preparing to burn the screen

Once I had decided on the basic design/process, I needed to recreate the text for the print and texture.  I started by refining the symbols I had adapted from the Levi’s project.  Eventually I will have a pretty cool symbol language if I keep doing this.


I also spent some time, while commuting from New Jersey and before going to bed, writing a new story for the characters, whose name is Carf.  I was going to name him Barves until I found out that’s a meme.

I decided to write the story directly on acetate, the material I was told to use for the print negative.  It was kind of hard but I got the hang of it.  Ironically, it would have made more sense for me to just write on paper, which would have been more natural, because the sharpie color on the acetate wasn’t opaque enough.  I went to kinkos and photocopied it.  I could have rewritten it on a piece of paper, and kind of wish I had, but it took over an hour to write this out by hand, though I had all the symbols memorized, so I didn’t really have time to rewrite given the window for working at Abc No Rio.






Part of the story I wrote as I was “transcribing” it.


After talking to a bunch of people about where to get my screen burned and do other stuff, I went by Abc No Rio the week before, which was recommended by Matt as PS1, mostly because it was going to be the cheapest option.  The first night I went I was a little intimidated and almost didn’t go in, but I decided to check it out and found everyone to be really friendly.  A guy named Ray told me what I needed to get to have a screen made and we talked for a while about ways to work on my print. At the time I had no idea that this was a well known punk venue.  But the building is pretty old and beat up, it feels like your in Blade Runner or a movie about drugs.  The first thing I saw was this insanely old and cute cat, who lives there.



I got a screen from Standard screens in Tribeca and brought it the next Wednesday.  Ray helped me prep the negative, which was the kinkos copy of my drawing on acetate, covered in baby oil, and we burned it into the screen.

IMG_0255 IMG_0256


This process took a lot of steps.  We covered the screen in emulsion and left it in a dark room for it to dry for about a hour.  The burned the screen on the light box for 10 minutes.  Then back in the dark room while washing out the emulsion in the negative from time to time, another forty minutes or so.  Then drying the screen.  Screen printing is way more of a hassle than doing stuff on a computer.  But I started to get the sense that it would actually be worth it, that it would be way cooler than the mockups I made on my computer.


Author: owen ribbit


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