International Award Winning Artist

 

                  

Creating the painted stencil
Creating the painted stencil

                                     

Placing the painted and film Stencil on the light table
Placing the painted and film Stencil on the light table

The Process of Creating a Hand Pulled Serigraph

The Serigraphs I create are entirely done by hand, by me in my studio, using a technique which originated in China, and is largely unchanged over the last 1000 years. Silk Screen Printing as it was originally called, arrived in North America around 1900, and the process was widely used for industrial purposes. In the 1930’s artists began adopting the screen printing process and renamed it ‘Serigraph Printing.’ When I am creating an original serigraph, I begin drawing on a piece of paper, which is the exact size I want the finished image to be. When I have my idea worked out as a line drawing, (template), I begin working on the first stencil. I place a clear sheet of acetate over the template and draw with a special pen, or paint with black ink, where I want the color to come through.

 

                   

Developing the Film Stencil
Developing the Film Stencil

                      

Rinsing away the unwanted areas
Rinsing away the unwanted areas

  I then take the painted acetate and a light sensitive film, and put them in a light table, and expose the stencil film. Then the stencil is developed in a solution, and sprayed with warm water to rinse away the unwanted areas, leaving the stencil with the pattern now on it. This is then adhered to a screen, and when the stencil is dry the backing is peeled away leaving openings for the ink to come through. 

 

                   

Adhering the stencil to the screen
Adhering the stencil to the screen

                      

Carding on the block out
Carding on the block out

Block out is carded around the outside of the stencil to keep the borders of the paper clean when it is printed. Ink is then carefully mixed up, the shade and intensity needs to factor in not only the colors that are already on the print, but also the colors that are going on with later stencils, because the image is built up in translucent layers. 

 

                   

Mixing a color
Mixing a color

                      

Attaching the Screen to the table
Attaching the Screen to the table

The screen with the stencil, is then fastened securely to hinges on a table and a piece of paper from the edition is carefully lined up under the screen. Then registration marks are taped next to the paper so that every sheet being printed will line up in precisely the same spot. The ink is then put on the screen, and pulled across the paper with a squeegee. Then that print is hung to dry, and the next print is put into place against the registration marks, and printed until all of the prints have that color on them. 

 

                   

Putting the registration guides in place
Putting the registration guides in place

                      

Pulling a color on the serigraph
Pulling a color on the serigraph

Then everything has to be cleaned up, (this is the least fun part), in a well ventilated area using solvents, and soap, and the screen has to be prepped for the next stencil. This whole preparing, printing, and cleaning process takes about 5 hours for each stencil. Creating a single stencil, depending on the size and detail involved, can take anywhere from 1/2 an hour, to 15 hours or more. 

 

                   

Cleaning around the printing area
Cleaning around the printing area

                      

Getting ready for some heavy duty cleaning
Getting ready for some heavy duty cleaning

  The number of stencils I print in an edition varies, but is usually somewhere between 11 and 30. If a print gets smudged, or is off register, or attracts an errant dog hair, or prints imperfectly at any stage in this process, for any color, it does not make it into the edition. Any print that is perfect (relatively speaking) becomes part of the edition, prints.

                    

Giving everything a good soaping down
Giving everything a good soaping down

            

   

                   

Finishing up in the studio after printing
Finishing up in the studio after printing

 

Original Print Verses Limited Edition (Reproduction) Print

I always refer to my Serigraphs as ‘Hand Pulled Serigraphs’ because the word ‘Print’ is commonly used by artists who create ‘Limited Edition Prints’ from one of their paintings. A Limited Edition Print is a photograph, printed on high quality paper, of a painting that an artist has created. It is not a work of art, it is a photograph of a work of art. It is mechanically reproduced by technicians, and then signed and numbered, often in the thousands, by the artist who did the painting. The word "limited" refers to the fact that there are only 500 or 5,000 prints in the edition.   

       
One of my serigraphs is a handmade creation, usually, and in my case completely created by the artist. Each print in one of my editions is an Original Artwork, because it is not copied from an existing image, and the final artwork is not does not exist until the last stencil, (color), is pulled across the paper. All of my Serigraph Editions have less than 70 prints in total, including both the Edition, and the Artist Proofs.