Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My Chemistry Experiment: The queen of screen

Here we go. As I said in an earlier post, I gave up on creating a gocco print for the two matching printed tea towels in my "chemistry set" (my new name for the set, by the way) and decided to come up with another solution. Ronaldo and I were in the Kensington Market area of Toronto a few weeks back when I ran across a store called Model Citizen with a sign in the window advertising a silk screening workshop that happened occasionally on Sunday afternoons. I went in and met Julian Finkle, who I think owns the store and runs the workshop. He spoke so passionately about screening that I knew that I had found the solution to my printing problems. I spent the last week preparing a handful of colourful tea towels, and working on a tight design that fused kitchen and chemistry with the old Claire flare.

I have to say that the preparation was well worth it. The class was worth every last penny of the $180 I spent on it. First, Julian seems to keep the classes small- the class I was in was meant to have four students, but it ended up that only two of us
were able to make it. We started by actually stretching the screens. Ian (the other student) and I next learned the process of applying the photo emulsion. We were taught the steps to creating a usable image and how to burn it on to our screens. Ian made designs incorporating the Japanese characters that made up his son's name and I had my sciencey screens.

Once the the screens were burned we were taught techniques to apply the inks actually print something. How gratifying to see the results! Here are some images of the work I created that afternoon:

Here is a towel with my inspiration- basil!

The class went from 12 noon until around 7. Julian was incredibly knowledgeable and welcomed us back to make more screens at a later date if we wanted to. I highly recommend the class to anyone who's interested in learning the basics of screen printing. Hopefully, if all goes well, my towels will be available at Model Citizen just in time for the Christmas season!

I even made a few extra for myself and Ronaldo to use. Here's a picture of Ronaldo's amazing homemade tomato sauce too!

Next step is trying to bring down cost of material, time spent on creating the art, and figuring out the packaging.

What do you think so far?


  1. I think they are amazing!! Great job :)

  2. The screening looks great, I hope this is a more cost effective outlet for you! PS - hope you didn't spill that pot of tomato sauce and then had to mop it up with those delightful tea towels ;) - Morgan

  3. LOL
    Julian and I used to hang out around 20-25 years ago on West Queeen, Bloor.....where ever the fun was. Please ask him whatever happened to The Baby Judas and Lick'n Chick'n