It’s a good start to the week, with East Side Print member Dave exposing the first screen for his latest print.
Dave has placed his ‘positive’ (a dense black image photocopied on acetate) onto the UV exposure unit, making sure it is the correct way round for printing. Unlike etching or relief printing, the image is not reversed in screen printing.
Next he carefully places his screen on top. The screen is coated in light sensitive emulsion which has dried on the screen but hasn’t yet been exposed to UV light. Dave places a block of foam inside the screen, then an MDF board and weights on top to ensure close contact between the screen and the flat surface of the lightbox, with the acetate positive sandwiched between them. If he didn’t so this, the UV light would seep round the edges of the positive and the resulting stencil wouldn’t have crisp edges.
Dave then turns on the UV lightbox to expose the screen. Exposure times vary between one to two minutes, depending on the image. This morning Dave exposed his screen for 1 minute, 30 seconds.
The next stage is to wash out the exposed screen with cold water in the wash-out unit.
When all the raw emulsion has been removed the screen is ready to dry and print with!