What is Screen Printing?
Screen printing is one of the earliest methods of printing. It involves the passing of ink or any other printing medium through a mesh or ‘screen’ that has been stretched on a frame, and to which a stencil has been applied. The stencil openings determine the image that will be imprinted.
The stencil could made from cutting a simple shape or design out of paper, or for a more complicated design, using a light sensitive emulsion to “expose” a design into the emulsion.
For each colour on the design, you use a separate screen, building up the colours and design with each new layer. The ink is “pulled” across the mesh of the screen using a squeegee, where there is an opening in the stencil, the ink passes through onto the paper, leaving the design.
The screen printing process can be automated, using big machines that take the effort out of the print process. But every print from Bird House Press is “hand pulled” – meaning every part of the process has been done by hand, from the cutting of the stencils, application of emulsion, to pulling the squeegee across the screen – all by hand!
As a result of this hand pulled process, the print edition sizes tend to be small – definitely no mass production at Bird House Press.
To see the process in action, below there is a small clip of me printing the second colour of the 2 colour screen print I call “Acorn”