Making art has two parts. The idea and the execution. And execution is all about knowing how to use your tools. And I don’t know how to use the tools of a screen printer.
The basic concept of screen printing is you have a screen (1) which is an open mesh fabric (2) stretched tautly over a wood or aluminum frame. You mask off parts of the screen so that ink can’t go through them. The screen gets placed on top of the paper/shirt/cardboard you want to print on. You put a liberal line of ink on the screen and drag it across the screen with a squeegee (3). The ink will pass through the open mesh of the screen in the unmasked areas and form a thin, even, layer on the paper/shirt/cardboard. You lift the screen and admire your print (4).
Now, you may have already noticed there are a lot a places for things to go wrong here. Or more specifically, there are a lot of variables to account for. How much pressure you drag the squeegee with, the shape of the squeegee, and the angle of the squeegee all effect how much ink goes through the screen. How thick or thin the ink is (which varies between brands, and apparently between colors, and how long it has been exposed to the air while you work) effects how much ink goes through the screen. The size of the mesh in your screen effects how much ink goes through the screen. And guess what, the quality of the print? It’s determined by how much ink goes through the screen.
So how do you get a thin, even, consistent coat of ink to appear on you paper/shirt/cardboard with all those variables you’re trying to adjust for? That is precisely my current question. Right now, it goes great with red ink, but when I switch inks complications arise and it all falls apart. That ability to adjust for all those variables is what separates someone who knows their tools from someone who knows the basic concept. Luckily, I’m a sucker for learning new tools, so I’ll keep at it for awhile. But if anyone out there has some tips, let me know!