contents and discontents

Picture of the Day
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March 19, 2003

It had been a long time since I cut a new screen.
I use the old school method, X-acto and acetate.
Here's the process in a nutshell. Questions? Try this.

You will need: blade, acetate (rubylith or amberlith, a 2-ply
material), "silk" (actually nylon, I use the medium mesh),
a frame, lacquer thinner, a rag, rubber glove, respirator,
paint brush, screen filler, fabric ink, and squeegee.

1. Place rubylith shiny side down
over your design. Trace the design
with the Xacto blade, cutting only
the top layer. Think of it as a fruit
roll-up. Peel away the areas where
the ink will go through.
2. Stretch your silk over the frame.
You can do this with a staplegun,
or use a rope frame where the
silk is replaceable (as here).
3. Place frame over design and tape
rubylith in place so it does
not slip. Apply lacquer thinner
with rag, pressing firmly for several
seconds in each spot. Do not rub!
This will blur your image. What
happens here is the matte layer
of rubylith actually melts into the
screen, which creates a resist.
4. Peel away shiny layer very slowly.
Stop if red layer comes up. Spot treat these areas as in Step 3.
5. Fill to edges with screen filler and touch up with fine brush or toothpick.