Friday, February 18, 2011

What have you been doing since early December??

Simple Screen-printing
For years now I have coveted a Thermofax machine.  But fate being what it is, these machines are out of production and not available even reconditioned in Calgary...  The nearest source that I have found is Houston, and they wont ship their reconditioned machines abroad unless you are prepared to forego the warrantee.
Anyway as luck would have it there is an alternative.
My first encounter with the Cricut machine was in 2008 when I saw one in Michael's Store (that is Hobbycraft on hormones for those of you in Britain).  I was put off the Cricut because it appeared to be of limited application owing to its dependance on design source which are supplied on proprietor cartridges and  the huge expense of these and other consumables (blades and mats).  Then I discovered that there is software that allows you to transfer your original designs from the computer to the machine.  And this year I discovered that Mac software is available (*although use of it will violate your Cricut warranty* Cricut told me they are working on a program for Mac currently so it might be better to wait for that if you are a nervy type).
So, no more expensive cartridges for me... I can make my own designs using Photoshop or Illustrator and once these are saved as pdf files they can be cut out of card or vinyl.
And now we get to the application that I was interested in... Using vinyl sheets one can cut out a stensil and by transfering this to a screen (and blocking out unused areas with more vinyl, one can screen print without all that emulsion, dark room, possible errors from inadequate exposure/black out not being dark enough... etc etc....
Below, by very first screen and a product of it...  I was using Acylic paint that has travelled the seven seas at temperatures of above 35degrees... old stock in other words, and my screen was made of net curtain!  So what do you expect.
I have a lot to learn about screen printing, but I think I do get the chance to say Thermofax, eat your heart out.

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