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Pulling the first print


Now that my studio is mostly operational, I thought I'd try to pull a print. I learned a lot from the process and will apply what I learned to future prints.

First, I printed out my transparency. I used my Canon Pro-100 ink jet printer and made sure to print it using registration black (CMYK at 100% for all colors) which is a little trick I learned in design school to print a really rich black.

applying emulsion to the screenHere in my darkroom (bathroom) I applied a thin coat of emulsion to the front and back of the screen. Since I didn't have a screen stand, I used the one-handed method for applying emulsion. It works pretty well but you really have to put some pressure on the screen so it coats evenly. 

DIY exposure unit for screen printingI actually ordered an exposure unit but when it arrived the glass was totally shattered. So I returned it and decided to try exposing my screens DIY style. This is simply a UV bulb attached to my old vinyl cutting stand. I ordered a custom piece of glass from the glass shop and bought some foam at Home Depot. The foam and glass provide some pressure on the transparency so you get a cleaner burn. 

exposing the screen with UV lightHere's the UV bulb doing it's thing in my "darkroom."

washing out a design in the washout boothSpraying the screen lightly with the pressure washer (off) brought out my design nicely. That rectangle at the bottom is my exposure chart. It's telling me that my screen is underexposed so I need to add more time in the future. Probably almost 20 minutes total!

mixing a Pantone matched colorI'm a stickler for color so I invested in a pantone matching kit. I can pretty much mix any color I want.

screen printing paper with hinge clampsHere's my screen all taped up and ready for ink. Note those hinge clamps are really difficult to screw and unscrew because I can't get a good grip on them. I purchased a set of Speedball hinge clamps that should come next week sometime. 

applying ink to the screenI took me a while to get the hang of printing on paper but I figured it out eventually. Flooding the screen was making a mess of things so I pull a dry print every time. 

final prints on Stonehenge paperHere are some of the better prints. Not bad for a first time! Note the crop marks came out too. I plan to turn these into small notebooks. I'm using Stonehenge paper which is a really nice but not too expensive cotton paper. 

Matched Pantone colorI purposely opted to print a design with not too much detail in it. This is a design I came up when messing around with Processing and now I'm printing it. :) I mixed up a Red 032 U which is a warm red on uncoated paper. My measuring scale is crappy but the color turned out pretty close. 

DIY paper drying rackThis is actually an old letter organizer flipped over on its side. It works well for small stiff papers.