It’s been a while since I’ve been online and checking out what’s hot and what’s not on the interior front. All I can say is that I’ve been waiting with excitement to write about this course I booked myself on. This course was one of the first steps to the ultimate goal and for me to get a taster of printing.
So on Saturday I took myself off to Islington, to The Make Lounge (http://www.themakelounge.com/) to do a screen printing course for the day. Before we arrived we were told to bring along any images that we thought we might want to use to print on, and also wear old clothes!!
For some reason I had squirrels on my mind the week before, and without becoming slightly obsessive I chose an image of a squirrel and took it along with me. When I arrived I was greeted by Chloe, a lovely cheerful lady who welcomed me to the day. Our teacher Helen was great, a really instructive guide to some peoples first attempt.
There were about 10 in the class and we were all guided by Helen as to how we go about screen printing. First of all you need to decide whether you want your chosen image printed on the positive or negative i.e. which parts of it you want to have the colour on and ones you want left blank. Being a taster course, it was really about how much detail and colours you can put into the print, but more about the concept and having a go.
Having chosen which bit of the image or our design we wanted to have colour, we cut it out of the paper. There are lots of different materials you can print from, we stayed stimple and used a scalpel to cut the design out of the plain paper.
When we were ‘ready to print’ we had to prepare our uniquely numbered slides. These screens were aluminium ones, and we had to tape the areas where we wanted the paint to be shown on the outer side, on the inside we had to place the tape just slightly in from the outer tape on the other side so if the paint seeped through, there was a double barrier in effect.
Once we had done this and we had chosen our items we were ready to go. I could either have printed onto a large and or small tote bag or a tea towel. I chose the tea towels because, well, I think the world is full of tote bags and not enough funky tea towels! That is my personal opinion anyway. Haha.
So I laid out my tea towel and popped a board underneath, then placed my pieces of paper into position and lined up the slide ready to go.
At this point, I asked Helen to help me. In fact, I was really quite anxious at this point, maybe because we were told the process had to be done quickly, yet there was so much to remember. I dabbed the paint on at the top of the screen, took the scraper, emerged it into a bit of paint, and shuffled it around a bit, held it at a 45 degree angle and then wheyheyy pulled it towards me really hard! Well. The downside was that I didn’t put enough paint on, so actually covered half of it. The good side was that I had the excellent Helen to hand who quickly rectified the situation. When I had efficiently put back the unused paint, and made the area ‘safe’ I then peeled off the screen to reveal la pièce de résistance – two red squirrels! Not bad I thought for the first attempt. See what do you think?!
After my triumph of the first print, we were allowed to be let loose to make another and this time keeping with the squirrel theme I thought I would do the ‘negative’, and again to my surprise it didn’t look too bad.
Everyone at The Make Lounge was super fun and nice, and for sure everyone who went in left with an extra big smile of their faces having achieved something creative for that day. I would definitely recommend doing a course here, there are lots of crafty options to choose from and unlike most courses in the city I thought it was really affordable. I got my gift voucher for Christmas, and it was a brilliant present – so thanks for that Mum, and big thanks The Make Lounge Team!