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Hand Reduction Silk Screen Printing: some notes on process

Here are the basic steps involved in doing a hand reduction print:

  1. Select an image. Upload it to your computer. Using Adobe Illustrator (or by hand), divide the image into block of color. You get to decide how many colors you want.
  2. Size the image and print it out. This becomes the map for your work.
  3. Coat your screen with photo emulsion. Use a piece of cardboard the size of your work to burn an opening into the screen. Wash out the opening after burning it.
  4. Select the lightest color of your image. This is color one. Print the opening of the screen in this color (as many prints as you want).
  5. Clean your screen. Place your map under the screen. Use a pencil to draw around all the areas that will stay color one. Using screen filler fluid block out all the areas to be saved as color one.
  6. Print over your first pull with color two.
  7. Clean your screen. Place your map under the screen. Use a pencil to draw around all the areas that will stay color two Use screen filler to block out all the areas to be saved as color two.
  8. Print over your second pull with color three. And so on.

This process is repeated as many times as the number of colors you have chosen for your image. When you have printed the last color most of your screen will be filled in with screen filler. Therefore, once you have completed an edition of a reduction you cannot print it again.

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