With the fantastic release of D*Faces new 15 layer silkscreen ‘What have I Become’ we thought we would take this opportunity to discuss with you the basics of silkscreen printing.
Silkscreen printing has its origins in China during the Song Dynasty (960-1276CE) but has come on a long way since then and is now the technique of choice for many of the world’s top artists.
Artist such as Andy Warhol are credited with popularizing screen printing and his image of Marilyn Monroe is now regarded as the most famous use of this technique.
The terms silkscreen, screen printing and serigraph all refer to the same type of process, the process of pulling ink through a screen made of porous finely woven fabric called mesh stretched over a frame of aluminium or wood.
Silk has now been replaced as the mesh of choice and man made materials such as steel, nylon and polyester have become printer’s favorites.
To create a print such as D*Face’s ‘What Have I Become’ is a long but rewarding process. The process starts with an original complete image from which the print will be created.
The image is then broken down into its individual colour’s, each individual colour requires its own screen so the more colours’ the more work goes into the finished piece.
Once the separate colour’s have been identified they are created into stencils on the screens using a process of exposing photographic emulsion under UV light, this then allows for ink to only pass through the screen in certain set places.
The screens once all completed are then used to layer colour onto the print slowly building up the picture one colour at a time.
As a finishing touch once the colours have all been lined up and laid down the screen printer can add different glazes and textures to give to bring the print to life, give subtle highlight and add depth.