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Monday, 2 November 2009

Screen-printing On Glass

I thought I'd post something a bit different, mainly because that pretty much sums up my studio practice. My name's Rachel and I'm a member of the FHF Team. I'm a full-time glass artist and have been working with glass for about 9 years now, setting up my studio just under a year ago in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Anyway, although I teach beadmaking, I don't sell my beads, I'd much rather admire other people's! So I thought I'd do a quick introduction to one of the other techniques that dominates my practice: Screen-printing. I use special screen-printing enamels that are kiln-fired onto the glass, which can then be further slumped or cold-worked, the options are endless!

The first thing you need is an image, I found one my sister had doodled in her living room and swiped it, as you do! I then scanned the image and printed it onto acetate ready to be exposed onto a screen. The acetate is key as it allows the light to pass through and the black ink blocks the light where you want the enamel to later print through.

I coat the screen with a photo-sensitive emulsion, that is exposed to light with the acetate sheet on top of it, to create the designs I want to print. I then cut the glass to size, in this case a circle with a hole drilled in it for hanging and then print the enamel onto it using the screen and a squeegee to push the enamel through the mesh.

Once printed, the glass is then fired at around 700 degrees in this case, as I wanted to keep the circle flat and the enamel to go nice and shiny. The whole process took less than a couple of hours and hopefully shows you how easy it is to put custom designs onto glass. As you can see from the screen, which is A4 size, there are some other bits and bobs I'm working on at the moment for Christmas, so please visit my Etsy for more gift ideas.


Kitzbitz Art Glass said...

A really interesting article Rachel, thanks for posting. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in beadmaking that I forget that glass is such a versatile medium - with so many wonderful applications, Jo x

Geejaygryphon said...

Lovely idea, could be good for adding logos maybe to bigger pieces. like your work, jeannie

Glittering Prize said...

very neat!