Joan Lawerence

Joan Lawerence

Try This At Home!

The silkscreen process, introduced around 1907, forces ink through a fine screen onto paper. A stencil of an image is placed on a taut screen with paper underneath. Ink is then spread on top and forced through the screen onto the paper with a squeegee. The resulting image is made by the ink not blocked by the stencil.

Silkscreening requires a lot of planning and decision-making. The artist must create separate color blocks that will create the whole design when properly layered. Because colors that overlap often appear to be in the foreground, determining the sequence of color runs is also important in producing the desired result.

You can try this at home! Maryland artist Joan Lawrence takes us through the silkscreening process:

  1. Let's Begin: Cutting a Stencil
  2. On Your Mark: Registering Your Image
  3. This End Up: Attaching the Stencil to the Screen
  4. Flood, Squeegee, Peek: Printing
  5. A Poster Emerges: The Final Piece

To learn about the development of reproductive techniques, visit the University of Delaware's on-line exhibit Color Printing in the Nineteenth Century.

Learn more about other printmaking techniques:

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