Thursday, April 28, 2011

Howard Finster-The Silkscreen Process & The Empty Road

Examine these three prints and you can understand a bit about silkscreen printing.
The technique employs the use of clear acetate and photosensitive emulsion to form stencils.  Howard has made his mark with an opaque ink on the clear acetate.  The clear acetate is then applied to the back of a silkscreen frame which has been stretched with a polyester fabric.  The fabric is coated with a photo sensitive emulsion.   The clear acetate with the markings is sandwiched between the back of the screen which is covered in the photo sensitive emulsion and a light table.  This bundle (silkscreen+acetate) is  exposed to light on a specially designed light table for a period of time and the negative of the marks is hardened and sticks in the holes of the fabric on the screen.  The areas that are marked are not exposed to the light and those shapes wash out of the screen and open areas are left.  These open areas form the stencil.  Ink is applied to the top of the silkscreen and the ink is force through the holes in the polyester (silk).  Pressure is applied through a rubber blade (the squeegee).  The ink is applied to white paper to form the design.  The paper dries and the print is finished.  New stencils are made for each color of the design.  Negatives can be formed from the existing acetates photomechanically.  Here you see the products of two stencils to form three variations of a design.  Stencils can be reused with new new colors.


The Empty Road
one color stencil--black
paper size 41"H x 30"W
#41/50 $500.00
The Empty Road
1 color stencil--Red
The red is the negative of the black
paper size 41"H x 30"W
#44/50 $500.00
sold


The Empty Road
one color stencil
same as the red stencil above
printed alone without the black
#47/50 $500.00

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