Since the lockdown begun back in March 2020, no one had any idea of the implications of self-isolation and the projection of measures to tackle Covid 19 across the globe. Initially the novel idea of being paid to stay at home via the Furlough scheme seemed like a sort of holiday to some. Whilst a lot of people languished into their dressing gowns for a month and replaying all those favorite box sets, it’s began to set in the long term nature of this pandemic and the cost to our mental well-being.
Thankfully, stumbling across screenprinter and artist, William West Seegmiller on his Instagram, I discovered not only some fantastic graphic arts in his prints but the relative ease and convenience of setting himself up at his kitchen table.
After his work and set up, here are 3 reasons to build your own screen-printing studio.
Renting a screen-printing bed in a studio can be expensive and involve monthly membership commitments. It can also be off putting to work so closely with other people when you’re just trying to get the hang of a new skills.
Luckily by purchasing canvas frames and polyester mesh by the metre you can follow online guides to stretch your own canvases. Buying a pair of brackets to hold the screen and a simple start-up kit from most art supply stores should cost around £65 in total. Considering that this will last for years it’s a fraction of the cost to a £150 membership to an open access studio.
2. High yield of prints
One of the most striking observable experiences of screen-printing, besides the level of satisfaction of dragging ink across a surface to achieve a perfectly smooth print of ink underneath, is the huge volume of prints made in a matter of minutes.
The printing process involves a lot of ink and a speedy print pulling so that the screen doesn’t dry in with the fine mesh that can easily clog. For this reason, after setting up the screen appropriately, there’s a sort of manic bust of activity that can pull in numbers like 10 prints on 3 minutes. It’s a high energy practice but it offers such high productivity, the work produced can lend itself to refining your process and experimenting further on additional printing over the top of existing designs.
3. Creative opportunities in experiments
It’s reassuring to know that anything flat can take a print. Since the process itself is relatively easy to do (just complicated to master) there’s a perfect opportunity to approach other surfaces and not just sheets of paper. People have turned their skills to printing on furniture and glass and of course you can print onto fabric. Not only is the process fun but you can breathe new life into your old furniture and wardrobe, both the contents and the actual object itself!