My First screen coat and print.

My initial screen coat looked very nice, I did the rest of each side and it got a little messy, some of the emulsion was pooled a bit more on one side of the applicator so in the end the coat was uneven and I tried to scrape the thick stuff off with a spatula but that seemed to make it worse. I think I will try a different spatula next time.

Yikes! – First screen.

After fiddling around too much I decided to just leave it alone, I really didn’t want this to end in disaster. I think I will do better next time now that I know what to expect, emulsion might have been a little cold making it thicker, does that happen? It definitely didn’t freeze but was a tad cold. I think I will store those upstairs from now on.

I ended up using the big box that our big pieces came to us in as a drying area for the screens. I propped the coated screen up on some ink cans and closed it, and draped a rug over it so no light would come through. I think the basement being cold affected the drying time for the screen because it took 2 days to dry.

My drying area, too cold!

I was having a tough time thinking of what to use to expose and print found object wise, I used some chicken feathers, a cut out a Rubylith design, I drew using 4 or 5 different mediums in one picture so I could note what mediums work and what do not, in hindsight I will only use one medium per design next time. I also printed out one of my designs using my vinyl cutter and the results for that were very nice.

This is the multimedia drawing, I used China Marker, Oil pastel, Fine tip marker and Sharpie. It looked neat on paper but in the end it didn’t print very well. I’m assuming that the various mediums needed different exposure times.

My first attempt at Rubylith was a bust, I pushed way too hard not realizing that the red part of the film is super thin, oops! I feel bad for wasting it but also I cut the nose wrong so I had to correct it anyways.

This is my second attempt, I still found some spots I pushed too hard but as I went along I started to get the hang of it. I really like this medium, it’s very fun to do.

The chicken feathers unfortunately were white so they exposed too much and they wouldn’t print at all.

This is the design I cut using the Silhouette, I drew this design using Procreate so it cut very well and true to the design. This one exposed beautifully.

I prepared the screen with the designs, I won’t do a collage style screen again because I found it very difficult to do individual designs and the placement of some made it almost impossible to print on cloth with the t-shirt jig.

Here’s a few of the designs printed on various scrap shirts.

All in all, I had a lot of fun trying this for the first time, I definitely have room to improve and I sure made some rookie mistakes but I feel like I will do much better next time around now that I have some mistakes to learn from.


  1. Hi Rachelle,

    It’s not a problem at all for your first coating to not be perfect. It’s a skill that takes practice.

    In the end, your prints look great. I especially like your vinyl cut drawing.

    Yes, I totally agree with you, for ease of printing, and production runs, collages are not very effective. But they are a great exercise in gaining experience with multiple type of film positives. You can always tape out parts of the image that you don’t want to print.

    ps. very creative in incorporating so many mediums into one image. too bad it didn’t end up exposing well

  2. Correction, I did the rest of each “side” not die. I don’t know how to edit these posts.

    On a side note, I ended up using red ink although I would have preferred to use black, I didn’t have a black ink in my kit.

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