© 2014 Lynsey

Printer’s marks

Late last year I satisfied a long held desire to learn how to screen print. I mentioned the printing, along with all of the other activities I squeezed into last year.

I spent time wrestling with printing on fabric (finally I can get my dream-come-true t-shirts), and I learned a lot about the process of getting the design from my head into the computer, and from there on to printed transparency, and from there on to the screen, and then finally on to fabric. With so many steps along the way you might imagine there are plenty of opportunities for things to go wrong.

Like you wouldn’t believe.

My tutor manages to make it all look effortless, and well, yes, I guess it will be when I’ve been printing intensively for 40 years.

This semester I want to learn the subtle art of printing on paper – apparently this is significantly more challenging than printing on the more forgiving fabric. More forgiving. Clearly, this is some meaning of forgiving that I’m unfamiliar with.

I love the colours and smell of the ink. I feel right at home doing the menial clean up work required to get things ready. Every moment is a learning opportunity. So much of the process is about the smell, look, and feel the ink on the screen, the timing and accuracy of your actions. Attention to detail, and yet still leaving some room for the process to make its own contribution in unexpected ways. Science gives way to art quite quickly. I love the process very much.

And then, after you pull your first print, and you lift the screen, part filled with fear (did it work?) and part filled with delightful anticipation (did it work as well as I imagined?) … and there it is – your new work – and everyone’s baby is beautiful. At least for a moment or two. So you keep going working to correct your errors, improve the process, hone your skills.

Now that I’ve filled the house with awkwardly printed fabric suitable only for a limited range of dust cloth purposes, the next step will be to do the same with paper. At least we can … hey, xmas gifts for the many, varied, and very grateful family. Brilliant!

09. Every day learn something new.
42. Every day celebrate. Who you are. What you have achieved. Things that matter to you.
43. Every day accept you will make mistakes. Learn from them. They are opportunities in disguise.

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