I guess this post can be included in the Handmade Life category (yay!!), and it’s a good thing, since it’s been a long time since I last posted about that sort of topic… so, let me place the pretty title below, and let’s begin!
On Monday, I went to a screen printing workshop at The Book Club. I had never done screen printing before, but it’s something I’ve wanted to try for a while now. To play with inks and fabric, and create something unique? Totally my thing!
At first, I was going with a friend, but I finally went there on my own, which is something I tend to do quite often lately, just try stuff by myself and, you know, jump in there and see what happens.
I arrived early, and it was quite intimidating. I had never been in that place before, and there were people sitting around in groups, drinking and chatting, and then me. What do you do when you’re on your own, in a bar you have never been before to? I went and stood by the bar. I tried to make conversation with the bar staff, but I quickly realised they had better things to do and were not really up for a chat. Also, I was a bit intimidated by the very handsome bar guy (one of the managers?) covered in tattoos and sporting the most awesome beard I’ve ever seen (Ricki Hall style). Since I felt awkward trying to make conversation without staring and drooling, I did the next thing I could think of: scan the room and text my friends. Boring, I know, and a bit chicken-y, but I was feeling slightly out of place there. I loved the bar though, so I’m definitely going back soon anyway!
Once they opened the room downstairs, I felt a bit more comfortable. Now, I was surrounded by people with the same purpose as mine, to learn something new while having fun.
Unfortunately, I don’t remember many names, and the ones I do, I’m not sure I’ll be able to spell them correctly, but let’s see if I can give you a true account of the night.
The instructor, Maurice, was great. He explained the whole process very clearly, and was at hand if we needed further instruction. At my table, there was also Cara, who was his second in hand, and she was very helpful.
First, we needed to think of a motif, design something we wanted printed on a t-shirt. I wasn’t too inspired, so I turned to my smartphone and did some googling, and you know, one thing led to another… and I found what I was looking for!
I looked at different designs, and finally settled to follow on this one by Moha London. It’s beautiful and vibrant, so it worked as a great inspiration.
Of course, the screen on my phone is small, and we had an A1 paper to draw on, and my drawing skills aren’t that great… How was it going to turn out?
I drew one, and it was too big (oops!), so I had to do it again, on a smaller scale. OK, no biggie…
Somehow, I managed to do that as well. It was my lucky evening, it seemed.
Then, we proceeded to cut the stencil. The idea being that we would place the stencil paper between the t-shirt and the screen, so the paint would go through it and the image would be printed.
You can see the first ever [shutter and ink.] business card appearing on the top right corner of the photo above! *big grin.
I could only get an XL t-shirt, which is a bit too big for me, so I’ll have to customise it further at some point.
Doing the actual printing was fun, and a bit messy. I ended up covering my hands with paint, and even staining my hoodie – good thing I was smart in advance and decided to wear clothes I didn’t mind staining!
After each print, we had to clean the screen with wet wipes and that also got a bit messy.
Everyone was very creative and fun, and they let me take pictures of their designs, which I’m showing you all below (if you were at the workshop and you appear in a picture and would like me to remove it, just get in touch with me! Rest assured I’m not selling any of these photos, and they’re used just for a personal/artistic reason).
I also got the opportunity to chat with Emily, who was at the bar downstairs. Not only she was friendly and nice, but also interesting! She had a textile related degree (again, forgot the actual name… I really should take notes when I speak to people!!) and we talked a bit about fabrics and printing.
When I printed my t-shirt, the ink (a mixture of acrylic and textile medium) didn’t go through the silk screen completely, giving it a distressed look that I love!
Overall, the night was great. I really enjoyed getting my hands dirty and leaving the place with a really nice, unique t-shirt. I would recommend everyone to try it out!
You can see a few more pictures on flickr! Please, note that I used my phone to take all these, so the quality might not be as high as you’re used to!
What have you been creating lately? Were you at the workshop on Monday? Do you have a blog or portfolio? I would love to hear from you and see your creations!