In today’s world, there is an impressive amount of digital media we have at our fingertips. From digital photography to virtual reality, technology continues to evolve print and art as a whole. And yet, there is still charm to found in traditional graphics design and printing methods. There might even be some you’ve yet to come across or paid a great deal of attention to. So if you’re a traditionalist or are in search of a new creative hobby, here’s our guide on getting started with silk screen printing!
The History of Silk Screen Printing
The first thing to note about silk screen printing is that the process dates back to the 18th century. An ancient printing technique, its popularity lead to its inclusion in a number of famous artwork pieces. These were most noticeably by artists such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. Whilst it can’t produce the rich quality of most digital designs, it’s simplistic yet rough around the edges results provide a distinctive finish.
Creating a Silk Screen Print
On the surface, the process behind silk screen printing looks straight forward. But it in fact involves several mini-processes to achieve a smooth finish. The first step is to prepare a ‘screen’ onto a frame. This consists of ink being passing through a mesh material, whilst at the same time, applying a stencil on top. If you are creating an image or design which uses several colours, you also need to consider the use of layers. Usually, this will mean smoothing out the ink colour onto the stencil that will represent your base colour by using a squeegee. From there, repeat the process with each different stencil until the ink has been fully pressed onto the material you’re printing onto. Make sure to check out our resources section for further detailed guides on the silk screen printing process.
Join a Silk Screen Printing group or attend a Workshop
Following along to internet tutorials is fine if you want to create simple silk screen prints. But if you want to get truly invested and are eager to create more complex designs, joining an interest group or attending workshops provides a great opportunity. Being surrounded by fellow budding artists and print designers can provide you with a great deal of experience along with knowledge that you might not have had. A simple search on Google will bring up some results for silk screen printing groups depending on your area, but we’ve included a list in our resources section of some we managed to find if you’re stuck.
So what is one of the most important things about getting involved with silk screen printing? Having fun and being creative of course! Silk screen printing can create a plethora of exciting possibilities and unique creations, so use your imagination and artistic flair. Who knows, if you have enough passion for it, you might be able to turn it into a business opportunity!
Lifehacker – A Simple Guide to Screen Printing Your Own Shirts
Instructables – How to Silk Screen
People of Print – Top 20 Print Workshops & Courses in the UK
Hotcourses – 43 Screen printing courses in the UK