Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Thermofax Screenprinting Class

From Friday night to Sunday afternoon my thermofax printing students worked like they were driven. Many of them had no idea what this was going to be like, not being familiar with a thermofax machine. Some had screenprinting experience and remembered how difficult and time consuming it was to make a screen. I spent the Friday evening class explaining what a thermofax was, talked about kinds of images it could make, what might work and what might not work. Each student received about 8 linear feet of screen, enough to make approximately 10 full size screens. At least that's what I figured.

By the end of the evening, each student had made at least one screen and we were ready to build our printing areas with a cotton batt, fabric stretched over top, and fastened with duct tape. Saturday morning everybody arrived ready to print. After a short demonstration on screening technique, they were off and screening. We had some technical difficulties in getting the copy machine and the thermofax machine to play well together, but that was solved, more or less. At this point I could have left and I don't think they would have noticed. They were so busy! And that thing about 10 screens....little did I realize how resourceful this bunch was. The screen pieces kept getting smaller and smaller as nobody was willing to let any unused screen go to waste. I was concerned that they might have trouble with paint running off the edges, but that didn't seem to be a problem.

By Sunday afternoon the walls were covered not only with fabric but also tote bags, aprons, pillow covers, and t-shirts. Wow!

Remember those old Spirograph toys? Time to dig them out of the attic and use them for screen designs!

They made us take a break for a class picture. But as soon as this was taken, they all rushed back inside to make more prints. What a great group!

I'll have pictures from the Dyeing class real soon. They are just as enthusiastic as the screenprinting gang and making just as big a mess.


Rayna said...

Looks like a great workshop, Cathy. Another addictive process!
I cut my screen into small pieces, too. It's too expensive to waste on big ones. That's why I use duct tape instead of frames - I can get odd sizes.

Gerrie said...

Wow, what great work and so nicely used in the final design.

Sara said...

Heh Cathy! I was searching for a thermofax machine of my own and found this site about the class!! I'm glad you had such a good time with all of us. I sure did. If ever you find more machines, contact me or others in the class and I know you would easily sell them! I would love to find one to use with my High School Art!
Sara Green
937 293 7751

Judy said...

Oo oh yum...just getting into this part of the printmaking world and I LOVE the spirograph stuff! I have gocco supplies but the lamps are so hard to find now and getting so pricey that the thermofax looks like a beautiful option - especially for a group! Thanks for the inspiration :~)

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