Tag Archives: workshop

Society6 Free Shipping & 3 New Products!

Don’t forget, free shipping on my Society6 products ends TONIGHT at midnight! And just in time for the promo, I posted 3 new pieces. I think you’ll recognize the design from my screen printing workshop!

Available as an iPhone case, laptop/iPad/iPhone skin, art print, stationary card, t-shirt, sweatshirt, tote bag and even as a pillow

Available as an iPhone case, laptop/iPad/iPhone skin, art print, stationary card, t-shirt, sweatshirt, tote bag and even as a pillow

So use the following link and get yourself or that awesome friend in your life something new for their walls, couch, phone, etc.! http://society6.com/alanegianetti?promo=989688

Stay Curiously Chic! xo…Alane

I’m in Love!…with Screen Printing

Sunday, I took a Screen Printing Intensive at 3rd Ward in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It was a six-hour workshop, which allowed plenty of time for explanation and hands on experimentation. Although it is a very involved process, I have fallen in love with the medium!

After much indecisiveness, I finally settled on my elephant with a balloon drawing. I was unsure what type of screen printing we were going to be doing (there are 3 kinds, which I will explain after) so I wanted something simple just in case a more detailed illustration would be difficult to achieve. Here is an image of the file I went into class with:

ElephantBalloon_Black

With screen printing, what you see is what you get, which means that it is a positive process, not a negative process. So basically, the black elephant is what is going to be printed.

Let me give you a brief overview of the three most common screen printing techniques (as I learned in my book Printing by Hand: A Modern Guide to Printing with Handmade Stamps, Stencils, and Silk Screens by Lena Corwin)

1. Paper Stencil Method: With this method, you cut out a paper stencil and then tape it to your screen so that it looks like this:

Then when you pass ink over the screen, it will only go through the areas you cut out. Here is a more detailed guide: http://celestinacarmen.blogspot.com/2008/07/paper-stencil-screenprinting.html

2. Screen Filler & Drawing Fluid: In this method, you paint your design onto your screen with drawing fluid and a brush and then you cover the entire screen with screen filler, so your screen will look like this:

The screen filler fills the areas of the screen that do not have drawing fluid, so when you go to print your design, the ink will only pass through the areas that had drawing fluid. With this method you can get a more detailed print than the paper stencil technique. Here are more detailed step by step instructions: http://kate-7ws.blogspot.com/2012/01/screen-printing-made-easy.html

3. Photo Emulsion: The third technique is called Photo Emulsion and this is the one we learned in class. The first step is to coat your screen in photo emulsion. This should be done in very low light (in class we used a red light, kind of like in a dark room) because the photo emulsion is light sensitive. Once your screen is coated, you let it sit in the dark so that the emulsion will dry. While you are waiting for your screen to dry, you can prep your image. Your design needs to be completely black and should be printed or drawn on transparency paper.

My design printed on a transparency

My design printed on a transparency

When you have your image ready and your screen is dry, you can move to the next step, which is exposure. In a low light room (again, just the red light, which you can get at a dollar store), you position your transparency on top of your screen and set a halogen light over it (preferably 500 watts). Once your screen and design are positioned the way you want, you expose it to light. Exposure times vary depending on your wattage, size of screen, and distance of light. We used a 150 W bulb that was about 18” over our screens and exposed them for 25 minutes. Basically, what’s happening during this stage is the light is passing through the transparency onto the emulsion-covered screen, but the black area, which is your design, does not allow light to pass through it. So everywhere the light hits, the emulsion will harden. Once your screen has been exposed, you hose it down and, everywhere there was black, the emulsion will wash off the screen:

Back of the screen, which is the side that was exposed

Back of the screen, which is the side that was exposed

Front of screen, which is the side you pass ink through

Front of screen, which is the side you pass ink through

Now, when you go to print, the ink will pass through the areas that had black on them, and not pass through the areas where the emulsion hardened. Here is a tutorial with images for each step: http://www.lilblueboo.com/2009/12/screen-printing-101-photo-emulsion.html

This method is definitely the most involved and probably takes the longest, but what’s really great about it is that it allows you to get very detailed designs. As I said before, I chose a simple design because I had no idea what method we would be using. I’m really excited to try this again at home though, because it will allow me to create very different illustrations than what I’ve been able to do with stamping. I can even turn some of my photos into silk screens and print them!

There are so many different possibilities with screen printing and what’s awesome is once you have your screen set up with ink, you can just print, print, print! So even though it may take awhile to prep a screen, production is so quick and easy.

Here are some photos of what I printed:

Test print on paper

Test print on paper

Printed on canvas totes

Printed on canvas totes

Close up of the tote

Close up of the tote

Also printed on T-Shirts

Also printed on T-Shirts

Yay for a new t-shirt!

Yay for a new t-shirt!

I’m really pleased with the way everything turned out! I think I’ll buy some more t-shirts and totes and maybe turn this design into an Etsy project for the day when I finally open a shop !

Stay Curious! xo…Alane

Upcoming Workshop & New Doodles

Sunday, I am taking a Screen Printing Intensive at 3rd Ward in Brooklyn. After dabbling in stamping and stenciling, I’m really excited to try this method of printmaking. I’m not sure what to expect, so I’m going in with an open mind. It may be difficult or easy; I may love it or hate it. Either way, its something I’ve wanted to try so I’m finally taking the time to do it!

I need to bring in a design for the class, but I still haven’t settled on one. They suggest staying away from anything with really fine lines. I also have to keep in mind that the design will be printed in one color, just like when I did the stamping, so I think I may want to start out with something simple. I have been doing a lot of doodling lately, so I thought I would share some of those sketches with you.

Feather

Available as an art print, stationary card, iPhone case, iPhone/iPad/Laptop skin on Society 6

Doodles

Page of doodles

Geometric

some geometric shapes with tribal influences

Camera

old camera

Dreamcatcher

Dreamcatcher

Octopus

octopus doodles

ElephantBalloon

a happy elephant

I’ve also been coming up with some ideas for more Christmas cards:

Bow

Christmas Bow

Ornaments

ornaments

Penguin

Christmas penguin

Reindeer

Reindeer I drew a few years ago…I thought he might be cute on a card

I also want to try stamping words on the front of a card:

LetitSnow

Before I make the stamp, however, I have to flip the writing so that it prints the correct way. If I made a stamp from the above image, it would print backwards on my card. So my stamp will look like this:

LetitSnow_Flipped

It’s getting down to the wire and I really need to decide what I am going to print on Sunday. Please feel free to leave any and all feedback/suggestions in the comments! I’m open to everyone’s opinion 🙂

I hope you all have a great weekend! Enjoy the Christmas spirit that’s in the air!!

Stay Curious! xo…Alane

Surface Printing Workshop with Lotta Jansdotter

As you all know, Saturday I went to a Surface Printing Workshop at Lotta Jansdotter’s Brooklyn Studio. To sum it up in three words: hands-on, experimental, inspiring!

Her studio is located in the industrial Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn and has high lofted ceilings with huge windows, which provide an ample amount of natural light. You enter through the “shop” portion of her Work+Shop and are immediately greeted by natural linens screen printed with floral imagery, striped and polka dot pouches, textiles with simple designs and interesting color palettes, candles decorated with cute illustrations of flowers, colorful stationary, fabric calendars, even ceramics decorated with Lotta’s icionic imagery.

table napkins and cute ceramic spoons and eggs

fabric calendars, a glass, and washi tape

Lotta’s collection for Fish’s Eddy in Manhattan

Taking in all of the colors and designs, one is immediately filled with inspiration and a desire to create things. Her shop exudes her personality and design style, right down to the plants on the floor and the window decals of bottles, vases and bowls whose shapes echo the plants on the windowsill.

I love her window display

We got started with the workshop right away, as Lotta wanted us to be able to have as much time as possible.  We started with a round of introductions – there were eight of us in the class – and talked a bit about our backgrounds. Although there were a couple textile designers and a graphic designer, the class was very diversified in careers, interests, age and even location, but the one thing that brought everyone together was a desire to create. Regardless of what our backgrounds were, Lotta made us all feel welcome and excited to be there.

During the four hour workshop, Lotta showed us three different techniques for printing by hand. We started with the most basic printing method. Can you guess what it was? I’m sure you tried this when you were in elementary or middle school. Yup! Potato printing! Who would have thought that a professional surface designer uses potato printing as a method of creating designs? As Lotta stressed throughout the entire workshop, you don’t need to use fancy equipment or come up with an elaborate design in order to produce an interesting print. Going back to the basics and using simple elements and techniques can get those creative juices flowing and you may find something in that potato print that is really exciting.

potato prints and notebooks drying on the floor

The next method we experimented with was block printing. This is when you draw a design on a linoleum or rubber block and carve away the negative space. Then you apply ink to it and what prints is the raised surface that you left on the block. I liked this method better than the potato because the rubber was much easier to carve and you can achieve finer details. I also just really liked carving out the rubber! It has a meditative quality to it. We printed on notebooks and stationary cards using this method.

my notebook & test prints

The last method of printing we learned was stenciling. In some of the printing books I’ve bought, they talked about all of these different types of papers to use for stenciling, so I had no idea what to get in the store. Lotta, however, just used transparency paper. So simple! With this method, you can create cleaner lines in your design, which appealed to my perfectionist side. With this method, we switched to fabric and printed on tote bags.

stenciling my tote

I think I enjoyed the stenciling the most because I walked away with something I can actually use!

This workshop was a really great experience. Lotta was so nice and helpful and was more than willing to give us as much information as she could, not only in regards to printmaking, but also to running a small business. I also really liked her approach to teaching. She showed us methods that we can just as easily do at home with inexpensive tools and materials. Her hope was that we walk away with the confidence and inspiration to continue to print at home. I left yesterday with so many new ideas in my head. I have a burning desire to continue to create things by hand…and I want to start today! So, I’m off to the art supply store to purchase all the tools I need to do my own block printing and stenciling!

my handprinted items!

I hope you enjoyed reading about my experience! I’m so excited to continue to share my creations with you! (And I’d love to hear your feedback too!)

Stay Curious & Creative! xo…Alane

(All photographs are taken by me, Alane Gianetti)