I created another typographical based silkscreen print on paper titled “Future Knowledge.” This is mainly an experimental project to test out my newly acquired screen printing machine Yudu, which enables me to create more detailed stencils using the photo emulsion method.
As you may already know, I work as a web UI designer during the day in a start up company. When a feature is proposed to be built, my coworkers and I will brainstorm on what the ideal user experience would be, how to develop it on top of our code base and we will go through many iterations of the design until we settle on something that is good and viable. Although this is largely aÂ collaborativeÂ process in which we are all doing our best, sometimes I just have this instinct that, somehow, there are better solutions out there than what we’ve come up with, but I don’t know what it is.
I wish I knew. I wish I could channel myself in 5 or 10 years and ask her what to do now. I wish I could get some future knowledge. However, I know that whatever I’ll know in the future, I am learning it right now through all these mistakes. So…alas, there is never, ever, future knowledge to be obtained!
Matching this theme, the process of creating this image was also full of mistakes, failures, twists and turns.
1) Using the Yudu I purchased this machine because of its ability to expose my design onto a screen that is coated with lightÂ sensitive material, forming a stencil that can be way more complicated than what I can cut with a knife on contact paper. This is generally called the photo emulsion method. I didn’t know that one day I would purchase such a hobbyist kind of product to pull prints (Sorry, Larry), but look what I can do in my bedroom!
2) What the font I experimented with an exciting range of new fonts that I wasn’t able to use before, but since this is kind of a test piece, I settled on something that looks cool but not too delicate or complicated–Pixcel Vertical Scan.
3) Making the photo positive a photo positive is basically the design printed on a transparent sheet of plastic which in the exposure process will block light and create a stencil.
4) Exposing the design with Yudu’s emulsion sheets the emulsion sheets that came with the machine were very hard to use, and were costly, about $10.00 per sheet, and I ruined them so fast it’s not even funny.
5) Using the Speedball Diazo kit this kit is the most available photo emulsion products on the market and I can understand why, because it works! It was way easier to apply and the result was much better.
There were still some blemishes on the text, but I think it’s from my lousy laser printer that wasn’t dark enough.
There was a small hole where the stencil didn’t cover, so I used the Screen Filler fluid to cover it.
6) What comes out I didn’t see this coming from the computer design at all, but the resulting print is pretty boring. I decided to add a background.
7) Adding a background to quickly remedy the bore of this image, I used some masking tape and some body powder to create a geometric, grungy background.
Many things went wrong on many pieces of paper.
8) Rescue my heart sank even deeper after I printed the background. Because of the grunge, gold background, the entire image lacks a visual focus and the text is now hard to read. I thought this image was done for, but I decided to do one last try, making some mockups on photoshop to see if adding anything else would salvage this image.
In the end, I decided that rescue option #2 would be worth a try.
Â 9) Printing the translucent layer since this layer is just some rectangles, I decided to use the old trusted contact paper to make the stencil.
Something cool about the Yudu machine is that when it is not an exposure unit, it can also be used as a light table, which I used to create the contact paper stencil.
There were many pieces that were too dark, too runny, not enough ink…etc. As I was running out of paper feeling hopeless, wiping sweat and ink off of my forehead, I cried out in my heart, “Larry! What do I do now!?” and then, just like that, everything began to get better!
Because of theÂ translucent ink has a lot more ink body than the pigment, it is very wet on the paper.
10) Finally, after all these fails and mistakes I arrived at something that I can honestly accept.
I now possess the future knowledge that I wish I had known at the start of the project!