Tuesday, February 17, 2009

partly cloudy, chance of skulls (part two)

the INKubator PRESS
115 West 18th Street • Kansas City, MO • 64108 • 816.471.2629


Back in December, I took a silkscreen class at the Art Incubator's new printmaking studio called the INKuBator PRESS. Although I have never done silkscreen before, I have collected silkscreen prints (also known as serigraphs) for years. I love 'em. The main reason I like them is because of the flat, matte color that typically distinguishes them. They're also generally very affordable to collect. Definitely a plus when you're starting a collection!

my screen, with fresh black ink

So, having never silkscreened I thought I'd take a class so I could understand a little more about the process that goes into making them. Although the class was set up as a Christmas card making class, I asked the instructor if I could just try making a print. Since I already had this skull drawing, I thought I'd do a 2 color version of it and try to make a go of it.

Despite my best efforts, I ended up having a couple of issues with 2 of the screens that I was given to work with. The first one completely disintegrated. The emulsion on the screen wasn't working and was allowing ink to pass through it, which it shouldn't do. Fortunately, another screen was prepared with emulsion so I exposed my image again, sprayed it in the sink and started with my first color: slate blue.

series 01
black ink, slate blue ink and hot pink gel pen on white bristol paper


After pulling just 12 prints, the emulsion on my 2nd screen started to disintegrate just like the last screen. Bleah. Despite my frustration, I decided to start printing my 2nd color: black. So, I printed the black onto the 12 good prints that had the slate blue on them... and then I just kept printing black. In the end, I'd pulled 35 prints: 12 two-color prints and 23 one-color prints. So, what did I do with the 23 one-color prints? Well, I drew back into them of course!

series 02
black ink and orange gel pen on green paper by French


And, it's been a ton of fun! Once I started drawing back into the one-color prints, I realized that I couldn't leave the two-color prints alone! Ha ha! Once I completed drawing back into them, I gave many of them to friends of mine as Christmas gifts. After lots of scanning, they're now available on my online store. Despite their gritty quality, I'm pretty happy with them and I'm kinda glad I had the snags that I did. No two prints are alike and I kinda like that. SO much so, that I'm thinking the next time I silkscreen, I might actually do that on purpose!

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