Screen printing is a traditional print process that uses stencils to build up an image. The stencil is attached to a screen - a finely woven mesh attached to a frame. The image is printed by drawing a squeegee at pressure across the screen, pushing ink through the mesh onto paper in those areas not covered by the stencil.
There are different ways of making stencils for screen print; the most basic are papercuts, but a more sophisticated technique uses a photostencil: the screen is coated with a light sensitive emulsion and the artwork is exposed onto it. This process allows greater detail than paper stencils, and enables photographic images and text to be used. For each colour to be printed, a separate piece of artwork needs to be created.
About the studio and equipment
My studio is part of Centrespace Co-operative, a block of 31 workshops and studios that also manage the adjoining Centrespace Gallery. Centrespace, formerly known as Bristol Craft Centre, took over the building, a former print works in 1977. My own studio is a light and airy space of two rooms with an additional wet room for washing out screens. One room houses the print equipment and one is for design and drawing work. The print room uses a self built exposure unit, and includes three printing stations (one tabletop setup and two vacuum beds), and marble racks for drying prints. The drawing room includes desk space for three people and a large lightbox.
About the tutor
Simon studied painting at Portsmouth Polytechnic and printmaking at Chelsea College of Art, where he received the British Instuition Fund for Printmaking Award. He worked in London for over a decade as a scenic painter and muralist before moving to Bristol in 2002. He holds a PGCE in Post-compulsory Education and has been teaching screen printing to all ages and abilities for over a decade. He exhibits his work regularly. To see some of his prints go to simontozer.co.uk