Techniques - Deconstructed Screen Printing
My surface design mixed media work begins with a technique that
can be described as deconstructed screening. A line drawing is
designed based on sketches or photos. That image is then traced
onto the silk screen material by hand using a mixture of dye and
sodium alginate resist. Once dried, this becomes a stencil through
which fiber reactive textile dyes are painted or forced through by
squeegee. This results in the image on the fabric, as well as a
degradation of the line image on the screen. Subsequent prints
with other colors can be made with the screen, but the line image
degrades with each print, and I seldom make more than three from
At this point there is a colored image on whole-cloth cotton broadcloth fabric that becomes the basis for additional surface design techniques. I use fabric paints, dyes, crayons and pencils to add additional color to the base. I then use additional fabric, tulle, netting or other fiber to add special texture or color where needed.
The next step is quilting the piece through batting and backing fabric using free-motion machine stitching and hand stitching as needed for effect. This is where I add my “thread strokes” and where you can see the “hand” of the artist. At this point I can add additional embellishments as the work requires including embroidery, beading, shrink plastic and others.
Once the front of the piece is finished, I prepare the back of the
work with special sleeves on all sides. These are designed to hold
a hidden stretching frame that allows the work to be displayed in a gallery to its best effect without the distraction of a visible frame.