I hate photo emulsion

Well, I don’t really hate photo emulsion–it’s a great thing when it works, but I need to take a class because trying to figure it out on my own is a little more than frustrating.  My accordion print only partially burned, so I tried burning it again and the lamp cracked the glass somehow.  Photo emulsion definitely is the best screenprinting method for really detailed work, it just has what seems like this monumental learning curve.  The worst by far is trying to clean the emulsion out of the screen.

You would think that reclaiming a screen for screenprinting would be a relatively easy process–and true enough, MOST of the photo emulsion comes off in one pass…but not all of it.  Some of it clings for dear life to the screen and it will fight vehemently to stay there despite all your scrubbing and rinsing and soaking and scrubbing.  I hate chemicals…I do everything humanly possible to avoid chemicals in cleaning, in makeup, in my food, but I’m about ready to throw in the towel and buy the stinkiest chemical I can if it means my screen will come clean.  I’m ranting, I know. 

When I finally DO get my screen clean today, I will try the screen filler/drawing fluid method.  There’s a really cool tutorial here.  This seems pretty foolproof, and since my print is so small, it’s probably a good solution for me today.  And I don’t want to deal with procuring another piece of glass today.   

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2 responses to “I hate photo emulsion

  1. I admire you for sticking with it. Are there classes available for you to take?

  2. Ditto ditto ditto. I know how you feel. I just burned a very large screen this afternoon. For some reason little spots of emulsion wouldn’t rinse out! I would waste so much emulsion and remover starting over again. I’m looking at trying the screen filler method next. Although, I use Speedball Diazo Emulsion. Their remover takes it off very easily.

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