25 February 2011

yudu, do you?

dear screen printing,

i'm having second thoughts about our relationship. you are turning out to be a bit of an elusive, fickle, bossy know-it-all and i don't know if i can handle the shenanigans you're putting me through.

(i find it very cathartic to write acrimonious letters to inanimate concepts, don't you?)

i received the awesome gift of a yudu screen printing machine last christmas (think 14 months ago) and, with the best of intentions, it's been sitting behind a chair. until last week, that is.

i've been daydreaming a design to screen print for months and i finally sat down and designed it in illustrator, laboriously picked out a font (who am i kidding? that's my favorite bit), printed out a transparency for burning my image, and hit a brick wall with the capillary emulsion film included in the yudu kit. capillary emulsion film does not rock my world. 

i hit up an art supply store and gave diazo photo emulsion a whirl. success! a burned image! now to print something. i inked up the screen, gave the squeegee a pull and... eight prints later, i had one that wasn't a complete mess. i found that the yudu inks bled quite badly and the plastic squeegee wasn't worth a tinker's darn.

i made my way back to the art supply store after work tonight and picked up a reliable squeegee and speedball block printing inks in metallic tones (i was looking for screen printing inks, but they only had them for fabric printing, so i took a chance on the block print ink). this time, i had more reliable results, but most had spotty bits where the ink wasn't even. i'm guessing this is from the thickness of the ink, as it was a bit more difficult to pull an even coat.

so, numbering over twenty, lounging about my apartment in various states of completeness, i have my interpretation of a sufjan stevens lyric: and when you crochet i feel mesmerized and proud. this line is just magical to me, as is the whole song, really.

i vectorized a line drawing of a crochet doily to make it have the appearance of a japanese paper cut and chose a slightly neurotic and messy handwriting font to make it more human. i had hopes of selling these prints - i think they would be awesome displayed on vintage hangers and they are cut to fit perfectly into an ikea ribba frame.

this is not me giving up. i have 5 more tubes of ink and a pad of watercolor paper to go before that happens.


  1. Your prints turned out really lovely. I've got a Yudu that's been languishing for about the same amount of time as yours has. I've already screwed up a couple of those ridiculously expensive emulsion sheets that come with it. I will have to try your alternate methods. :)

  2. i shake my fist at the emulsion film sheets! i tried 4 sheets and none of them stuck. i don't know if i used too much water or didn't let them dry long enough, but nothing, not even the corners, stuck to the screen. the photo emulsion method worked like a snap and quickly, too!

  3. It is not "tinker's darn"! It is tinkers dam. Not worth a tinker's dam. ( the tinkers dam was a small roll of clay that he would surround the hole in a pot or pan inorder to fill the hole with a new metal patch and that clay would be thrown away afterward. It was the least valuable piece in the process of fixing the cooking vessel. If the pot wasn't worth a tinkers dam it wasn't worth fixing!) Thus our common usage of calling something or someone not worth a dam because it or they weren't worth the effort to fix! Really people we all tiptoe around the word dam because some idiot didn't know the meaning let alone the spelling and people think it is damn (damnation and god and all that jazz) rather than dam (the one that started the whole 'not worth a dam' because it isn't worth fixing). Oy vay!