Research

Getting Back on the Screenprinting Horse

“Art takes you to some funny places.”– Mario Ybarra Jr.

Just got back from Creative Screen Tech of San Leandro, CA. It’s a screen equipment and service shop, and was recommended by Thien Pham, the artist behind the brilliant I Like Food restaurant-review-as-comic-strip. CST will output film from my digital file and burn a stencil onto my screen.

The last time I used my screen was 10 years ago. I don’t have access to vacuum exposure units, and besides, I never did well with photo emulsion anyway, so CST’s help is crucial. I’m working on a booklet project, and I think screen printing is going to be the best method for achieving a desired effect.

The only thing I’m worried about is that my screen needs to be washed out. The stencil was hand painted with Speedball screen filler. I hate Speedball products — they’re for hobbyists, and are low quality. But when you’re inspired and faced with the task of supply procurement, which could take hours, Speedball’s wide availability is dangerously appealing. As Leland Wong points out, screenprinting is getting more specialized and expensive. When I took my screenprint class 10 years ago, there seemed to be many more local vendors.

I just hope these CST guys are able to wash out the embarrassingly nineties stencil.

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