Various films that were produced to print the individual colours on the new matrix series of silkscreen prints.
Abstract linear artwork development.
Album cover art for Dreadzone by Damon Roberts. This is a recent album cover project that i've finished for Dreadzone for their latest album Dread Times. I tend to focus my energies as much as possible on my own productions these days. The onslaught of physically screenprinting several hours day combined with developing new ideas can be an enjoyable but draining process to say the least. So when something like this comes along its good to be able step away from the usual routine and work on something new. Its the second album cover i've done for the band. They have both been somewhat of a collaboration between myself and Greg from the band, throwing ideas back and forth with me frantically cobbling visual ideas together until something we like starts to emerge. I tend to live with the initial visual ideas for about a month gradually developing and refining them until we reach the final stage before handing over the artwork for the repro house for proofing and film production......
Arc 454 - multi layer silkscreen print being produced on the press.
Miniature silkscreen originally used for printing one of the studios various icons on the back of large format artworks.
Flesh sequence composition from the vaults.
Ghost Peaks Silkscreen Print currently under development.
Audiophiles 1.1 Cd Cover - A production from quite a few years ago for firewire records. Featuring Andrew weatherall and Keith Tenniswood in their Two Lone Swordsmen Guise.
Hanging prints during print production, ready to apply the next layers of ink
Hand printed dutch greyboard promotional cards.
One of the studio's metal stamp prototypes for applying wax seals to provenance cards.
The daily ritual of ink mixing and working out opacity levels.
One of many pre-production abstracts waiting for film production to test out its viability on the manual printing press.
Some production shots from the Glitch Series of silkscreen print releases. The master images which were generated from sound which was fed through my old vestax mixer needed some cleaning up before being able to get them ready for the print stage. This was done by hand using a scalpel, its sometimes easier this way and preferential to burning out ones retinas in front of a computer screen.
The photograph above shows the first test print of this film which i did directly onto some 3m scotchlite retroflective fabric. Its phenomenal stuff to work with, expensive but the effects when used in conjunction with certain types of imagery can be nothing short of stunning.
A graphic abstraction from the vaults that was integrated into some of the numerous subdub compositions I've been commissioned to produce over the years.
This is a process I have been testing out recently on the press. Its an experiment that I've been using for creating unique organic looking backgrounds as a base to print some of the linear abstract style pieces on. I've been flooding background with varnish then applying tiny amounts of diluted inks via either a pipet or a glazers bulb onto the screen while the varnish is still wet. The tiny drops of dilute ink is then worked through the screen by rolling the squeegee of it in random areas until it starts to build up into something visually pleasing. Its a hit an miss process but the ones which have worked look really interesting as backgrounds and will provide a really nice contrast when some delicate linear imagery is applied on the surface.
Detail from the King Tubb's Reprise Silkscreen Prints.
Another one from the archive I found as I was getting prepped to finally take control of the Glass Siren Studio Blog.
Glass Siren Studio's water cut aluminium platten with centre spindle. This a tool I have engineered in order for me to work on what I class as rotational prints. The spindle sits inside a socket which is locked into position underneath the disc and allows me to spin the substrates I am printing onto a full 360 degrees.
Me. The one behind all this. Damon Roberts -x- Glass Siren Studio.
Damon Roberts (Artist) in Lego form. A good luck token constructed by a good friend of mine - Mr Ben Stevenson. I absolutely adore this. Complete with Lego printing press, pots of ink and print platten with the words 'Veni, Vidi, Vici'.
Early stages of experimentation using the new rotational print platten. This took a lot of trial and error to work out the pick up points of the gradients as one of the types of production I have developed using this system requires images to be printed in four sections which eventually blend and join together to form a final image composition. This shows just one quarter being test printed.
'Nearly There' is the mantra I've always adhered to with this seemingly never ending creative cycle I've found myself in. It keeps me going and gives me some form of hope. Wherever 'There' actually is I'm never quite sure........ But I'll no doubt get 'There' one day...
Another one of my freehand silkscreen compositions from the archive.
One of the various synchronicity prints I have made over the last decade. Some of these have been more minimalistic in their nature, others more complex such as this one that went up to ten individual hand applied layers or acrylics.
Future Daze - Graphic composition that has recently been given the multi-layer silkscreen print treatment. One version of this is currently available to purchase on the product section.
Romeda film separations on the studio's drawing board
Test Tones metal compound ink silkscreen print being worked on the press.
My old Vestax rotary mixer. I picked this up dirt cheap from a customer in Sweden and had it shipped over. I loved this piece of kit and if I was ever creating raw images from sound sources I always run the audio through this beforehand. It was also the only dj mixer I've ever had that mixing records on actually started to make sense to me. It opened up a whole sonic world of possibilities. The bottom unit was the start of a project housing two frequency isolators.
The toughest and most physical part of the prints I make is the solid flooded colour aperture. Which I'm just about to start in this photograph. Flooding the ink through the open screen. This part is a real energy drainer. There is an elation to it after doing a full day of these though, the mind starts to clear of all the digital stuff we soak up on a daily basis and the endorphins start to flow from the excursion. A bit of a pleasure / pain cycle.
The studio's new Vestax mixer. Which is now just about back to full health after the inside of my studio and all the equipment contained in it was involved in a sandblasting disaster caused by rouge workmen renovating a neighbouring building!
Part of a series of graphic works I was commissioned to produce for fashion retailer Harvey Nichols.
Mille Miglia - Silkscreen on textured oxidised metal block. Large format production 30 x 30 inch. Referencing the work of fashion designer Massimo Osti.
Acid erosion treatment I developed on multi layer silkscreen print which eats into the inks surface revealing the under printed layers.
In no particular order...... Whilst getting this site ready for its current overhaul, I started to pull together a load of shots from my archive. Many of these are random in nature, I suppose they are nothing more than a little insight into the behind the scenes production of the finished works. Some of these are random sketches that eventually led to what I do now, some of them are oddities and ephemera which are stuck to the studio walls. Others are of the constant stream of films I output on a weekly basis. These are a bit of a peek in to the world of glass siren studio and the perpetual mess that resides in it. I am getting more organised these days but its good to look back see the chaos that has led to where I'm at now..... Enjoy!
The full metal print process that's been used on several releases to date. This shot was from the early experiments when I was testing out if this was indeed possible to do this. The finished pieces have a unique textural quality similar to that of fine emery cloth. The ground metal can be left in a pure silver state or can be allowed to oxidise to bring out a plethora of different hues.
Future Daze - One of the eight films that made up the finished prints on the studio's ultra violet exposure unit ready to create the screen that will be used to print with.
Another destroyed silkscreen totally ripped apart on the press during the print cycle.
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.