Today, Cas and I made a repeat appearance at Blim for a silk screening class. They have regularly scheduled classes for beginner and intermediate silk screening throughout the week; however, since I already have a hard time making my Pilates classes between work and my health (yes, I have a stupid cold again…) I haven’t been able to take advantage of this. When I was there last month for puppet making magic, I inquired about an upcoming “Kid’s class” scheduled in February. They let Cas and I sign up if we paid an adult fee, so it was with much anticipation that we walked up to Blim today.
Hopped up on Advil Cold & Flu (with antihistamines <3), I snagged a prime spot and started to vibrate when the class instructor showed me the transfers they made for us. I had decided a few weeks ago that I would either be doing ghostie or wonder-dot, so I set about transferring the images to black only and sent them along. Cas on the other hand, had procrastinated until yesterday and I whipped him off a version of my mr. octopus. I’m really pleased with how his turned out as well. The teacher informed us that only one other student had signed up for the class so my visions of small children wielding fabric staining paint-covered squeegees disappeared. In fact, the only other student was a teenager (14ish) who was attending with her math tutor. The little class size meant no waiting for other students, lots of paint options and a easy view of each other’s projects.
Unfortunately, unlike the puppet class that supplied all the materials we needed, we didn’t know that we were supposed to bring items to be silk screened. I assumed that we’d be getting little swatches of scraps and a single t-shirt to work on and then get to take our screens home. 2/3 right as a neon coloured fruit of the loom tee was waiting for us, but if we were inclined to do anything else – we would have to buy it. ( Most the larger shirts were taken (who the hell wears an AA small shirt?? WTF??), so our choices were limited. In the end, we both picked a shirt that we hope will fit and set to getting inky. In hindsight, I feel pretty silly that I think to bring stuff to be silkscreened, but ended up being glad that I didn’t as each piece would have had the same image again and again. I love mr. Ghostie, but I don’t wanna wear him everyday.
I was quite excited to take this class as I had ruined several screens trying it myself. I always found the staff at Opus (in Langley) to be rather unhelpful when I tried to get feedback following a failed project and I was starting to think that the subtle art of silk screening was beyond me. I let the instructor know that I had had issues in the past and following a discussion about my tools, she informed me that she’s had multiple people in the past say that they had been unable to self-teach themselves the skill. This stilled any fears I had about wrecking my screen today and we jumped in.
We started by doing a photo emulsion of our photos. The pre-prepped screens (with a purple emulsion) were set up with our photo transfers under a warm bulbs with a piece of glass on top (to keep it flat and weight it again the shirt). Following that, we scrubbed down our screens in large water vats to remove purple where our images were. Then, we took them outside and let them dry. It was a pretty warm day today in Vancouver, so it was nice to take advantage of the sun.
Since our washing machine is broken (going on week 4) and we’re out of laundry, I appreciated the heat since I was sporting a sexy sandals & a trashed tee. Talk about a week of contrasts. It was -20 something while I was in Regina and I’m chillin’ (but not freezing) in sandals in sunny Vanc days later. No wonder I’ve got a cold 🙁
Once our screens were dry, we taped the borders and any imperfections in the purple (that would let ink through). Then, it was paint time. Since I had picked some thicker inks (since I had such dark coloured tees), I had to do more passes. I’m not too happy with how my blue + white combo shirt came out as I hadn’t quite gotten the knack of putting my muscles into pressing the paint through the screen and a few light lines got through the final image. Cas’s colour combinations were awesome, but the brown octopussy is hard to see (ironic since this shirt will probably get the most wear).
Following clean up, we learned how to stretch and treat our own screens. I’m pretty stoked to start doing my own stuff. I would like to get some stars added to our new curtains as well as transform a blah jean skirt into something fun. I need to grab some more supplies for home, but I might also just pop up to Blim for an open Sunday studio session. Wanna join me?
Check out my flickr feed for more photos of today. These are the samples we made in class. Since I can’t seem to get lightbox to work with these photos, you’ll have to pop over there if you want to see them in a bigger size. 🙁 Anyone else use ‘Shutter Reloaded’ for WordPress? Does WP Flickr not allow it to work on their thumbnails?
I’m pretty sick now, having spent the day hopped up on meds, but am glad I got out to class today. I think I got sick on the airplane on the way to Regina as I had a pretty big coughing fit when I was in a meeting with my client. I think I am going to put my foot down for the next few months regarding traveling. I’m pretty appauled that I’m already at 3 trips this year with another trip scheduled to Toronto in March. Talk about ignoring the ol’ carbon footprint. Maybe I’ll look into credits for myself this year – if only to stop worrying about it. Ok – off to bed and the magical land called NyQuil.