Home > Printmaking, Shellie Lewis' Art, Uncategorized > Pumping Station: One Silkscreen Demonstration

Pumping Station: One Silkscreen Demonstration

Silkscreen by Mary McShane

Last night’s fundraiser and all around fun party for the third anniversary of hackerspace Pumping Station: One was great!  I did a three hour demonstration on silkscreen printmaking.  At first, I was not getting any interest in the demo but as soon as artworks starting being hung up to dry on a clothesline, more and more people wanted to participate.  I brought a huge ream of 250 sheets of white 110 pound cardstock weight paper from an office supply store.  It was a really great paper to print on, smooth and no warping.  I have a small, crummy, pre-fabricated wood frame silkscreen that was masked off with about a five square inch area.  It’s my “beater” screen and has seen its share of abuse.  I brought acrylic, water-based Process colors because they are bright, blend in interesting ways.  I had tubs of them mixed up and ready to go, leftovers from a class prior to 2010.  Plastic food containers with tight fitting lids are amazing.

I wound up having to do a lot of on-the-spot trouble shooting.  This is a danger with working with low tech materials.  The packing tape I used to tape off the screen was janky and was not sticking to the screen.  The bottom edge of the square kept pulling up and letting ink bleed onto the page.  I wound up having to re-tape it with duct tape a few times and eventually put a piece of cardstock paper on a tape hinge to mask off the bottom edge.  (The messy bleed through ink went on the hinged paper instead of people’s prints.)  My original design idea failed.  I had used the laser cutter to make the PS:One logo using shelf liner paper.  I did a test print and my logo stencil pulled right off the screen.  It was too fragile to withstand my squeegee.  Oh crap!

The logo being ruined wound up being a good thing because my solution gave people way more creative control.  There was a stack of outdated photocopy fliers in the classroom I was using and I was able to find two pairs of scissors and an Xacto pen knife.  I had people draw and cut out designs to make a paper stencil using the photocopies.  Designs had to be small to fit within the square of the silkscreen area.  I had brought a package of Crayola markers with me which was a huge help.  Some people made abstract designs, some made images.  The photocopy paper held up well enough that people made anywhere from three to six good prints with their stencil.  It was exciting to see people think up ideas and rapidly turn them into an art work.  I had a few repeat customers, too.  Even better, a few people traded prints and went home with a folio of art for the night!

See more images from the night here.

Silkscreen by Eric Stein

Silkscreen by Will McShane

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  1. April 15, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    Sounds like a lot of fun!

    • April 16, 2012 at 12:21 am

      Hey Peach Farm –

      Hacker / Maker / Crafter collaborative groups {Hackerspaces} are cropping up in cities across the world. A new one just came together in Chicago: South Side Hackers. Pumping Station: One has ongoing classes, an electronics studio, laser cutter and 3D printer, a full wood shop, craft supplies, three weaving looms, a few sewing machines and some welding / metal working stuff.

      The idea of the space is to build stuff, modify stuff [hack], share tools, experiment and teach each other things. I’ve been getting a great creative kick out of talking to so many intelligent people. It’s been a lot of fun for me. I had a great time building the pochade painter’s box out of a cigar box.

      Freeside Atlanta is down by you:
      http://wiki.freesideatlanta.org/

      Open meetings are a good way to say hi and check out a hackerspace. They are like snow flakes; each one is a little different. Membership dues keep the doors open and go toward buying more equipment to enrich the space. PS:One also gets things donated, scavenges and builds a lot. Someone built the 3D printer.

      There will be overlaps in technology with art & design. Look into related website MakeZine.com and supplies retailer Inventables.com. 🙂

      Shellie

    • April 16, 2012 at 12:26 pm

      Look, you’re in California. I’ve seen the commercials. You’re supposed to have happy cows and wineries. 😉

      • April 16, 2012 at 12:38 pm

        Lucky for us it’s really true. We’re located in the heart of Sonoma County right in the middle of those cows and wineries you see in those commercials. 😀 http://peachfarmstudio.wordpress.com/2012/03/23/vine-to-wine/

      • April 16, 2012 at 4:13 pm

        Awesomeeee! I’m coming right over. How do you feel about basset hounds because I have some of those. 😀

      • April 16, 2012 at 8:27 pm

        😀 The basset hounds would love some of the hiking trails around here.

      • April 17, 2012 at 12:19 pm

        Me too. I haven’t hiked in years. I bounced back and forth from the mountains in eastern Tennessee and Chicago’s south side growing up. [I know BOTH kinds of poverty: rural and urban!] In podunk I miss the art and culture, the different kinds of food and people, festivals, museums, etc. In the city, I miss fresh air, wildlife and nature. Chicago isn’t much for natural beauty. If you were here, I would take you out by 130th and show you the worst of it, the areas that literally look like hell: the fields of waste, scrap yards, the empty rotting steel mills, the filthy canal. My apartment now is in a great neighborhood but I literally have no place to sit outside, not even a porch. I would have to travel some blocks to a tiny lot that is a park, which I do. Saddest little park you ever saw but at least it has grass.

        I feel like I am split in half. If I could only teleport and have both. 😦 I tried to move to Asheville, NC about four years back but that fell through. Long story. I was going to enroll in college there but wound up downtown Chicago.

  2. April 16, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Thanks for the reply and the great info. Your contribution to the event was surely appreciated by all who participated in your project. We’re actually based in Northern California and will be participating in a similar event next month in May. Have heard of MakeZine, a great site, but haven’t heard of Inventables, so will check it our. Thanks for the super tip! 😀

    • April 16, 2012 at 11:42 am

      Oh sorry! Al things “peach” are in Atlanta, or at least Georgia, to my mind! ^.^

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