Print Studio Visit

by Dan Faichney

29 May 2014

After more than four years at DCA, somehow I’d never managed to attend a course on screen printing in our Print Studio. Despite a genuine interest and friends’ invitations I had missed multiple opportunities. This foolish oversight was finally rectified earlier this month when we took a department trip to try our hands at one of the many processes the Print Studio offers.

We spent an afternoon designing, laying out and screen printing our own designs, under the watchful eye of Print Studio technician Scott Hudson. Scott was patient and constructive, talking us through the techniques involved in getting from initial design to finished print without either leaving anyone behind or patronising any of us. As we worked on our screens he by turns observed and offered us a variety of tips and tricks to get the best results out of each layer.

The process begins with the creation of a series of stencils or resistances, around which you push the ink of your choice through the screen. Naturally for first timers our designs were simple, with the idea that we could create them in three colours, but this still required attention to detail in terms of lining up each layer (a process known as registration). After laying down a base colour (the lightest of the three) we then began to use our resistances to create the overlaid shapes. As we worked on each successive later there was a real sense of accomplishment, watching our initial design become a finished print. The results were promising and it made me proud to have produced something tangible out of the fun I’d had.

There’s something meditative about the logical, meticulous, methodical manner of working required in printing, from preparing each screen and printing to cleaning up the equipment each time, so to spend an afternoon on the process was not just satisfying but felt almost restorative. I’d recommend it on that basis alone. The decision to return next month to further the skills we’ve begun to pick up was a no-brainer.

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