Lesson 6: Silkscreen Printing

Stencil and Photographic Silkscreen Printing
07302012_EDU_ssp6_L6 18.3a_main.jpg
Student printing stencil layer in green ink

Students use their cut stencils, open screens and photographic screen to print a multicolor screenprint.

Suggested Time Frame:

3-4 class periods 

Objectives:

  • Students will mix 4 colors of ink to use for their layers in their print
  • Students will register their stencils on the silkscreen and repeat the printing process until all four layers are complete
 
Procedure
Blue painter's tape is used to register all of the stencils to the board
Blue painter's tape is used to register all of the stencils to the board

Materials:

Two-inch masking tape¾-inch blue painter’s tape
*10 pieces of final printing paper for each studentSilkscreens
SqueegeesClampboard


*An economical paper for silkscreen is two-ply Bristol Board sold in pads of 20 sheets. For an even better deal, go to your nearest office supply store and use 11x17-inch reams of paper that are similar in thickness to the two-ply Bristol Board. 

Ink colors for this print were premixed: pink, light green and blue (not shown)
Ink colors for this print were premixed: pink, light green and blue (not shown)

Present PowerPoint:

Stencil and Photographic Silkscreen Printing 

Mix Ink:

  1. Students should mix all four colors of ink prior to printing.
  2. Mix ink in re-sealable containers.
  3. Label ink with student’s name and layer number.
 

Printing:

  1. Tape your silkscreen using two-inch masking tape. Tape both sides.
  2. Place your Layer 1 stencil on top of a piece of your final printing paper. Make sure the open area of the stencil is in the center of the final printing paper. Make sure the stencil does not move by taping it to the printing paper using two small pieces of blue painter’s tape.
  3. Place your silkscreen in the hinge clamps, securely tightening the clamps.
  4. Register the stacked stencil and print paper to the silkscreen. Use tape brackets on the print surface/table to mark the corners of 3 sides of the printing paper. These marks serve as guides so that each piece of paper is placed in the same place on the table, ensuring that the printed shape is in the same place on each piece of paper.
  5. Carefully remove the small pieces of blue painter’s tape holding the stencil in place on the final paper. *Take care to not move the stencil from its position.*.
  6. Carefully close the screen over the stencil paper and print the first color using enough ink for adequate coverage.
  7. The stencil will stick to the back of the silkscreen because the ink acts as an adhesive.
  8. For large areas of color (like the background Layer 1) you may need to flood the silkscreen or make two passes with the squeegee.
  9. Continue this process, placing each piece of paper inside the tape marks until all 10 pieces of paper are printed.
  10. Remove the stencil from the silkscreen and discard.
  11. Clean the silkscreen and squeegee thoroughly. The two-inch tape you placed around the edges of the silkscreen in Step # 1 should remain until you are finished printing your entire print.
  12. Making sure the silkscreen is completely dry, place your taped silkscreen into the hinge clamps and securely tighten the clamps.
  13. When Layer 1 of your print is dry, place the photographic Film Positive for Layer 4 onto your print and register it to the first printed layer. Tape this to your print using two small pieces of blue tape to ensure the Film Positive does not move.
  14. Register your next stencil (Layer 2) to the Film Positive. Once it is in the correct place, use two small pieces of painter’s tape to secure it to the print. Remove the Film Positive.
  15. Place the stacked stencil and print paper under the silkscreen and use tape to mark the edges of your print, as in Step #4.
  16. Repeat Steps #5 - #13.
  17. Register your next stencil (Layer 3) to the Film Positive. Once it is in the correct place, use two small pieces of painter’s tape to secure it to the print. Remove the Film Positive.
  18. Place the stacked stencil and print paper under the silkscreen and use tape to mark the edges of your print, as in Step #4.
  19. Repeat Steps #5 - #13.
  20. To print Layer 4, register your Film Positive to your print using small pieces of painters tape to secure it to the print.
  21. Tape the edges of the screen with the two-inch tape on both sides (as in Step #1). Securely tighten your silkscreen with the photographic image exposed on it in the hinge clamps.
  22. Register your print to the screen and place tape marks on the corners of three edges of your paper. Remove the Film Positive.
  23. Print your Final Layer.
  24. Clean your screen.
 
Assessment

Warhol Education Rubrics

Click the Warhol Rubric headers below to reveal associated rubrics to which this lesson applies.

Critical Thinking
Communication
Creative Process