Day Seven – 21st March, 2017:
Right, firstly, I apologise for not posting for the past couple of days! I wasn’t actually in Bolton on my residency, I was in Brighton for the private view for an exhibition that I am a part of. The exhibition ’50 x 50 = 75 Methodology of Printmaking’ is a collaboration between three universities. The University of Arts in Nagoya, King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology in Thailand and University of Brighton, UK. Fortunately, my work has gone to all these places, unfortunately for me that I could not!! Haha, still gotta be super thankful for even being given this opportunity, so Thanks to all who were involved in this. The exhibition is on until 20th April at Brighton University (Edward Street building) – try get down to that and have a look!
Here’s a flick of me at the Private View: (I’ll put information at the bottom for anyone interested)
Moving on, today has been action packed, seriously lots and lots of information to take in. Jason, Denis and I went over to Bolton University this morning to have a look around and meet a few of the tutors there. So firstly, I met Dave Gledhill (who I have mentioned before) a 2D tutor accompanied by Alan Buckingham a pathway leader, both super sound guys and excited for me to start working over there. Once we had met and shaken hands, we walked over to the art block and checked out what was going on there. Really nice, interesting space, beautiful amount of sunlight kissing the white walls. Truly a special place to be able to make work. Here, I met Peter Lewis (mentioned before) and Ged Young (he’s one of the guys from NEO: – so met him many times before) and I also briefly met John Wineyard the digital technician and Julie Brown who is a foundation tutor. Yet again, all really, really nice people. So, carrying on from the white-walled student spaces (painting and drawing throughout all years BA 1,2 & 3 to MA), we went into the sculpture / ceramics / printmaking room where I met, Rob Gittins the tutor/ tech for that area – Lots of knowledge this man covering a range of disciplines! Furthermore, sorry for what probably seems like pointless things for you to read but this blog is really got me to remember everything I get up to during the day! Anyway, I then went on to meet Tony Radcliff the 3D tech, this guy had a super good tash, good couple of inches long. Was pretty impressed by that. Then I met Jim Williams, the photography tutor. He drives a super nice Harley Davidson.
Just gotta say how impressive the facilities are at this University. They really are so, so much better than most universities that I have seen (and I’m not just saying this for some browny points) It’s true!
Anyway, enough of all that! Today, I had my introduction to the printing workshops. Denis came back this weekend from a nice 5-week holiday in Spain which is why I haven’t been able to print up until now. But that didn’t stop me from making the sculpture. So, really nice workshop and space, so so fortunate to be able to make work in here!
Here’s a couple of images of the workshop:
So, Denis basically taught me all the rules (to many to list out – you know how it is in a busy, moving environment, mainly common sense things and straight do-nots). Denis showed me pretty much where everything is and what I can and can’t do and what NEO: can and can’t do. Anything NEO: can’t do, I go over to Bolton University to do. Simple, but effective. Yet again, I am making a video of all the process steps so you guys are able to follow and potentially learn what I am doing as an Artist. ARTIST LIFE AND THAT! Haha.
So far today, and where I’m going to finish up, I have created 2 silkscreens with architectural forms ready to print tomorrow. Pretty stoked with everything that’s happening at the moment. Learning so, so much!
Here’s is a little step-by-step guide that Denis and I went through today for the process of putting stencils onto a silkscreen:
- Place the screen in the holder and make sure it doesn’t move
- Fill trough with photo emulsion (This is a layer of paint that when touched by U.V it hardens and water can’t remove it, so, if something blocks the emulsion, the emulsion can be removed with water) – I hope that makes sense!
- Using parcel tape, tape the top and bottom of the screen to give a nice straight line either side of the silkscreen.
- Using the through with emulsion, press the trough against the bottom of the silkscreen (on the tape) then slowly and steadily move the trough to the top of the silkscreen (onto the top piece of tape) now there will be a beautiful, even coat of photo emulsion on the screen. 😀
- Then after the coat of emulsion is on, remove the parcel tape and either leave to dry naturally or use a couple of heaters and a hair dryer!
Here’s an image of the dark room and the silkscreen (red light so the photo emulsion isn’t effected by U.V) and me making sure everything is clean, haha
Ok, so once I had got the screens ready for the U.V box I cut out some black architectural shapes. The reason for the black card is to block the light from touching the emulsion (You get it now?) If you don’t get it, leave a comment at the bottom and I’ll answer it. If you’re interested, you deserve the knowledge! If not, you can just wait for the video!
It was then ready for the U.V (Light Box), here are the steps I followed then:
- Turn on the ISOLATER (basically, flick the main switch) wait until there is a ‘purple glow’ coming from underneath the machine.
- Hold down the started button for 5 seconds (this kinda boosts up the machine)
- Make sure your shapes are within the photo emulsion area of your silkscreen and that the photo emulsion is touching the desired images or stencils (FACE DOWN – stencils touching emulsion).
- Close and Clamp the top down.
- Turn on the Vacuum.
- Make sure the settings are correct for the desired image (I used 20 seconds and it’s just black and white – simple setting and that!)
- Click ‘START’
- Wait for 20 seconds…. DUH!
- Once the machine has stopped, turn off the Vacuum and wait a second before pulling off the clamps and lifting the lid.
So, invisibly, there were then shapes hidden in the photo emulsion…obviously where the black shapes had been lying under the emulsion those areas were still affected by the water and could be removed. (hopefully, you under it by now, or I’m just a super bad instructor, hahaha). I went over to the ‘wet area’ where I could then clean off the undesired photo emulsion which would reveal my architectural forms! Here were the steps I followed:
- Gently water the back of the screen (this was really just to lubricate the screen).
- Turn around and turn up the pressure slightly and begin cleaning the stencils (you start being able to see the shapes as soon as the water touches the soft photo emulsion).
- Once cleaned, take to the side and dry the rim with a cloth.
- Put the screen back into the U.V box FACE UP so the emulsion isn’t on the glass (opposite to the first time) and apply U.V for 40 Seconds. No need to put on Vacuum as there are no stencils at this stage – they are already on the screen. Now it’s just to completely firm up the emulsion.
- Take out the screen and prop up against the window so that natural sunlight can just give it a little kiss of good luck.
Well, there you go, a really basic guideline to how to coat and apply stencils to a Silkscreen. Hahaha.. I really hope you get it. It’s a little tricky, especially for a dyslexic person to type out. Hahaha.
Anyways, here a flick of Denis, my instructor and teacher for the afternoon:
Hope I haven’t bored you, and that maybe you have learnt how I make my Artwork! Let me know what you think! Much love, Peeeeeeaace! x