Cynthia St. Charles Store

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Photo to Printing Screen via Thermofax Machine

Screen Printing Demo ContinuesIn my last post, I went through the steps involved in converting a high contrast photo to a screen ready image. To make a good screen print - you need a nice clear black and white image.
I started with a photo of a blackbird at my bird feeder.

I worked with the photo in my photo editing program until it was a good clear black and white image. I printed it out (both my Epson Inkjet and HP Inkjet work well for this) in the size I wanted, and then filled in some areas with a regular #2 pencil. I wanted the birds claws to appear on the screen print, but they are hidden in my photo. I also filled in around the edges of the bird to give a good crisp outline and also outlined the beak and eye with pencil. Then, I cut it out with scissors to remove all background noise that I don't want to appear in my screen.

The Thermofax process melts the screen where ever there is carbon on the paper. Both my inkjet ink and the pencil contain enough carbon to activate the process.

I purchase my RISO screen in a roll from Welsh Products.
I cut it to size, lay it over my finished black and white image and feed it through the Thermofax Machine.

Here you can see the screen after the edges have been bound with water resistant duct tape.
I use Duck brand silver duct tape because it holds up better than other brands. The colors don't resist water as well.I had previously used Setacolor fabric paints, stiffened with shaving cream for printing, but I recently purchased some Speedball Fabric Screen printing paint. This is wonderful stuff. The perfect consistency! (I found it at a college bookstore).

My tools are very simple. I use a plastic putty knife as a squeegee- I get clear crisp prints because of the firmness of this tool. The work surface must also be firm and smooth.

Don't you love my Cowbird (a type of crow)?

1 comment:

Linda Teddlie Minton said...

Thank you Cynthia! Great tips and hints (such as the hard plastic putty knife instead of a squeegee), and I LOVE your cowbird!