Beauty and the Beast

Edit: We’ve made these available on our Etsy shop!

We’ve been together for a little over six months now. About 5 months ago, we started our first of many “weekend” projects. Screen printing was on Arrie’s Life List, so we decided to make some art for ourselves.

This, by the way, isn’t going to be a How To Screen Print post – there are great tutorials everywhere else (for example), and, besides, I’m not that good at it.

Inspired by a comic from Married to the Sea, we found this woodcut from Harper’s Magazine in 1875, via Google Books. The rest of the magazine is an interesting read, with beautiful illustrations.

From there, we used GIMP and Inkscape (both free and open-source), plus the lightbox,  to clean up the image and turn it into a negative. We added the opening lyrics to Neutral Milk Hotel’s “In The Aeroplane Over The Sea” and ended up with these.

Fast forward five months, a handful of aborted attempts, countless failures, and half a dozen trips to various art supply stories, and we finally got to this point. Things we learned: 1) Pay attention to the 4-month expiration date on the emulsion. 2) If your art supply store doesn’t sell screen by the yard,  organdy from the fabric store works just as well and is cheaper. 3) Buy lots of paper because you will mess something up. 4) Always be on the lookout for frames on sale.

(Of course, we forgot to take pictures of the actual process, so this is a picture of a pile of stuff that we had used.)

We tried a few times to get it right because we are perfectionists. Anybody want a print with “personality”?

But, in the end, we got these. They are hanging over the dining table, which Arrie would not allow to be included in this photograph because of Christmas projects in process and the ensuing mess.

While in our search for screen, we found a girl that used pantyhose, Mod Podge, and an embroidery hoop. So smart.

Do any of you have experience with screen printing? Ideas you haven’t seen elsewhere?

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One response to “Beauty and the Beast

  1. Neutral Milk Hotel YOU WIN.

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