My friendly local screenprinter, Gareth at I Love Screen Printing, tells me that there is hope for my buggered-up screen. There is some special stripper I can buy, apparently, but that will have to wait til next week: my days go pear-shaped quite often, plus I’ve already moved on to the next experiment:
I traced the design onto the screen with a soft pencil, then went over the lines with powder paint (mixed with water, obvo!) and let it dry. In this **%#@ hot weather we’re having here, it took all of 5 minutes :(
Then I carefully painted over the rest of the screen with the dreaded blue block-out (this was after Gareth had told me about the stuff that will save my screens).
Left it to dry overnight, then washed the whole thing. The idea is that the powder paint will wash away, leaving a beautiful clear design. hmmmm, well, that only sort of happened.
The dried block-out bits were all soft and wrinkly round the edges, and tried very hard to peel themselves off the screen as I worked on it with a sponge. I tried digging at them with a toothpick then an earbud and eventually a scalpel, but there was no disguising that this was another balls-up. What did not help the situation one bit was that Jessy’s cat litter tray is also in the bathroom where I was faffing around with the screen, and she snuck up behind me and laid the stinkiest foulest dropping of her entire life. Eventually, I left the screen standing next to the bath and went to bed, disgusted and cursing.
Next morning, however, the blue stuff had dried hard and crisp. Yo! There was only one thing to do – I grabbed some sandpaper (always useful to have a couple of squares lying around), and actually sandpapered my screen! The professionals would have laughed themselves silly, I’m sure, and it certainly isn’t ideal, but I was determined to get something out of all this effort !!
So, it’s not quite what I had in mind, but I quite like the rough textured look (!). At least, that’s what I tell myself. Market Rabbit is just in that pic for added interest, by the way.
Anyhow, it’s possible that I will soon stop with the block-out experiments and switch to using emulsion, like normal people. Doreen gave me some screenprinting mesh that she’d found in the back of her cupboard, and Rob is very keen to help me make some wooden frames for the screens. Aren’t you, dear?