Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Screen Printing Start-up :
The Afterword

This post serves as the afterword of my experience in learning the basic process of screen printing. I still have so much to learn. Screen printing really is more of a technical skill than it is an art. I am yet to try 2-color prints, and to do that with precision depends on the registration of my printing board.

I got my sort of improvised printing board from a one-on-one tutorial in 2009. It came with a light box and some materials used in the demo (a framed screen, a container of emulsion, ink, hardener, a small squeegee, and a plain shirt) for P8,300. It seemed to be a fair price for the entire package. I didn't have much of a choice - there are not so many tutorials available and I have only the internet to look for them. Type the words, "screen printing, tutorials, philippines" on google and you will be led to ads on sulit.com and olx.com. There is none in my city (Muntinlupa) and the one I took is in Pasig.
Unless you personally know someone who has the time to teach you how it's done, getting a tutorial package is the quickest way to learn the basic screen printing proces. But if you have plenty of time to do research, you can watch the many screen printing tutorials on youtube where all of them are made by Americans who would naturally recomend brands and equipment that are not available here. Anyway, there's also t-shirtforums.com/asia, where majority of the thread starters are Pinoys. It has been there for quite some time, some information are easy to find while others you have to dig for among off-topic posts. You can browze the forums even if you are not registered (I couln't register because apparently their anti spam robot device is faulty).

If you are persevering enough, you will find even more information on the internet than what you get from a paid tutor. You could even learn to make your own improvised printing board and light box and that could save you a lot of money. I chose the easy and costly way (that was a time when there is less time and more money) and the easy way is not always the best way. Mistakes I've done in screen printing was due to the information that was not given to me in the tutorials. Like the fact that diazo emulsions expire and must be kept in cool temperatures. I learned about other emulsions through research. There's an emulsion called aquasol which has a shelf life of 2 years and can be kept in room temperature, and it made me wonder why my tutor did not use that type of emulsion instead. Well the reason is probably because of cost. Diazo is cheaper. Cost is probably also the reason why they did not include a scoop coater in the package and instead they showed me how to apply emulsion on a screen with an old bank card.

But in fairness, through my tutorial I've learned about the best screen printing supply brands and stores such as MultiPrint and TULCO. When I visited the TULCO store I've acquired even more information about emulsions, inks and tools. I've also learn that they conduct their own tutorials. Basic and advanced tutorials for only P1,000. Though their tutorials do not happen regularly, they can notify you of their next classes if you requested for it. Ironic, isn't it? I've paid P8,300 for a tutorial that led me to a brand that conducts cheaper tutorials.

I realized that one can learn the basic process of screen printing, as well as gather all the needed materials and equipment for a lesser cost than what you pay for a tutorial package. You only need the right diskarte or strategy. And so I came up with this money-saving tip.

My art blog is becoming too technical so this is my last post about my experience on learning screen printing. But I'll post updates on the Pinoy Blogger shirts, and in the near future will show some shirt designs that I've made.

4 comments:

  1. Thank you for this. I just retired from my job as President of a security agency but staying home and going out with friends and going to California to visit my sisters just are not enough to satisfy my daily activities. I just remembered that I used to love painting and even had lessons under Rody Herrera in Greenhills (my medium then was oil) and it finally sank on me that I wanted to do something that relates to artistry and what better way to do that by learning how to silk screen. Now am doing exactly what you did before, i almost enrolled in an expensive tutorial in WackWack (P20k for a package) but I also spoke to a friend who teaches print arts in PUP and she told me about Tulco. I still have to finish reading all your write ups. Thanks.

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  2. Welcome, Imelda! I'm glad you're reconnecting with the artist in you. Good luck with your interest in learning screen printing. I hope you get the hang of it quickly and start making shirts!

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  3. Man, this blog is so cool. I've been searching for how-to's lately and your blog is the most informative so far. Cheers for this, sir!
    - Manman Salayo

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  4. Thanks Manman! I hope to post soon some tips I've learned from experience for you guys. Cheers!

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