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  1. #1

    Default How did Warhol print?

    Whenever I search for the raw technical details of Warhol's process I find very little information. The most I've ever been able to find was this:

    In August 62 I started doing silkscreens. I wanted something stronger that gave more of an assembly line effect. With silkscreening you pick a photograph, blow it up, transfer it in glue onto silk, and then roll ink across it so the ink goes through the silk but not through the glue. That way you get the same image, slightly different each time. It was all so simple quick and chancy. I was thrilled with it. When Marilyn Monroe happened to die that month, I got the idea to make screens of her beautiful face the first Marilyns.
    Any of you have some light to shed on a few of these questions?

    What method did he use for photo exposure? What did he use for positives, lith film using reversal process? That would be some damn big film if so. Could he have produced his screens with projection?

    What kind of exposure set up? I know he took his own source pictures with models.

    What emulsion did he coat his screen with? He refers to it as "glue". How many coats did he use?

    What kind/count mesh did he use? Squeegee?

    I read he printed on the floor, but did he ever use a clamp system?

    Did he print on stretched canvas or stretch after printing?

    How were his frames stretched and with what tension? Stapled, glued?

    I realize some of the answers may be lost, but I'm still incredible curious. I know a lot of his work was done by assistants later on.
    Last edited by edwardo_machino; 04-25-2011 at 12:16 PM.

  2. #2
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    zlandrum's Avatar


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    who?
    "Don't forget to enjoy life"- Phoond

  3. #3
    JustinHelton's Avatar

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    Not sure on all of this, but i do remember watching a doc on him in school that showed him printing. Maybe some video research could help you find some answers.

  4. #4
    vrooooom's Avatar

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    Most prints were fairly simple and the screen printing part was for a key image, with the rest being painted or otherwise altered. They shot film back in the day using a graphic arts camera. How that film is shot and developed is the basis for modern day "photoshopped" looks like posterization, etc.

    the warhol: online factory

  5. #5
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    i don't know the answers to your questions, but i can tell you that i've printed with some Warhol squeegees that dated back to The Factory and they worked beautifully with nice & smooth thick handles bitchin' hard blades that have held up over the years.

    i would assume like any sop he had screens with a variety of mesh counts. and photo emulsion has come a long way since his day so doubt that what we use now he used then.

  6. #6
    squeegeethree's Avatar

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    I had some old screens of Warhols without the images on them and used to have access to his screens with images on them. The were wooden screens fingered at the corners, the screen is stapled on with cloth protection. The emulsion was direct photo emulsion but water soluble as he printed with oilbased inks. I know it was water soluble as I made the mistake of trying to clean dust off of one with some water and the emulsion started to break down. He exposed his screen with a exposure unit (perhaps the same one I'm using today). The canvases where printed unstretched and stretched later.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by edwardo_machino View Post
    Whenever I search for the raw technical details of Warhol's process I find very little information. The most I've ever been able to find was this:

    Any of you have some light to shed on a few of these questions?

    What method did he use for photo exposure? What did he use for positives, lith film using reversal process? That would be some damn big film if so. Could he have produced his screens with projection?



    What kind of exposure set up? I know he took his own source pictures with models.

    What emulsion did he coat his screen with? He refers to it as "glue". How many coats did he use?

    What kind/count mesh did he use? Squeegee?



    I read he printed on the floor, but did he ever use a clamp system?

    Did he print on stretched canvas or stretch after printing?

    How were his frames stretched and with what tension? Stapled, glued?

    I realize some of the answers may be lost, but I'm still incredible curious. I know a lot of his work was done by assistants later on.
    i think i've seen pics of him printing on the floor using squeegees that almost look like the kind that you would use for cleaning a window. that might have been early on, though.

  8. #8
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    James flames's Avatar


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    I found this "American Masters" special they did on Andy, and I just ripped the part where he's printing and put it up here. You can kinda see what's going on there, pretty cool. Luna and Luther's first-hand experience is pretty amazing though - mad jealous!


  9. #9
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    he would have his screens made at an industrial place that made large screens for fabric printing. then he'd have his assistants lay the shit out on the floor and he would pull the squeegee somteimes.

  10. #10
    squeegeethree's Avatar

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    This is one of the last of the Warhol era screens I have left. The last time I used it was to print a Robert Indiana.

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