My good friend Michal Garcia, who happens to be a very talented photographer and musician paid me a visit recently all the way from Hong Kong! He was very generous with his talents and we had 2 photo shoots while he was in town. The first was in the screen printing studio, The Pull, while I was printing up my 2011 Calendar. I wanted to share the photos with you as well as reveal some of the behind the scenes process that is necessary for screen printing.
I start by taping my screens with a waterproof tape. There are two main purposes to this:
1. the tape at the top and bottom of the screen creates a nice ink well
2. Masking out the unused areas of the screen insures that ink is only going where it belongs.
Once the screen is taped up, I start the registration process. There are crop marks on that transparency that indicate where my calendar pieces of paper should go. Once they are correctly placed, I put little red pieces of tape along the top two corners to indicate where to set the pieces of paper down throughout the entire print run.
Now its time to mix the paint. For this particular job, I used a pantone ink so there was very little work getting the ink prepared. I just add an extender base that keeps the ink from drying so quickly. This is a preventative measure to keep the ink flowing nicely through the screen. If it starts drying in the screen it will cause clogging and all kinds of hair pulling.
After I print the front of the calendar, I use a mobile heat unit to cure the inks so I can flip the cards over without getting wet ink all over everything. The heating unit (the gray thing pictured above) is on an arm that you can easily swivel on top of your print for about 15 seconds and then swivel it out the way. Its a very handy tool!
This is a small piece of the overall process, but I hope you enjoyed it.