Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Artist Residency: Day 2
Today we began the printing! Here's what some of my films looked like. Remember, each color of the serigraph has to be created on a seperate film. On the left is what will be the beige background. That was created with a film caleld Rubylith. You basically cut and peel away the areas you don't want printed beige (in my case). On the right is a film that was inked in black ink, with some red tape to designate the border of the panels. This will make more sense when you see the colors printed one by one..
Here's a pic of Jose, the Master Printer. He's been in screenprinting for 26 yrs. and is indeed a master. Also a very nice guy AND a huge comic book/action figure collector!! But, here he is printing the first color, blue. His screen (made up of a very fine mesh that allows the ink through) contains two images, but he only prints one at a time. The prints are in editions of 100, so he'll print all 100 sheets with blue, then wait for about 45 minutes before he runs those sheets with the next color.
He literally just pours the blue ink on the screen and runs a squeegee from top to bottom, thus printing the blue ink onto the paper.
Here's a series of shots that show the screenprinting process. First is the blue print, then the second pass with the biege ink. Notice on the second pic (beige) how the Aztec codice images are a different shade of blue. That's because Jose suggested we print the biege over the images to create a new shade. Which for the purpose of the efffect I wanted, looks great! The third shot is the red ink.
Tomorrow we'll print the brown (skin) and the final color that ties it all together, the black! Kinda feel like an expectant father as each color is printed. Cause despite all the careful planning, you always hope that everything turns out okay! This last shot is Jose running the red ink. This is a different screen, as the blue and beige plate were on another screen. Behind Jose is his son Josue, who works as his assistant. By a very odd coincidence, Josue is 21 yrs. old AND was born on...Nov. 2, Dia de Los Muertos! Is that too much?!
It's really been cool hanging out at the studio these past couple of days. Like I said, I created the art and created each layer of film, but Jose is doing the actual printing. This is the way it's done though. Unless as an artist one of your skills is screenprinting. There is a huge amount of things to know in that field, such as how ink works, making the screens, applying the right pressure on the sqeegee, etc. You definately want an experienced printer on your side!