So, Monday was a whole day of printing. I really miss spending days at RMIT just designing, sampling, producing....making, making, making. I had forgotten how tiring it can be though, I can't believe that I did that every single day for two years. It was a long day, but a very productive and lovely one. I managed to expose my screens print a strike off and print the 3 colours for the main panel (only about 2m long). I'm quite happy with the result as it is exactly what I wanted and expected. I will test some embroidery techniques on the strike off and post more on the development as I go. I took some photos in the printing room sort of step by step and here they are: These are just the 2 screens I exposed. I printed the screen on the far left first and then I used the screen on the right twice. The second time I blocked some of the motifs to print a third colour. I could have exposed a third screen instead and it would have been a little easier, but it's a waste of film and emulsion and doesn't really save much time.
After exposing the screens I did all the calculations for registration, placed the stops for the repeat and printed a strike off including the 3 colours. And after that, started on the main piece. I've never liked my photo taken, but here I am printing... The first colour done!
I left about 90cm on both sides of the printed area for hand painted and embroidered panels on both ends. For the edges of the printed panel I blocked the screen as the cutout repeat is not a straight line, but "interlocks" (if you know what I mean). Then, the second colour. In this second screen the cutout is on a straight line because of the way the motifs are placed, which can be hard to adjust sometimes, so the motifs don't overlap. In this case it wasn't too difficult but I did measure the distance between the stops a thousand times before I started printing. The third colour was the easiest. I basically used only one of the circle motifs and blocked the rest of the screen, so it was very easy to place the screen where I wanted to print and adjust by eye.
This is the result so far. I'm very happy with it and can't wait to start adding embroidery and pleats and things to it. I love the little imperfections of hand printed things. I just always thought it adds so much character and even humanity to a piece. (Just in case, I'm not making excuses for imperfections in my work, I really do love them, haha). It's strange, but even though I am supposed to write about the process and show you images of it as I go, I can't help but thinking it's a shame there's not going to be any surprises at the end....
Having said that, I will show more of the development soon.