Saturday, December 7, 2013

Making Silk Screens

As I mentioned in my June 30th posting, I spent a week at the Arrowmont School for Arts and Crafts, studying with Seth Savarick. The focus was surface textures and techniques, and we spent a great deal of time learning about silk screening, and making our own silk screens for use with polymer.  The real trick, besides being sure we had everything set up correctly in the dark room, was finding the right moment with the right amount of sun to cure the screens.  Seth, from southern California, is used to just walking out into his yard whenever he wants to make a screen. Arrowmont is in Tennessee, and we were battling with early summer thundershowers that would descend upon us without much warning.  It got a little comical - we'd be in the midst of working or of listening to new information and someone would shout, "SUN!" We'd drop whatever we were doing, grab our screen setups, and dash out for our minute of sun.  We didn't need much time, but getting it was sometimes a real trick.

I have finally put together some pieces made from sheets of polymer I made up from silk screens.  A few were made with screen overlays.  Take a look!

This purple, gold and silver iris pendant was fun to make.  I started with a Skinner blend base in dark to light purples.  Then, I used gold and silver paint in sections on the silk screen and dragged the squeegee across the surface.  The result is a variation in both the background and in the colors in the foreground.

 The midnight blue pieces are half-lentils with curved top surfaces on a flat, silver leaf covered backing.  There are two different stencils used on the surface.  One made the periwinkle small squares and dots while I used another stencil to add the silver diamond and star-burst shapes.  The surface really looks like a night sky.

The green bamboo pieces were also made with 2 different stencils: one for the bamboo leaves, the other for bits of gold splash.

The deep purple leaf set was set up a bit differently.   I used 2 different silk screens that needed to be placed precisely to ensure that the "fill-in" color landed within the outlines.

Since I came home, I have made some of my own screens.  You'll see some of them down the road when I get out my paints and screening set up.  The color on the polymer from the paints is really lovely, and doesn't show up as well on the computer screen as it does in person.


  1. Wow these are gorgeous! I just started working with clay, literally yesterday lol...and I'm already hooked. I can't believe they're so many techniques with clay. Thanks for sharing

  2. I love it, Kristie! you did a great job with the screens and the final result is wonderful!