This weekend I assisted with a one day beginners t-shirt printing workshop at 3rd Rail Print Space!
We started off in the morning by running through the plan for the day, then encouraging everyone to either draw their design, or give us their digital design to edit on Photoshop before we printed it onto film for them. This was our first post-lockdown workshop so of course we had a few changes to make the the way we usually run the workshops- everyone needed to wear a mask at all times, we encouraged students to bring their own cups for hot drinks, and we offered gloves and hand sanitiser as well as adding extra cleaning into the day. We showed the students how to clean a screen ready for coating, and then we demonstrated how to coat a screen- usually we would then have each student coat their own screen, but to minimise the risks we had all the screens ready coated (apart from the demo screen we used). We then got everyone to bring in their artwork either on film or trace and lead them through the process of exposing artwork onto the screens and washing the emulsion off. Once the screens were in the dryer we then moved onto choosing and mixing colours, before breaking for lunch.
After lunch we took everyone through taping up their screens and setting up for the actual printing on the carousel, getting students to pair up to help each other print. Everyone left with their limited edition of 5 screen-printed t-shirts and were very happy!
Above: Images from the one day paper printing workshop at 3rd rail Print Space
This workshop was my first time as Workshop Tutor, rather than Assistant, with an adult group for 3rd Rail Print, running a paper printing workshop. I was super nervous as I usually assist but I’m really pleased with how it went- we ran to schedule, finished on time, and everyone gave good feedback and were pleased with their prints! I think going forwards I will feel more comfortable to lead a workshop in future, although I am still happy to assist as well.
Above: photos taken during the 1 day t-shirt printing workshop I assisted with today at 3rd Rail Print Space
Today we had a larger group of 8 people for the t-shirt printing workshop so we overran a little bit, but it was very successful- everyone enjoyed the day and was very happy with their limited edition run of t-shirts. Some of the attendees came with digital designs which they needed help with using Photoshop, and some of them drew their designs in the morning- it was a nice mix and we managed to split the group quite nicely to two by digital or hand drawn designs to teach the various stages of the process. Lots of cool designs- my favourite was the hand drawn Dali lobster phone illustration!
Today I assisted the running of a one day paper printing workshop at 3rd Rail Print Space! It involved setting up the space ready for the participants, then assisting them and the workshop leader Melissa throughout the day, and cleaning the space and equipment afterwards.
We had a mixture of people who had never screen printed before and people who had dabbled a little in attendance, so we had to be quite hands on and thorough, dividing our attention as necessary. The aim of the workshop was for the attendees to leave with an edition of 10 prints that they designed, prepped the screens for, and printed themselves; so we began by getting them to either draw their designs then and there, or prep their digital designs to be printed onto film. We then took them through the process of prepping a screen for coating and the actual coating- each person was expected to coat their own screen after a demonstration. Once the screens where ready we took them through the exposing process (where the designs are transferred onto the screens). After lunch we then asked them to choose their colours and demonstrated how to do the actual printing- we both assisted where needed and where on hand to guide them if they needed help.
Working with adults is always a little different to working with children- if a child suggests an idea that is tricky to do, for whatever reason, they can usually be persuaded to simplify their idea- but if an adult has a difficult to pull off idea they are often adamant about doing it their way, even if they are completely new to the process. This can be quite frustrating when you are trying to run a workshop and make everything go smoothly, but it is a good way to hone conflict resolution skills and get used to being more flexible.
A colleague from the cinema asked me to print a two layer t-shirt and one layer jumper for him at the Print Space- he supplied me with the designs and clothing, and I prepped the designs, printed them onto film, prepped the screens, mixed the inks, then did the printing, as shown in the photos above!
He is very pleased with the outcome, as am I.
Today I ran two back to back kids workshops at 3rd Rail Printspace (where I am currently interning). Both workshops had the same format, with the same end goal- every child drawing and cutting their own paper stencil design to then print their own t-shirt with.
They both went as follows:
- Introduction to the task
- showing the children a paper stencil in progress (i.e. some of the drawing still visible, some of it cut out already)
- Getting the children to draw their own designs, assisting with the cutting out with a craft knife or scissors where needed (children were only to use safety scissors provided, not the knives)
- doing a print demonstration using one of the children’s artworks- placing the t-shirt onto the carousel (already prepped with adhesive), taping the paper stencil to the shirt, putting the screen down onto the shirt, getting the child to choose the colours they wanted, blobbing the ink directly onto the screens using a paint brush, then pulling the ink across the screens with a squeegee
- leading the printing, and pulling the ink if the child didn’t feel confident doing it and cleaning screens between children with rags and water
- supervising the children blow drying their designs with a hair dryer
Prep done before the workshops:
- mixing the pigments with binder (making the inks up basically)
- applying adhesive to the t-shirt carousel board
- stripping, cleaning and degreasing the 3 screens used
- taping up the screens
- cutting rags
- drawing a rough stencil design and partially cutting it as an example
- checking numbers and getting the correct amount and sizes of t-shirts out ready
- setting out cutting mats, paper, scissors, erasers and pencils for the children
- setting out t-shirt examples from previous workshops
Overall I am really pleased with how they both went! The first group was comprised of 12 11 year olds, and the second of 10 13 year olds, which are larger groups than I am used to leading an activity for, but I think I handled it really well- all the kids seemed to really enjoy it and were happy with their t-shirts! Both of them ran over time a bit, but I think with a bit more prep work and now having the experience I can keep them within the time limits in future.