Friday, January 4, 2019


For our first meeting in 2019 we concentrated on increasing our personal silk screen inventories by creating our own.  We call these "Denny's silk screens" as an homage to her creative method of fast and easy screen making.

The supplies are readily available, here's our stock pile of inexpensive plastic window screens where the screening and gaskets have already been removed.
The process is simple.  Begin with a new inexpensive plastic screen, remove the rubber gasket (spline) that holds the screening in place.  Save the screening for other uses....(as a mesh on a quilt, or for mono printing, or ???)
 Cut a piece of organza or sheer fabric slightly larger than the frame.
 Carefully push the gasket back into the channel, keeping the fabric as taut as possible as you work your way around the frame.
 You may or may not have a little extra when you reach the starting point. 

Use a screen roller tool to firmly secure the gasket/spline, making sure the fabric is as tight as possible. This very inexpensive item (blue tool above screen) is available at any hardware store. 
Next you need to protect the edges of the screen from the dyes/paints that would inevitably collect there as well as helping to better secure the screen from slipping out of its track.  

Start by cutting a small piece of duct tape, cut that in half, nearly to the top and position in each corner as shown. To better identify the owner of the screen, we each used different colors of duct tape.
Run duct tape from the outside edge of the frame onto the screening, do all four sides.  Flip the screen over and repeat.  We like to run an extra piece of duct tape along the edge of what will be the top of the screen which acts as the 'well' where the dye or paint is initially introduced to the screen.  It can be placed as deep into the screen as you wish, we place ours about 1+ inches lower than the inside frame of the screen...increasing that taped section to measure about 3+ inches (outside frame edge to screen)

 My two finished frames......having different sizes is helpful when printing.
Though time was getting short, we each made a temporary screen by cutting a design into iron on clear vinyl, adhering it to sheer fabric and adding duct tape to the edges.  It's a handy way to create a 'one-off' design.  My goal is to eventually screen print this 'shadow motif' of family members at a beach.
 We will be making more next month....and I'll provide better details, but here's an overview of the process:    1.  select a design as I did above 2. trace to the paper side of iron on clear vinyl 3. cut out, either as a mask or stencil. My small 'shadow' design was poorly chosen given the long narrow pieces that kept sticking to themselves.  
I had a heck of a time arranging it on the slippery sheer.  Eventually I pinned the sheer to the surface of a padded ironing board cover. But I still spent way too much time trying to get the cut out flimsy stencil to lay flat and secure.  But once it was, the design was covered with parchment paper and heated with a warm iron to permanently bond the vinyl and sheer together.
 All that was left to do was trim the edges evenly and cover with pieces of duct tape.
Kate wisely remembered to use the colored markers she brought to outline and scribble on the vinyl side before cutting out her shape. Adding color is so helpful when it comes to arranging the cut out stencil onto the sheer.  Note to self - next time don't be in such a hurry...remember to color the vinyl!!!

If you aren't a regular subscriber to this blog, you can do that now by using the link on the side bar......that way you'll never miss any advetnures of the Fiber Junkies!

Here are other links to check out today:  Nina-Marie's Off The Wall Friday, Sarah's Whoop, Whoop Friday.


Robbie said...

What a cool way to make screens!!! Now I can't wait to see what you all create with these screens!!!!

Kathy said...

Thanks for sharing this screen making workshop! So much easier than any other methods I have seen! Denny is a wonder and I really appreciate you sharing this.

Lynda said...

Thanks for sharing this. I look forward to what you create with these screens.