Having sold the first run of the Edition of the print Silence, I set to finished the second run (the last 23 of the edition).
I’ve photographed the process in order to give an idea of what goes in to producing an edition of a silkscreen print.
Before running the edition, there’s a lengthy phase of discovery, research, uncountable colour and image composition and tests that derive from the starting point of the idea and the image. This part of the creative process is the longest, hardest and the most rewarding once successfully achieved.
The final Print is the result of several layers of different images and colours using the same registration. Each layer is created from a different image, photograph, stencyl or handpainted, which is transferred from a clear acetate onto a well degreased and photo sensitive emulsion-coated screen made of polyester mesh.
The image is then exposed to UV light. The screen hardens to light but the black area of the film blocks the light from reaching the emulsion and leaves that area of the emulsion unexposed or soft. The emulsion in areas which did not receive light is washed away leaving those parts open.
After washing, rinsing and drying, the screen is retouched and taped to guaranteed the passing of colour in the correct areas.
This step is repeted with all the different screens.
Mixing the colours is vitally important, the intensity, thickness, touch, opacity, etc. As each layer sits on top of each other the colour that you make will never result in the colour printed as it interracts with the colour underneath not with the white surface of the paper. This often produces unexpected results that make the lengthy process worth undertaking.
Paper is carefully cut and sized and set to one side ready for printing.
We take the screens to the printing table and adjust the pressure, printing angles and ink viscosity to ensure that image definition is optimal.
Inks are introduced to the mesh by pressuring with squeegees, depositing the ink onto the paper. It´s very important to keep the same level of pressure as the ink is pulled to avoid uneven distribution of colour.
Everytime one colour is pulled, the paper needs to dry completely before the next one is printed.
Registration is paramount and precisión must be the number one rule through out the whole process.
After all layers have been printed , the prints need to have dried thouroughly in the drying rack for a few days.
Finally, they get flattened with the aid of blotting paper and the ever resourceful good heavy artists books.