I had the wonderful opportunity to have a week filled with art when my niece, accomplished artist Melissa, came to visit me. In addition to going to a Saugatuck Douglas Art Club meeting, attending the opening of Art a Loan at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, and doing much shopping, we spent two days learning a simple screen printing technique which uses children’s washable crayons.
To help us get started, we first watched a DVD, Mixed Media Textile Art with Susie Monday, produced by Interweave Press. Last year, I saw her work in a Quilting Arts Magazine and it was so inspiring that even though I no longer quilt, I ordered the DVD. Next, I got a simple screen printing frame from Dick Blick Art supply. Melissa and I found some screen printing frames at Hobby Lobby and Micheal’s as well.
The supplies needed are as follows.
Screen printing frame with mesh attached.
Padded work surface. We used a stack of old toweling which worked well. In the future, I would protect the surface with plastic wrap.
Washable Crayons. Melissa also used watercolor pencils, but felt she got good results with the less expensive crayons.
Textile Medium. This is a liquid product that is found where craft paints are sold.
Something to print. We used bleached, prepared for dyeing bandannas purchased from Dharma Trading.
Melissa had an image in mind and proceeded to draw directly on the mesh with the crayons. I helped a little by coloring the checkerboard border:-) We then placed the screen over the fabric to be printed.
Coloring directly on the mesh.
Once the image was to our liking, Melissa placed approximately 1/8 cup of Textile Medium in the ‘well’ of duct tape across the top of the screen. She then spread the medium evenly across the image, allowing it to set for about a minute. She squeegeed the medium across the image and it pulled the color down onto the fabric underneath. The only thing I would have done differently was to iron the bandana first so there wouldn’t be the white fabric down the center.
Melissa drawing directly on the mesh with crayon.
This technique is simple and yields huge results. The post printing process is easy; let air dry for 24 hours, iron utilizing a pressing cloth, and then wash in cool water. Be careful with the textile medium because it does have a rubbery texture. We found that small images should be surrounded by freezer paper to reduce the amount of medium which transfers to the fabric without color.