block out

I read about a screenprinting technique where you use powder paint to apply your design to the screen, and then bituminous paint as a screen filler.  I scoured the hardware shops for the right paint, but nothing seemed anything like what the author had used.  Googling and YouTube led me to products made by Speedball and Jacquard in the US, but none of the online stores delivered exactly what I wanted to South Africa.  Not even Amazon, the rats.

I had to wait for the 4th of January to contact local screenprinting suppliers because they were all closed for the week between Christmas and New Year.  Mighty frustrating. When I want something, I tend to want it right now, so this was a real test of my patience…

Anyway, to cut this short, I managed to find a place in Maitland that stocks Saati products imported from Italy. The most likely thing was stuff called Block-Out, but the guy couldn’t be sure that it would work like my book suggested.  Only one way to find out!

I laid the blank screen over the image I wanted and, using quite a fine paintbrush for the fiddly bits and a thicker one for the big bits, painted out the background with the block-out.  I let it dry overnight.

saati    drying

I hadn’t realised that the block-out would penetrate the screen enough to make the paper underneath stick to it, which is what that white stuff is. Lesson learned!

Here is the first print:

red bird

I was really pleased with this, but if you look closely you can see two tiny areas where I’d missed bits.  Second lesson learned.

This block-out stuff is water-solvent, so I was worried that it would all wash away under the tap when I cleaned the ink off the screen after printing – in which case, this process would be the opposite of useful – but it didn’t…happy dance :-)  The screen definitely looks pretty mucky, though:

screen

but I ignored the muck and made another print, which turned out just dandy:

bird1

While all this was being done, I had another idea about how to make a positive instead of a negative along similar lines. I’ve prepared the screen and it’s drying outside tonight, so if the idea works you’ll get another scintillating post tomorrow.
xx

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9 thoughts on “block out

  1. katechiconi

    Great post! I love learning about this stuff, even though I know perfectly well I’ll probably never do it myself. That is a lovely little bird print – I didn’t mind the little blobs, it made it look somehow antique, like an old woodcut. Probably not the effect you were after in this context, though….

    Reply

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