Friday, May 17, 2013

It's Printing Day!!

There's the Dye Table set up for the ladies. You can see the handouts, Step One and Steps Two and Three ready for them to pick up. There was an order to this process. Step One had them pick their Dyes, two of them, hoping that they remembered their color wheel so they wouldn't choose colors that would make brown, unless that's the color they really wanted. They picked up a mask, two containers for their dye powder, their spoons for mixing, their dirty spoon bucket  and their container of Sodium Alginate.

I mixed up the Urea water last night then I mixed up the Sodium Alginate. You need the Urea water for the Sodium Alginate. You also need to let the S. A. sit overnight. As I expected mine was so think I could have used it for a soccer ball. I had to mix some more Urea water with it.

NOTE TO SELF:  Remember you can't use the blender to mix thickened sodium alginate with Urea water. Blender makes sad sounds.

I finally got that the right consistency with a lot of stirring and poured into individual containers that they could work with, at their tables.
 Ah, the Dye Box. It's made with four pieces of plexiglass taped together. You mist inside to keep down the dye power from traveling once you open the container.  You add the dye powder to your container, inside the dye box, wearing your mask.
Then you add the Urea water and stir.
Once back at their work stations they could add the Sodium Alginate until their dye was the consistency of honey. Although, several different descriptions were tossed about, soft stage of jelly making, jam before it set and really good maple syrup.  You can tell we spend or have spent a lot of time in the kitchen over the years.
I know this looks like a mismatch of items piled together. It is really different kinds of texture items that Pam is going to place her screen on top of and when she spreads her paint on her screen, it will pick up the textures to be reprinted later.
Honestly, there is so much prep work to do this kind of technique. We all had different textures, different color of dye and the rain stopped and the sun came out long enough to actually DRY our screens.
We then put the printing fabric on our print boards.
There is a lot of pinning to keep the fabric taut. In fact there is a lot of putzy work you do before you ca have the fun of actually printing your screen.
We "pulled", the term used for moving your squeegee across the screen, two or three times with clear sodium alginate to release the dried dye from the screen.
With Deconstructed Screen Printing you first print might be rather pale. The dye not wanting to be released from the screen. Each consecutive print is slightly different, interesting, with each succession of pulls releasing more and more dyes. You don't know which one of your two colors actually got locked into the mesh first so the release process is really interesting

Linda got a really interesting print from hers.  She had a large screen so two prints were all she could get on one print board. Just proving to all of us that we needed to make more print boards. The process is to much fun to stop because you don't have anything more to print on
Linda O. put a plastic stencil design on her screen after it had dried. It made for a really interesting print when she used the release paste.
Mine is rolled up in black plastic, "batching" right now. I'll post a picture of the final printing after it's batched and washed.
We started at 10:00 and even with our break for lunch it took us until 1:45 to finish this project. 
Most of us went home with clean hands, most of us remembered to wear gloves ALL THE TIME when working with dye. Some of us, not naming any names here, had trouble remembering to do so.
All in all a really fun technique. It's so much work though to get it set up and going that we are going to keep on experimenting with this Deconstructed screen Printing for another two weeks. 
We haven't even touched on stencils and masks.

I need to go pick up the Murph, take a quick short nap and then we are picking up Riley and going out to dinner. I suspect it will be her favorite pizza place.  They have game machines there.
It's movie night and we're watching an old favorite, I haven't seen in a long time, Monster's Inc.

Have a great weekend. I hope you have a chance to do something creative.



  1. Okay, this is really really cool. Can you set up some sort of family art activity like this for when we come down for memorial day? The kids would love it, and it would be so cool for them (and myself and Shari) to make something that we can call "art" to hang up on the walls at home.

  2. Also, I still have no clue why my name shows up as "gossip girl" when I post on your blog... but this is your son Justin. Sheesh. I think Hayden has something to do with this!!

  3. Wish I'd been there. Reminds me of the silkscreen printing I did in college. Can't wait to see the results.

  4. Looks like fun and so creative!
    I laughed when I read the comment from your son Justin or should I say Gossip Girl.LOL