I have been busy screen printing all week, which is why you are only getting this week’s blog on a Friday. Screen printing can stop the world for me. I forget to eat, work out, make phone calls, and generally do anything that requires me to move from my printing table. It is an activity that can put me in a total flow state, where I am happily immersed in my work and take no notice of passing time. It is like reading a really good book, or cleaning out my basement, but with more satisfying and lucrative results.
Screen printing week always means forgotten cups of tea, running to the bus stop late to pick my kids up, and last minute grocery runs at night.
And here’s the thing…
I don’t think that it’s just me. Screen printing, indeed printmaking of any sort, is inherently satisfying. It is instant, sticky, gratification. Okay, sure, preparing a good screen or plate takes time, but the actual act of printing, has a wonderful immediacy to it.
All kids love printmaking
Every time I run a summer camp, printmaking is always a favourite activity for the students. Anyone can experience instant success with printmaking. That magical moment when you lift your screen or block up and see the image you have produced is all it takes.
And then there is the physical aspect of screen printing.
Rolling sticky ink across a plate, pressing ink through screens, peeling paper off a block, are all supremely fulfilling. If you have ever enjoyed peeling dried glue off your fingers, popping bubble wrap, peeling stickers off a jar, or rolling out dough, you will understand. It gives your body and brain all the right kinds of sensory input, and it’s fast – kids love that. It is the perfect activity for kids who are wriggly, and struggle with fine motor skills. Pulling the ink across a screen, lifting it up to see your lovely, inky image, and then doing it all over again, and again, and again is heady stuff. Trust me.
So, I think that one day, when I have the right space for it, I would like to start teaching printmaking classes – for all ages.
Yes, not enough of you have experienced the happiness that is printmaking, and I want to spread it – especially to those of you who don’t get that kinesthetic input from your work. I just need a suitable space, that may take a little time, but stay alert.
For now, if you are in the MD,DC,VA area, I’ll be at Art on the Avenue (Oct 7th) selling my screen printed products, come and say hi, and let’s talk (maybe about printmaking).