Hey ladies and gents,
I haven't printed in months due to the climate wanting to burn my retinas off and dry everything in my screen way too fast. The weather's getting finally nice again, so I think I can tackle printing in the next couple of weeks again, yay! But I've been researching and talking with a screen printing professor at Arizona State U, thinking if anyone's going to know how to print year round, someone locally would.
Her advice: drop the use of Createx Lyntex ink (my old standby, guess it dries out too fast here), swap to Speedball and then add 7-10 drops of retarder/glycerine per half cup of ink, plus 5% transparent base even if I'm using extender base. (This sounds like mad scientistry to me) Or use the Speedball retarder base, which I only yesterday realized is its own base. Durr. I'm also going to up the humidity levels with a good humidifier eventually when I find one-- 10% default humidity seems to kill the inks too easily, especially in 100+ degree heat!
Anyway, so with this in mind I'm a little baffled-- the way I am used to making ink, I used a transparent base and then mixed in liquid pigments to get my appropriate color. I figure I can still do that with the Speedball-- I did that in a pinch a couple of years ago and it seemed to work fine. But I'm probably never going to use most of the Speedball colors directly out of the jar, but custom mix 'em. So what I'm wondering is what colors you think for a start I should nab to get a good line of colors?
Prereq' knowledge: I usually don't print bigger than 12x18" currently, small runs (~30, but would like to increase that to around 50 if I can properly calibrate my print area), use more transparent inks than opaque usually, 4-5 colors on average, pulling a layer every 10-15 seconds on a bad day.
I'm thinking I'll snap up a gallon of the transparent base and some overprint varnish, and I'm kind of on the fence whether I need extender or not-- I never used it. I have some leftover 8oz little jars of black, white, process magenta, primrose yellow, dark red, fire red... and a few jars of the retarder. Anyway I guess what I'm wondering is if you were going to have a 'kit' of colors to mix a variety of colors, which ones would you pick? I imagine I could get a lot of mileage out of transparent base and quarts of colors, but I wonder if I ought to get the other process colors, or what. These might be a good start anyway (with pigments added to customize color more), but I'm still curious what you guys would pick if you were starting from scratch again.
After I figure this out-- I'm so going to start work on my dual plans of building a paper rack and washout sink. Whee!
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