Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Getting Good Screen Time With East End Press

The beautiful May bank holiday weekend brought the fabulous Ellie back into store with another successful screen printing workshop from East End Press. Being fairly new to the E&W team I was thrilled to be able to flex my crafty muscles and find out exactly what it's like to take part in one of our workshops. 

I won't lie, I chose screen printing as I thought it was perhaps the more doable option for a rather clumsy, not so artistic individual as myself. However, there is a lot more involved than meets the eye! Initial qualms were quickly eased by Ellie though who makes the process very approachable, and is there for each step to make sure you're on the right track to a fabulous array of screen printed goodies.

The first piece of advice I'm glad I took heed of was 'Keep it simple'. I decided with a limited artistic flair that a simple graphic design was going to work best for me. Having to first design and sketch our prints, then carefully cut them out, this was definitely the way to go. It must be noted here though that there was a great mix of designs (some very intricate!) around the table and everyone created a really unique print! I wasn't jealous of any of them at all...

With our designs ready to go we picked up our silk screens and got our prints prepped. Now the important part - COLOUR! So many colours to choose from and I ended up with black. I guess the choice was just too overwhelming. I did however throw in a bright pop of neon pink which really helped my finished design stand out, and produced a few different effects which I was really happy with.

With Ellie giving me a hand to secure my screen and help with placement I began to flood - the second vital piece of information you need for screen printing. 'Flood everyone, flood!' Flooding is the process of applying your paint across your screen to ensure that when you print you have a bold and even result. 

I found out just how important this technique is when a few of my prints didn't quite take, however we also all learned to embrace our imperfections and came to love the different effects that appeared on our products. With a tote bag, a tea towel and a cushion cover to take home it was nice to see a variety of finishes that make each print unique. 

Screen printing with East End Press was definitely as satisfactory as I'd hoped; the joy of hand-making a unique item with personal detail is so rewarding. Also not only did I come away flaunting my one-off swag, but I can now boast that I am a confident and capable screen printer! In my eyes anyway - check the tote. 

If you fancy becoming a dab-hand at a unique craft then we've always got workshops coming up and next we will be hosting Who Art Thou. The Glasgow based creative studio will be running a concrete planter workshop for all you green-fingered folks on 18th June. We hope to see you there!


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