Thursday, 30 January 2014

Screen printing summer school

In the middle of Melbourne's heat wave, I went to Summer Screen Printing School at Harvest Workroom. Despite the heat, it was so good to spend the week designing and screen printing – I know it might look like I do that a lot, but it's incredibly rare that I spend full days sketching ideas and turning them into prints.

Screen Printing Table at Harvest Workroom.

The studio space was a giant warehouse in Brunswick. The natural light, white walls, concrete floors, huge printing table and the smell of inks, made it difficult for me to refrain from asking if I could set up a small studio here. If only I could live in a corner of the warehouse and print everyday!

Screen Printing at Harvest Workroom.

We worked on simple one colour designs the first day, cutting stencils, testing inks and getting use to the motion of printing. The second day, we moved onto three colour prints learning about registered placement prints (lining up the colours). It's quite nerve-wracking putting down several layers of colour – but amazing when it works! On the third day, we learnt how to do swiss repeat patterns. This was taking one motif and turning it into a repeat pattern. You can't exactly tell what it's going to look like until you have it printed on the fabric. We spent the last day finishing any projects not completed, plus free time to print on our own fabrics, yah!

Swiss repeats, screen printing school at Harvest Workroom.

Screen printed tea towels drying at Harvest Workroom.

At Harvest Workroom, I was literally in heaven. The studio space was every printer’s dream. They have the most amazing printing table where you can line up several pieces of fabric, which would adhere to the table and print one after the other. So easy! It was also fascinating to see what everyone else created – such different patterns and great ideas. I honestly wish I could do this everyday. It is 100% my happy place.

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