I Think I nEEd to Dip MySelf in Paint

I’ve had two weeks of administration overload trying to sort out tax and delivery problems and blah blah blah. I might need to dip myself in paint to feel completely normal again, just need to get back to the creating side of the business…mmm happy.

Screen printing takes up a big chunk of my creative effort and studio space. I like the process too.
Recently I’ve printed and made aprons using the NEHOC Screen Printing System (above).  I bought the kit about 8 years ago now and it’s been great for testing designs and small runs. Your design can be a photocopy or best of all a good old pencil drawing, which I used a lot. You place your artwork against the thermal film (a mesh pre-coated in thermal emulsion).   

A cute tungsten filled lamp fires creating heat so that the carbon of the drawing reacts with the film. You then peel the film away from your artwork (which is very satisfying) and it’s ready to print. Double sided tape attaches them to a plastic frame and print away.

It’s been a brilliant method and I’m sure it must have looked like I was doing some weird science experiment with huge flashes of light emanating from my old shed or dinning room. 

Homemade frame stretches the mesh film for a beautiful print. As you can see I've used this screen a fare bit, doesn't look it but it's a clean screen.

The trick to a good print with this style of mesh is to not use too much ink and use a stiff squeegee. Load the squeegee with ink rather than laying it on the screen also helps. With a good even coat of ink on the squeegee, one pull is enough or you can end up flooding the image. There is always lots of experimenting with pressure and different types of squeegee and ink as well. On really small images a plastic card similar to a credit card works really well.

The only down side is the bulbs are one use only, so a bit of waste and the film hates humidity as I found out moving to Darwin. I lost all my unused film as it was just in a roll and any exposed screens that were not stretched in a frame. 
Humidity is Evil, it shrinks the thermal coating so it pulls away from the mesh or visa versa, in any case it's ruined as ink can be squished through the gaps and you just end up with a blob of ink printed. Bit of an expensive lesson to learn.

NEHOC is phasing out this system but have brought in an excellent substitute that I’ll talk about next time. You can check them out at http://www.nehocdirect.com for some great screen printing product and equipment.

I’m going to go roll in some paint, that’s my kind of normal.

xOx Luna


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