Best school days

I spent a wonderful day at St Sampson’s Infants School this week screen-printing with 70 children and staff on the last day of term. Given the time frame — two hours to do 80 prints with dozens of very small novice printers — the only option was to take a ready prepared screen rather than faff about cutting stencils. We used a photo taken at the PTA barbecue a few days earlier. Here is our print:

Screen printing with St Sampson's Infant School
Screen printing with St Sampson’s Infant School

 

And here’s Iris’s. She’s six and a half and was helped pulling the squeeguee by two of her classmates. Not bad, eh?

An impressive effort for a six year old!
Printed by Iris, age six

Workshop extraordinaire

Phew, we had a most creative and ambitious group of students on our introductory screen-printing on textiles workshop last Saturday. Lots of fun and some real successes. The workshops are great for us — we rarely get time to play as much as we like so it’s brill to have six people in a room with us, all pushing screen printing techniques in different directions. It reminds us how versatile the method can be. Here’s a sample of some of the work:

Sometimes the simplest images work best. A balloon made using a paper stencil and a piece of lace
Sometimes the simplest images work best. A balloon made using a paper stencil and a piece of lace.
A gorgeous design, again simple and clean, in a single colour. Not bad for a first try!
A gorgeous design, again simple and clean, in a single colour. Not bad for a first try!
Art for the wall, coordinated with a new kitchen design. Not bad, eh?
Art for the wall, coordinated with a new kitchen design. Not bad, eh?
A tandem, made using two colours, superimposed. Lovely!
A tandem, made using two colours, superimposed. Lovely!
A three colour print, using three separate stencils that all had to be aligned. Told you they were ambitious!
A three colour print on a bag, using three separate stencils that all had to be aligned. Told you they were ambitious!
This was made by combining monotype with stencil techniques. Can't wait to see it framed.
This was made by combining monotype with stencil techniques. Can’t wait to see it framed.

 

 

Screen printing with superwomen

Who knew that Mary and Kate, the two lovely women who joined us for a sedate Saturday morning of screenprinting, would be a former RAF air traffic controller and round-the-world yachtswoman, respectively? No flowery or fluffy motifs on our creations this week. We had boats and jets!

Red Arrow swirls painted directly on to the mesh
Red Arrow swirls painted directly on to the mesh

We covered three techniques all involving indirect stencils (i.e. not using photoemulsion or drawing fluid/screen filler). Some people seem to enjoy the predictability of stencils, while others are much happier creating monoprints by painting directly onto the mesh and then squeegeeing with a bit of extender. Others still gravitate towards the simple resist method of sticking shapes and textures (lace, confetti, feathers, etc) directly onto the textile and then printing over them so that they leave a negative image.

The following few items were made by combining the monoprint and paper stencil methods. Not bad for a morning’s work, eh?

RAF commemorative tea towels and bag
RAF commemorative tea towels and bag
Boats for a new baby!
Boats for a new baby!

Open air screen printing workshop in Sark

We are slowly getting our studio back in order after taking our screens and inks to the Sark Folk Festival, and have had some time to go through our photos of the weekend. Whereas at Arts Sunday we were mobbed and could do little more than give people pre-cut stencils, this time we were able to work with people on their own designs. Happily, many adults as well as children decided to give it a go. Here are a few:

Pulling, pulling, steady as she goes
Pulling, pulling, steady as she goes
the big reveal…are you pleased with it girls?
the big reveal…are you pleased with it girls?
I love it!!!
I love it!!!
oooh, you're showing off now!
oooh, you’re showing off now!
Guernsey French translation stall AND screen printers in the same field….inspired!
Guernsey French translation stall AND screen printers in the same field….inspired!
Sreens drying at the Sark Folk Festival
Sreens drying at the Sark Folk Festival
Fab designs by primary school children
Fab designs by primary school children

And after all that hard work, time for cider and a dance:

Morris dancing in Sark with Dora (and v odd hair)
Morris dancing in Sark with Dora (and very odd hair)