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by Folksy Support

Inspiring Creativity

A series of fascinating articles exploring crafts and tecniques written by Stained Glass Artist Amy Orangejuice

Some of my favourite shops on Folksy are the printmakers, my house is filling up with these inexpensive, beautiful artworks! So today we are finding out more about screenprinting; you will need a bit of space, a little bit of equipment and some practice, but the results can be stunning and you can screen print onto a range of materials, paper, fabric and even glass! Essentially you need a screen (frame with fine mesh materials stretched across, ink and a squeegee (some links with full instructions below and hundreds more can be found with a quick internet search), it is a very versatile technique, as some Folksy makers explain below

Lil Sonny Sky makes her screen prints in a fairly traditional way, “I create my screen prints by developing an idea from my sketch book into colour separations to the size I want my final print to be. These separations are done on trace in ink, china graph, scratched with a scalpel and pieces of pattern from Japanese copyright free source books. These are then photo copied onto acetate and used to create the screens for each colour. I then screen print each layer building up the image! I do my sketching and separations at home and then go to West Yorkshire Print Workshop to use their equipment to screen print my final prints”

Snorkus make their quirky designs using modern digital techniques, “I usually work from drawings that I work up first with an blue animator pencil and then scan the drawings into the computer, making up stencils and separations – I also find this useful for trying out colours..”

So where do our printers get their inspiration from? Lil Sonny Sky clearly enjoys her medium and gets her inspiration from the world around her, “I love screen printing, the little imperfections on each print making each one unique and hand made, that’s what makes it special… I would describe my artwork as narrative, characterful, honest and with a sense of humour, I’d like to make the onlooker smile. This is inspired by so many things, I have a passion for children’s picture books, old and new. Also Japanese graphics, surface pattern, Tumblr to mention a few! The main source of inspiration though are my 3 children, their art, energy and imagination is wonderful!”

Snorkus has a more historical, literary perspective, “I am inspired by British folk traditions and tales…I love the work of Edward Bawden, David Gentleman and Eric Ravilious.. with the animal and cats prints, I look to designers from 1960’s like Fiep Westendorp, Herve Morvan and Lucienne Day.. and I like to have something humorous in the wordplay of the text”.

Fancy a go? Then have a look in your local area, Snorkus uses Inkspot, Brighton (an open access print workshop), Lil Sonny Sky mentioned her local one in Yorkshire and my local one is the Double Elephant Print Workshop in Exeter, all of which offer a wide range of courses, from taster sessions to longer courses and many cities around the country have similar facilities or private artists and colleges that offer teaching too.

There are lots of resources on the internet, You Tube is a great source of ‘how to’s for screen printing, I liked these guys wolf tee shirt project: You tube video – wolf tee shirt project

Or look here for a quite detailed explanation of the process print process

There are also lots of lovely books dedicated to screen printing as well, which are just nice to have if you never get round to actually doing it!

Oh, and look out for Snorkus at a group exhibition with ‘Inkspot’ at the Octopus Gallery in February in Brighton.

More about our columnist

Amy is a stained glass artist from Exeter and has a succesful Folksy shop ‘Amy OrangeJuice’ selling suncatchers, mobiles and decorations with the left over pieces of glass from her larger comissioned pieces as well as reclaimed glass. (pictured is a panel currently being offered as a giveaway from her facebook page) Read Amy’s blog and visit her Folksy shop to find out more, or buy a piece of work from this talented and award winning glass artist. You can find out more about her on her website, facebook or her blog.

Take a look at some of the other fascinating handcrafts that Amy has tackled in her Inspiring Creativity series. Thanks for reading, we look forward to hearing your comments.

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zebedee January 25, 2011 - 12:34 pm

Hurray for folksy printmakers, great article – printing can become an obsession!

amyorangejuice January 25, 2011 - 4:55 pm

you are one of my fav’s zebeedee infact off to pinterest you now x

Pipkyn January 31, 2011 - 9:22 pm

I love the idea of trying screen printing, especially to design my own fabrics. I’m definitely going to look into this – yay!

Amanda Fletcher February 4, 2011 - 7:01 am

This is a great article and has been very useful thank you!

I’ve wanted to have a go at printing my own fabric for quite some time and haven’t been able to find a part time course or workshop in my area, only full time courses which are no good for me as a full time Mum.

So I decided after reading this that I can try and teach myself with help from the internet and books, first book bought and awaiting delivery of stencils. How exciting! I’m also going to have a go at making my own stencils.

Thanks for the inspiration!
Blossom Fair

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