Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Thermofax Screen Printing

This week, we drove to St Helens, OR for a Thermofax screen printing class led by Chris Vietmeier. First, we ate lunch at the Houlton Bakery- great food, breads and pastries.

Then off to class. Go HERE to see a video by Maggie Weiss of the process. The Thermofax machine was made by 3M and is not manufactured by them now. Chris says a German company makes them. They are expensive at $1000. Even an EBay search shows that used machines go for about the same price. The key is to find some one with a Thermofax who will make screens from your artwork. Chris offers this service to artists.

We brought toner or carbon copies to make the thermofax screen. This is the print made with acrylic paint on watercolor paper. What's nice about this process is the fine lines one gets from the screen.

The screen looks like this. We Duct-taped the edges. The screens will keep for a long time with proper handling. We put the screen in a tub of water and washed them right after printing. Stored in a dark place, the screen can be reused many times.

This was printed with extra heavy gel medium, used as a resist. The top is painted with gold acrylic paint, the middle with black gesso and the bottom with alizarin crimson watercolor paint. The resist shows up better than the photo shows it.

Here is the Thermofax patterned screen.
This printing process can be used on a variety of substrates from paper to fabric. It'd be a great way to add another layer to collages, paintings and quilts. The possibilities are endless. Let your imagination soar.

1 comment:

Robin Olsen said...

I enjoyed seeing both your posts on experimenting with printmaking. The possibilities do seem endless.