Graphic designer and printmaker, Nathan Bolton, takes us through the process of screen printing a four colour poster at his printing base at the West Yorkshire Print Workshop.
Screen printing is a process where ink is forced on to a surface through a prepared screen of fine material. The picture is created by blocking the ink from going through the screen, either using an emulsion applied to the screen or by placing a stencil between the screen and the surface to be printed on.
The printmaker ‘pulls’ the ink over the screen using a squeegee, adding each layer of colour separately and using different screens with the emulsion or stencil preventing that colour from being transferred to areas it is not wanted.
Screen printing first appeared in Japan and China in the eighteenth century, but the process as we know it today is thanks to sign painter Samuel Simon who wanted to speed up his Manchester (UK) operations in the early 1900s. In the mid-twentieth century artists pushed the medium forward, with the likes of Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Eduardo Paolozzi and Joe Tilson introducing it to wider and creative audiences.
Nowadays screen printing is a popular print process, with work a regular feature of any print or art fair, and many community art spaces offering opportunities to take part in short courses as well as memberships to access their equipment.
Generally people screen print onto paper and textiles reproducing written messages, patterns, illustrations, photographs, shapes…anything they can imagine.
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West Yorkshire Print Workshop
75A Huddersfield Rd
Mirfield WF14 8AT