Quite a few issues arose on Thursday just gone, mainly but not only with my print effort.
I arrived at Bower Ashton very early that morning (Fishponds roadworks meant being really early or having a horribly long journey) and was ready to work at 8.30. But there was no space available on the fabric print tables. This was deeply frustrating as I had been in to see Sean (senior technician) and Andy (technician) on the previous Monday and been assured that there would be space set aside, and Andy helped me set up a screen for the thick line print. As I wanted four metres for pinning out my fabric I needed half of one table. As Sean doesn’t work on Thursdays it was left to Andy to try and free up some table space and we managed to clear 2m. Obviously 2m is not 4m so I could not lay out the full length of cloth.
Having done this Andy sanded down the table (it’s cloth but covered in old ink crud) to get a reasonable surface. It is important to say that as it is the end of term there were several undergrads desperate to finish work, and Andy was therefore in great demand. Since my file needs a repeat I needed the screen to be attached to the rail and set accurately, something Andy understands fully and I only know in theory.
Having pinned out the cloth (badly, as it turned out) I waited for Andy’s help; this was repeated several times during the day as Andy was batted around between various students. The procedure is quite involved and Andy was painstaking in getting it right. Once that was done I was ready to print. I mixed up a fresh pot of ink – all fabric ink is acrylic based – positioned the screen and made four passes with the squeegee. The fabric is a mid-weight cotton, more towards cushion cover than dress.
After the first print the screen was moved two repeat places (all that was available in 2m) to avoid picking up the damp print onto the screen. A second print was made. Ink was then recovered and the screen washed and dried ready for the intermediate print, which was made about 1/2 hour later when the first two prints were sufficiently dry.
The results were far less than perfect. The fabric had moved during printing, not all the print was fully made, there was some shadow print (where fabric had moved between passed with the squeegee.
In the afternoon I laid out a second length of fabric, pinned this with rather more care and printed again, but the results were no better. Hoping to try again after Easter.