What is screen printing and how does it work using filler to create a screen?
Once you get the hang of screen printing, its really simple, fun and rewarding. You just need to know how.
First off, create a design to print out. This could be anything from patterns to detailed drawings. But for your first time you want to keep it simple until you know what to do. A simple outline of a picture or shape can be very effective.
After preparing your design on card or paper, make sure it is bold enough to see through the mesh screen, as you need to be able to paint over the lines onto the mesh screen in order to create the image- going over it in black or bold pencil should be fine.
On the printing press, you need to pick up the top section with the screen, and prop it up with its side arm. You can now access the bottom piece of the board where the card to transfer onto will sit. You want to create a couple of makeshift sides using sticky card, so that when replacing a piece of card, it sits in the same place each time.
Placing your original design on the board and closing the mesh screen should reveal the design underneath. If you can see it clearly through the mesh, you can begin to paint the ink onto the screen where you want ink to flow through onto the card.
If the ink has dried the next step is to apply is the filler. placing this over and around your design will make sure that ink does not flow through the mesh screen, but only where you have painted on your ink.
After the filler has dried, you need to place some tape around the screen so the ink will not spread to the edges and ruin the print. it is a good idea to place some closely around the image you have painted so the ink will not run through unblocked gaps aswell.
After choosing a colour ink and mixing it to ensure it has not seperated, place it on the mesh screen – remembering to place a fresh piece of card underneath the screen.
Now you can begin to pull the squeegee towards you ( a piece of wood with a rubber or plastic edge for thin and even spreading of ink) and at the same time applying some downward pressure to ensure that the mesh is pushed down onto the card.
The squeegee should be closest to you on the mesh screen, you then pick up the mesh screen and push the squeegee away from you, gathering the excess ink on the way back. You can leave the squeegee at the bottom of the mesh screen.
Opening the press reveals a fresh print on the card below the screen. The first print might not be as clean as the rest but will provide a good idea of how the print will turn out. Placing the prints on a drying rack will be a good idea as the ink will be wet.