On a recent Saturday morning, the sun was shining and I found myself skipping along to the East End of town to take part in a screen printing workshop. After my recent bird/ snake creation (and I use that word loosely) at the Crafternoon, you’d be quite entitled to think it would be a while before getting stuck into something so hands-on again – but actually, I was feeling keen to redeem myself and participate in something that I had a little experience in!
I hadn’t attempted screen printing since studying art (and that was…well, let’s just say it was over a decade ago and leave it at that, yeah?) but I remember really enjoying the process. I also love being able to customise things and make them my own – so screen printing is a pretty handy skill to brush up on in my book!
So, when I heard about Square Club’s 3 hour workshop held at their Shapes Of Things studio, I was all ears and couldn’t wait to revisit my high school art days.
Situated next to Glasgow’s famous WEST brewery, the Shapes Of Things studio is a bright, cheerful space with massive windows and lots of room to get creative. It was the perfect setting for our class which, as well as having fellow bloggers, also had a few regular attendees to keep us right.
Our workshop was taught by fashion and print designer Jamie Bruski Tetsill. Jamie’s work has featured in the likes of Elle, Vogue and Dazed and Confused and he has also shown at London Fashion Week – so I knew right away we’d be in good hands! Jamie started off by explaining a bit about the company, which can be tailored to individuals and groups regardless of their level of experience. He then took us through different stations of the workshop, explaining how they fitted into each stage of the process.
We had the option to create t-shirts or tote bags and all supplies were provided by Square Club, so you really can turn up empty-handed! I opted to make a t-shirt with a simple text print and started to prepare my art work. Multiple materials were provided, giving us a chance to experiment with different styles and decide on which we liked best. I created my base text on the computer and used ink afterwards to make it bolder.
Next, I prepared my screen by affixing the design to it. It was then subject to high exposure in a custom-built device in order to transfer the design onto the screen itself. The process is a little like darkroom photography – timing is EVERYTHING!
After some washing and drying, my screen was ready to use! At this point, I inexplicably ended-up with textile dyes all over my hands (even though I was nowhere near the dye and pigment station…you must admit that is a skill in itself) but you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, right?
I attached the fabric to the print bed, stretching it out and keeping it firmly in place.
The next part took longer than expected – selecting which colours to use! With so many vibrant colours in the studio, I found it a little hard to narrow down. Since I was printing onto white fabric, I opted for yellow and blue dyes and marbled them together. Using the squeegee, my prepped screen and the dye I had picked out, I then printed the design directly onto my t-shirt!
I decided to create a slogan tee inspired by one of my favourite meals – ’cause I’m all about that brunch!
3 hours might sound like an awfully long time, but trust me, the morning totally flew in and after the final print and fixing actions, our pieces were finished and ready to wear! Everyone was super happy with their creations and the thing that I enjoyed most about the class was the positive and encouraging atmosphere. By breaking the process into stages, it was easy and fun to learn how to bring our designs to life.
You can find out more about Shapes Of Things, Square Club and how to take part in their workshops here. What will you design?
With sunshine and squeegees,
Miss West End Girl x
All photos by Gary at Trouble WIth Film
With thanks to Shapes Of Things