This is the first time I've screen printed where I've had to do my screen myself. To begin with it was very daunting as I was unsure of the process, luckily we had a very helpful lady to tell us what to do. I'm very glad that I have now learnt what to do as I feel a huge amount more confident and I think I could go down and do it again on my own with a lot less assistance.
The first step was to pick a suitable screen, mine needed to be fabric, check it was out of date and then remove all the brown tape. We had to soak them with water as a lot of it was very strongly stuck on.
Next I got kitted up in the health and safety clothing as this stage includes using harmful chemicals. Firstly I had to cover both sides of the screen with a solution called 'b strip', then rinse the screen with water. To remove all of the blue I used the power hose, it took a while but came off quite easily. If there is any left over you've got to use 'b solve' and then rinse again. When finished the screen should be transparent.
After leaving the screen to dry it had to be coated. Using a metal trough full of the blue solution, you have to drag it from the bottom to the top tilting it slightly so it covers the screen. Once it covers you must drag the trough over the surface a few more times to remove the excess. The screen is then put in the cupboard for an hour to develop.
Once the hour has gone the screen needs to be exposed. We had to place our images onto the surface with our screen on top. The lid of the machine then had to be closed and the vacuum turned on for the process to be successful. Once this was done we had to wash off the blue solution that hadn't been hardened to reveal our completed screen.
This is my completed screen, I am very happy with how it has turned out especially seeing it is my first attempt.
The final step was to start printing. I mixed up the colours I wanted using binder and a selection of very strong pigment colours. I then laid out my bag and lined up where I wanted my image to be printed and placed the screen accordingly. The ink was then put at the top and I used the squeegee to push the ink through the holes in the screen.