Taking inspiration from Stephâ€™s previous blog (Making time for hobbies), I followed her lead by taking part in a screen printing workshop at The Print Club, London last Saturday with my girlfriend Lucy.
As I had already had some experience with screen printing at university, I entered the workshop with a certain amount of confidence, with my files set up ready to print (or so I thought) and a swagger in my step. However, it quickly became apparent that I had only scratched the surface of this well-established printing technique, and from the word go I was learning things that hadnâ€™t even been mentioned during my time in the student printing studios.
The workshop began with the experienced (and uber-cool) staff telling us about the history and method behind screen printing in general. They then took us through the process step-by-step with the sound of feel-good disco blaring out the stereo. Next we were shown how to set up our files properly for screen-printing. I consider myself to be experienced with Photoshop, but the techniques with halftone patterns and bitmaps were things Iâ€™d only touched upon at university.
The vibe of the workshop was very relaxed and easy-going, until we were taken into the â€˜dark roomâ€™ for the next stage of the process, where it got much more intense.Â Here we had to coat our screens in light-sensitive emulsion. I volunteered to go first, and with 12 other people staring at me, and a trough of emulsion in my hands, I had to raise the trough very slowly so that the screen was coated perfectly and there was an even coat across the whole screen. Thankfully my hands werenâ€™t too shaky and my screen looked alright. There was even a cheer from the crowd!