Screen Printing 2 – Nicola 1

My paranoia surrounding screen printing was instilled in me during Foundation Year and has been dogging me throughout my education in Graphic Design. Vacuum tables clog with paint, screens dry coated with acrylic, ruining my clothing- I’ve worried about a lot of the tiny details. Yet for this project it dawned upon me that instead of taking it upon myself to dutifully cut stencils and reach for the spraycan, it wold be significantly faster and more professional looking if I sent a few hours re-aquainting myself with the presses once again. Maybe this time I would enjoy myself and relish the process, like I had before?

For a few glorious hours, I was genuinely winning the battle! Everything was explained to me again, nobody was hovering over my shoulder and I truly was a one woman bag printing machine. Colours, yes. Alignments, yes. Cleaning, yes. Print on foil balloons? Childs play. But alas, I fear that is the extent of my skills. After feeling more confident with the mechanics of the press, the time came to raise the frame and print on my only cardboard archive box that I had with me.

In all honesty, I was set up to make a 100% positive post this evening. But at the last hurdle I went and completely over-flooded the screen I was using to print text onto the side of my cardboard box . 3 of 4 sides had been successful and in what I suspect was a master stroke of spite, someone or thing somewhere decided that this box was not to be the one of my final piece.

The real kicker is that I have no more of these plain boxes at my instant disposal. Tomorrow I have the decision of whether to pay:

£20 for 1 brilliant replica OR £11.99 for 3 that I will have to cover with brown paper because they have preprinted writing all over them.

At the moment I’m standing back to marvel at the wonderfully awkward situation. Unable to get a box or another chance at printing again until Friday, it looks more and more likely that for the sake of trying everything, I will end up buying 2 £20 boxes. One to try spraypainting a stencil upon ay home, and the other to (in the most dire of straits) try again on Friday.

Whatever happened, I certainly enjoyed myself today and really felt like I have refreshed some valuable skills. I’m not sure when I’ll get the opportunity or privilege to use these in the future, so it was a luxury to be able to indulge myself in the rewarding process that I normally find so challenging.

And hey, at least one thing came out perfect: the bags that I had to make, cut up, re glue and make fresh once again. And they printed so beautifully, even on the tiny side details that I had convinced myself would smudge. So when my project is handed in inside a Tescos carrier bag, I think I’m just going to redirect any and all attention to these.

Just the handles to go now, but I think I’m going to sit and stroke them for a bit longer…

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