40".
The silkscreen frame was made slightly under that size with heavy duty wood stretchers.  I stretched the polymesh over the frame and stapled the material along the edge of the wood.  The front of the screen was taped to keep the ink from seeping under when I am printing.  For this particular image, I used rubylith stencil over my original drawing and carefully cut with an xacto knife.  After finishing my rubylith, it was time to prepare my photo emulsion and prepare the screen.  I use Speedball photo emulsion with sensitizer.  This must be mixed in the dark and applied in a thin, smooth coat using the squeegee, also done in the dark.  I have a chest of drawers in the studio where I place each screen to dry, they are in the dark and it usually takes 24 hours for them to dry completely.  The next day I am ready to expose my image on the screen.  I use an overhead photo flood light and use a chart and timer for proper exposure times.  I place the rubylith stencil on top of the photo emulsion frame and expose it for the correct time, usually between 10 and 20 minutes, depending on the size of the frame.
After the image has been exposed, I put the frame into a black garbage bag and take it to the sink to wash the image out.  Using warm water, I work quickly to wash the emulsion off of the screen.  Now it can be put into the light to dry, flat side down.  When the screen is dry, I fill in the light  (dust) screen filler so that they will not print.   Now it is time to ink the screen and print.  Since I am printing such a large surface, I will use mix my background color with an Speedball Extender Medium, it will thicken up the ink and make it smooth.  I put my full sheet of paper under the large silkscreen press and place a line of ink on the  of the screen and pull it through with my large squeegee.  The paper is hung to dry, usually 24 hours depending on the humidity.  The final printing of the tree image is done the next day.  The screen is placed on top of the paper with the background color, the ink is applied in a full line at the top and pulled through to the bottom, with steady pressure.  The final print is hung to dry and ready to be matted.

  Now that the screen is made, multiples of the same image can be created from it. 

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