So, i did my first screen printing workshop ever today, i see it as something i’m going to use a lot in the future, but for now it seems complicated. Here are some tips for future me (and you too!) for when i’ve forgotten what to do.
- CREATE ARTWORK POSITIVES
There are a few ways of doing this including drawing onto paper, or acetate, Oiling photographs, and blocking in black paper. Today i did the latter.
- COAT SCREEN IN UV SENSITIVE EMULSION
(at my uni, this costs £2.70)
- DRY IN DRYING UNIT. MAKE SURE DRYING UNIT IS OFF WHEN THE DOOR IS OPENED.
- WHEN DRY, REMOVE. APPLY ARTWORK TO THE SILK SCREEN, AND PUT IN A UV CONTAINER (i say container, but the thing is HUGE!)
- VACUUM TO 22 ON DIAL.
- EXPOSE (we exposed ours at 160 light units)
- ATTACH TO PRINTMAKING STATION, MAKING SURE THIS IS SECURE!!!
- MIX INKS.
There are two kinds of materials to mix with, the PAPER solution, and the TEXTILES solution, obviously, use whichever you are working with.
- LABEL THE POT WHICH YOU PUT THE MIXTURE IN WITH:
The percentage of the mixture (recommended 40ink / 60mixer)
- APPLY TO SILK SCREEN GENEROUSLY, WITH SPATULA.
- SPREAD OVER SCREEN WITH A RUBBER SQUEEDGEY (sounds like it’s not a real thing: apparently it is. who knew.)
- LIFT THE TOP OF THE STATION UP
- COVER ALL OF THE VACUUM HOLES WHICH YOU DO NOT INTEND TO USE WITH NEWS PRINT OR SIMILAR
- PLACE YOUR TESTER SHEET
- TURN ON THE VACUUM
- CLOSE DOWN THE TOP OF THE PRINTING STATION
- USING THE SQUEEDGEY, DRAG THE INK AT A 45 DEGREE ANGLE TOWARDS YOU. IF NECESSARY, REPAET.
- LIFT THE TOP OF THE PRINTING STATION, AND REST IT ON YOUR TUMMY, WHIST “FLOODING” THE SCREEN (to prevent it from drying on) BY PULLING THE SQUEEDGEY AND IT’S INK BACK TOWARDS YOU.
- GRATS, YOU JUST DID YOUR FIRST PRINT!
So i’ve also been thinking about other things that Katy said: like buy nothing day.
In her lecture she was talking about the power of design.
What are your/my design morals? What jobs would i, wouldn’t i do?
DESIGNERS HAVE GOT TO USE THEIR POWERS FOR GOOD, AS WELL AS WORKING FOR BIG CLIENTS TO SELL PRODUCTS TO THE WESTERN WORLD.
a bit of good i’m going to do this month is to design a poster promoting buy nothing day, and share it around facebook, and my friends.
I will upload the finished thing onto here, once I’m done.
I’ve heard that lectures are supposed to be boring, well there’s not a chance of that happening when your lecturer is Katy Carrol. She delivered a lecture on Manifesto’s in politics and culture to us today with more enthusiasm and humour than i possibly could have expected. This hour was packed with feisty comments on a wide scope of subjects within design.
Tips from Katy:
- Write your own manifesto whilst at university
- Always look up definitions of words and titles. Understand their meaning fully before embarking on a body of work.
THINGS TO CONSIDER ABOUT ANY PIECE OF DESIGN:
- Does it involve censorship? what is it NOT saying?
- use of colour
- creative type
- the power of symbols
- use of (persuasive or otherwise) language
CONTEXTS TO BE AWARE OF:
Something i also really want to note is the difference between a style and a movement, which is something i had not previously considered:
STYLE - recognisable features which create a memorable visual effect/pattern/look throughout a body of work
MOVEMENT - includes into it’s style a strong belief system and creates statements that will or should be acted on.
Many (most) “ISM“‘s are classified as movements: e.g.
Some names and Manifesto’s that came up in the lecture:
-Welsh communist manifesto
-The black panther manifesto
-The red manifesto
-The conservative manifesto
-The anti consumerism capaign
-The face magazine
-The sex pistols
-Bauhaus manifesto ——- ( fun fact: FAD courses are structured based on Bauhaus)
- Ken Garland and the First things First manifesto
- Vance Packard
- De Stijl (the style) (interestingly not a style, it’s a movement using horizontal and vertical lines only. No diagonals!)
- Guerrilla Girls (Anonymous and Sarcastic, they are really something to get excited about, especially as a female artist!)
- Bob and Roberta Smith (who are in actual fact one and the same!)
I don’t like the word manifesto. It reeks of dogma and rules—two things I instinctively reject. I do love the way it puts things on the line, but I don’t like lines, or groups. So a manifesto probably isn’t for me. The other thing about manifestos is that they appear (or are written so as to appear) self-evident. This kind of a priori writing is easy, since you simply lay out what seems obviously—even tautologically—true.
Of course, this is the danger of manifestos, but also what makes them fun to read. And fun to write. So I’ll write this manifesto. I just might not sign it.
Anyway, here they are. Exactly 1000 words:
Hippocratic Before Socratic “First do no harm” is a good starting point for everyone, but it’s an especially good starting point for designers. For a group of people who pride themselves on “problem solving” and improving people’s lives, we sure have done our fair share of the converse. We have to remember that industrial design equals mass production, and that every move, every decision, every curve we specify is multiplied—sometimes by the thousands and often by the millions. And that every one of those everys has a price. We think that we’re in the artifact business, but we’re not; we’re in the consequence business.
Stop Making Crap And that means that we have to stop making crap. It’s really as simple as that. We are suffocating, drowning, and poisoning ourselves with the stuff we produce, abrading, out-gassing, and seeping into our air, our water, our land, our food— and basically those are the only things we have to look after before there’s no we in that sentence. It gets into our bodies, of course, and it certainly gets into our minds. And designers are feeding and feeding this cycle, helping to turn everyone and everything into either a consumer or a consumable. And when you think about it, this is kind of grotesque. “Consumer” isn’t a dirty word exactly, but it probably oughta be.
Systems Before Artifacts Before we design anything new, we should examine how we can use what already exists to better ends. We need to think systems before artifacts, services before products, adopting Thackara’s use/not own principles at every step. And when new products are needed, they’ll be obvious and appropriate, and then can we conscientiously pump up fossil fuels and start polymerizing them. Product design should be part of a set of tools we have for solving problems and celebrating life. It is a means, not an end.
Teach Sustainability Early
Design education is at a crossroads, with many schools understanding the potentials, opportunities, and obligations of design, while others continue to teach students how to churn out pretty pieces of garbage. Institutions that stress sustainability, social responsibility, cultural adaptation, ethnography, and systems thinking are leading the way. But soon they will come to define what industrial design means. (A relief to those constantly trying to define the discipline today!) This doesn’t mean no aesthetics. It just means a keener eye on costs and benefits.
Screws Better Than Glues
This is lifted directly from the Owner’s Manifesto, which addresses how the people who own things and the people who make them are in a kind of partnership. But it’s a partnership that’s broken down, since almost all of the products we produce cannot be opened or repaired, are designed as subassemblies to be discarded upon failure or obsolescence, and conceal their workings in a kind of solid-state prison. This results in a population less and less confident in their abilities to use their hands for anything other than pushing buttons and mice, of course. But it also results in people fundamentally not understanding the workings of their built artifacts and environments, and, more importantly, not understanding the role and impact that those built artifacts and environments have on the world. In the same way that we can’t expect people to understand the benefits of a water filter when they can’t see the gunk inside it, we can’t expect people to sympathize with greener products if they can’t appreciate the consequences of any products at all.
Design for Impermanence
In his Masters Thesis, “The Paradox of Weakness: Embracing Vulnerability in Product Design,” my student Robert Blinn argues that we are the only species who designs for permanence—for longevity—rather than for an ecosystem in which everything is recycled into everything else. Designers are complicit in this over-engineering of everything we produce (we are terrified of, and often legally risk-averse to, failure), but it is patently obvious that our ways and means are completely antithetical to how planet earth manufactures, tools, and recycles things. We choose inorganic materials precisely because biological organisms cannot consume them, while the natural world uses the same building blocks over and over again. It is indeed Cradle-to-Cradle or cradle-to-grave, I’m afraid.
Balance Before Talents
The proportion of a solution needs to balance with its problem: we don’t need a battery-powered pooper scooper to pick up dog poop, and we don’t need a car that gets 17 MPG to, well, we don’t need that car, period. We have to start balancing our ability to be clever with our ability to be smart. They’re two different things.
Metrics Before Magic
Metrics do not get in the way of being creative. Almost everything is quantifiable, and just the exercise of trying to frame up ecological and labor impacts can be surprisingly instructive. So on your next project, if you’ve determined that it may be impossible to quantify the consequences of a material or process or assembly in a design you’re considering, maybe it’s not such a good material or process or assembly to begin with. There are more and more people out there in the business of helping you to find these things out, by the way; you just have to call them.
Climates Before Primates
This is the a priori, self-evident truth. If we have any hope of staying here, we need to look after our home. And our anthropocentric worldview is literally killing us. “Design serves people”? Well, I think we’ve got bigger problems right now.
Context Before Absolutely Everything
Understanding that all design happens within a context is the first (and arguably the only) stop to make on your way to becoming a good designer. You can be a bad designer after that, of course, but you don’t stand a chance of being a good one if you don’t first consider context. It’s everything: In graphics, communication, interaction, architecture, product, service, you name it—if it doesn’t take context into account, it’s crap. And you already promised not to make any more of that.
So there’s my manifesto. A little stern perhaps, but that’s what editing down to 1000 words will get you. The power of design is an amazing thing. Let’s wield it wisely.
Jamie Portch graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in 2009, and is now able to live solely from his work. I was really pleased to meet him, and listen to him tell the story of his journey from where i was sat to where he now stood. It seemed like he worked his fingers to the bone over the last three years, but it had paid off. In this post I am going to record some of the hints and tips he provided us with and create my own set of goals to achieve throughout my time at university.
My Goals: (i wont over complicate things, i’ll stick to three, but they’ll be big ones)
1/ Work my ass of at university, and make the difference known between me and all the million other illustrators out there. I wont get a job, i will earn extra money through design commissions, which is going well currently! (yay!)
2/ Win an award.
3/ Get an Agent.
The best piece of advice he gave us is something i am noting very carefully:
Experiment, and use the time at university where experimentation is allowed to create a wide range of work in different styles and mediums for portfolios, because when you are employed by clients then they employ you based on your previous work. The wider spread this is, the better.
The close second best piece of advice is to keep going, do things you think you can’t do, because you’ll get there. Don’t give up.
Some of the images he showed us:
all images in this post from: Jamie Portch at YCN
So I’m back where i started in year one at a university, although this experience is far more satisfying. It’s been suggested that i make a blog as part of my studies. I’ve decided to use this instead. Here i will post updates on my personal experience as well as lecture notes and photos of my works in progress.
We’ve got two modules at the moment, one is called Design Methods (and is really fun, since we get to play with all kinds of things like electrical tape, and cut out pictures of peoples faces and stick them back together wrong) I’m really enjoying it so far. The other module is called Observation and Communication. It lasts until we break up for Christmas and involves recording through drawing. So far I’ve done a life drawing workshop, a mark-making workshop and drawn my chosen building three times. Chosen building is the old Salvation Army Citadel, which has fallen madly into disrepair and has all kinds of wonder plants growing out of the windows.
On top of this as part of design methods we have to do printmaking workshops in groups. Mine is a group of four and we’re trying to get together at the moment to create something to work with before the session in a week and half.
I’m nerding out about all the art. Sorry! Anyway, here are some pictures of my work for the mark-making session:
Little Beth Avatar