deconstructed screen printing, thickened procion dyes

Deconstructed Screen Printing

Being busy is good for the soul. On Monday, while my house was being cleaned, I took refuge in the basement where I have my wet studio, and where, sad to say, it’s been a dumping ground for stuff during the renovations. The renovations are done, but the dumping ground remained.

I had every intention of doing some work downstairs, but when I reached the bottom of the stairs and looked around – really looked around – I got annoyed at how bad the place looked. It was like an obstacle course. If you wanted to get anywhere, you had to jump over and around stuff. So I decided to clean, at least to get rid of things I don’t need and put some order on the things I do need. It took me over 5 hours, but at least half the place is tidy: both print tables are free, the floor is clear … I still have a pile of quilts I need to move to clear the third table, but for now, I’m OK with that.

I decided to prepare some screens for deconstructed screen printing, and for that, I had to finish printing with a screen I’ve had for a year, used a lot, but was still good for a few more prints. I used print paste, rust orange and mixing blue, and you can see the results. below. As I write this, the piece of fabric is in the washing machine. Printed on Kona PFD cotton.

On Tuesday, Linda and I got together to prepare screens. It was a perfect day as it was nice and warm outside and the sun was shining, so the screens would have heat and time to dry. Below you can see what we accomplished:

Yesterday was print day. Print paste in hand, dyes, squeegees and lots of pins to secure the fabric in place. Both print tables were in use, Linda and I even managed to keep to our social distance – most of the time.

I love deconstructed screen printing, as the results are always unpredictable. It is possible to over print, use a different screen, turn the one you are using 90 degrees to get a different design, and turn it once again to get something different once more.

I really liked the effects I got from the grid screen – second from the left, above. I printed a piece of linen with it, and left the top part with only one pass to get the very fine lines I obtained from using plain print paste. The bottom part of the piece was overprinted using print paste, rust and mixing blue and a smaller screen – the one in the centre of the middle row that you can see on the photo on the right, above. Unfortunately, I didn’t think of taking a photo before wrapping it in plastic to batch. I’ll try and remember to photograph it before washing, as it’ll be interesting to see how much of those very fragile lines remain.

I also printed a fat quarter with the same grid design, as you can see below, after painting the bottom part of the fabric with a brush that got a haircut :-). Printed on a piece of PFD Kona cotton.

The screen below had metal pieces, washers and tile spacers. I used black thickened dye on the screen. It was printed with print paste, rust orange, mixing blue and amber waves – kind of a golden yellow on a piece of Osnaburg cotton.

I hope you get a chance to give deconstructed screen printing a try.

Thanks for reading. Keep creating,


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