Screen printing on paper consists of at least five art processes and at least five craft processes. The first stage, coming up with an idea or concept suitable to take through all the other stages, is the longest. The development of an idea can take weeks, months or even years. ( My record is 48 years!) The last stage, forcing ink through a screen with a hand held squeegee to produce an image on paper, is the shortest. It only takes a few seconds but it is the most exciting of all the processes because until the image is finally put down the exact result is unknown.
I used to print onto fabric. In fact I did that for years and that is how I developed the techniques and skills necessary for my work on paper. However when I started printing onto paper I discovered some new challenges. Hand-made paper is very sensitive to climate changes.It expands when the air is moist and shrinks back when the air is hot so printing more than one colour when the weather is changeable is a recipe for disaster. Someone once told me that they gave up screen printing because mistakes cost too much! With good hand made Italian paper starting at around $10 a sheet it pays to be careful and patient.
Recently, I have managed to get hold of some beautiful, high quality unpatterned tapa cloth which I will be printing onto. It is stable in changing weather conditions but is very expensive and so far I haven’t taken the plunge to print. By the time the Open Studios Arts Tour kicks off the plan is to have at least one new limited edition print with some of the work on my tapa cloth.