At last! Yesterday I had the opportunity to get in to the ceramic print room with fantastic technician Jim. Quickly got through the basics of exposing artwork on to screen, which is a process I'm familiar with from my own work and from the other string to my AA2A bow in the surface pattern/textiles department at staffs uni.
Printing with ceramic colour (enamels) is a very different process than what I'm used to. With the need for extraction to deal with the chemicals involved within the set up of the colour, and the necessary chemicals needed to clean the screens after printing.
With the limited colour palette in mind for this part of the project I decided to stick with primaries which, in any case, sit very well within my chosen Bauhaus theme. Fluorescent colour just isn't an option in ceramics, so my colour choices, initially anyway, were pragmatic rather than adventurous. A medium was added to the enamels to make them the correct consistency (between double and single cream). The enamel was then added to the screen and the screen flooded ready to print on to the ceramic transfer paper. Vacuum on, extractor on, I was then able to create some prints in yellow and red, which will be joined by a blue next time, then overprinted with my black artwork screen.
Surplus ink was then returned to the container and the screen cleaned. This is quite a different process to cleaning a screen where you have used water based ink. The screen is cleaned in situ on the print table using a cleaning chemical to remove any excess and to insure that the mesh remains open for the next print.
When complete, the prints will be applied to some white ware and fired, only then will I know that the colours are ok.