I've always wanted to make one of these, but that feeling everything I make is garbage always kept me from doing it.
I print in my place - rented, there was a spare room with a closet. Closet turns into darkroom, which I originally setup with a friend to print film. I still have all the enlarging/printing equipment for photos but these days the room usually serves as a place to dry screens in the dark.
In the beginning I got into screen printing because it seemed like the best method to print stupid t-shirts people would spend money on. A talented individual came up with some four-color rotating printing press plans, so my former roommate and myself built the fucker. I rebuilt the rotating assembly a number of times, each time because I fucked something up the time before. It's been a lot of trouble, especially because I didn't know fuck-all about working with wood or anything like that before I started, but it's a cool machine. Currently have it tweaked out to hold register to within a 32nd of an inch on a good day, and modified to use a sliding platen and hold 23x31" frames. I don't print t-shirts much anymore but I still use the press for printing canvas, which works better wet-on-wet.
I will try to post pictures of the equipment I use and also some process shots of posters and other things I do - they might be useful for someone who doesn't have access to a studio and wants to print at home. In addition, you may now all be privy to me either going down like a Hindenburg, exploding and raining Ulano tech sheets and dulled squeegee blades from the sky, or perhaps making some money and paying my rent. High stakes!
Right now I'm a little tired so I will do that stuff later. Until then here are some pictures I drew in paint a long time ago. Please take note of the thematic consistency. I'm gonna go take pictures of the NATO shit tomorrow. Maybe I'll get beat up!
Last edited by edwardo_machino; 05-20-2012 at 03:47 AM.
There was a fucking raccoon caught in the attic last year. We stared each other down and had a moment before he hissed at me and I got the hell out of there. Soon after I utilized my near-photographic recollection to render this ultra-realistic drawing of the beast, who was named "Bartholomew" for obvious reasons.
This is my printing table as it was a year ago. I've changed a few things about it since then but it remains basically a piece of 1/2" laminate (formica) countertop salvaged from the side of a large cabinet screwed to a 2x3" support frame. I never thought about the pulley-counterweight until I saw picture's of Quinine's setup a while back. Due to the size of the desk I have it on, the height is ridiculous, and even though I'm taller than average I must use a stool or my back goes out, and then I get really sad.
Ever since I read this thread a lot of my work has dealt with stochastic dots. I love them for photo-sourced prints. Did some experimentation with the built-in Photoshop diffusion dithering but that sucks so I now use the Martin Koch line-art plugin, set on the random dither option, to make every single one of my separations. It's a free plugin but I really should send him a check sometime. It's great because you can vary the exposure of the dithered result, that is, you can set it so that you end up with either tons of dots everywhere, a lot of solid black areas, a lot of solid white areas, or a mix.
Here is the very first stochastic print I attempted. It is a picture of my bedroom ceiling, where there's this interesting looking cracking, separated into two colors. I fucking hate it now and I'm glad I gave them all away.
My second attempt was more successful, after I figured out why the Epson 3000 was banding on part of the leg as discussed here (short answer - use 200 DPI dots instead of 300)
The tan is flat housepaint. The bluish-grey floor texture is some house paint mix, and I think it was more glossy.
I actually printed this once before, without the blue-grey but I fucked up so I trashed them all. But on that run, when I sprayed water on the screen and pulled the squeegee to clean it out, it diluted the ink on the throw-away print I was using to soak it up, and the water interacted with the ink and produced a nice effect, so I let it dry and scanned it in, and that's where the blue floor texture came from.
Green is speedball, and it turned out a little chalky.
Black is Union Aerotex.
Turned out just slightly out of register on some of the prints as sh own in one of the close-ups, but not really too bad.
These days I try to stick to the same screen for every color, for consistency (although I can't prove it helps enough to warrant the extra time), and mostly use 280 mesh count all the time for everything except fabric.
I used way too much tape also. Now I don't use tape rather pieces of the same paper stock I'm printing on cut into little strips, so the paper can butt up against them when registering.
Last edited by edwardo_machino; 05-21-2012 at 12:01 AM.