This whole business of producing and selling silkscreen art, started off many moons ago as an experiment with one pot of ink and a single tub of photo sensitive emulsion. I never planned for things to go this far, where I actually live solely off the print releases I produce. I'm happy to have survived independently doing this for over a decade. As things slowly started to progress and i explored the process further and began producing multi-layer work requiring very tight registration, i was having to use spray mount to hold the individual sheets down whilst printing. This was a horrendous but necessary way of working at the time. I was having to wear a respirator mask to filter out the fumes in the air on a daily basis. As time went by and I understood more about the process, i eventually acquired an industrial side channel blower (a birthday present to myself) and built the vacuum bed which sucks all the air out of a metal print platten shown in the first photograph. This now holds all the prints down whilst inks are hand applied using a manual lever to control the pressure. This is when things really started to move in the right direction. Being able to industrialize the production process has made this whole cycle so much easier to manage.
The vacuum platten occasionally gets printed on by accident when getting lost in the repetition of printmaking. All the holes then need a pin pushing through them to open them up stop the ink drying up which stops the air flow. Frustrating at best - Fury inducing at worst........
This year really has really been about getting the whole studio set up working in the most efficient way possible, so i can just focus my energies on production from here on in. The main issue now is dealing with the high temperatures that the vacuum fan generates in the studio. The dogs not complaining though, he ignores the noise and tends to sleep right next to it whilst i'm working the print press, enjoying the tropical temperatures!..... And long may that continue Mr Choppers!....
This is Acid - print release having its second layer of metal compound ink added.
Large scale silkscreen experiment testing out the viability of applying heavy structured acrylics via the silkscreen print process onto textured metal surfaces.
Close up detail of the textured metal base that was produced to apply the print onto.
Applying pressure to the surface whilst the metal mix was still workable to create a suitable base. The image was applied using filtration screens rather than the traditional nylon variety so it was tough enough to withstand the squeegees pressure without splitting.
A version of the metal process print made it on to the cover of Tape Op magazine.
One of the twelve position adjusters that I have engineered. These sit on the bed of the printing press and control the position of the vacuum platter which hold the prints in place. This allows me to create really accurate overprints with tight registration.