How to Make a Silkscreen Using Rubylith (Cutting Process)

There are two basic methods of creating a silkscreen for printing: photo emulsion or cutting.
The process explained here is the more primitive cutting process which requires a bit more manual dexterity than the photo emulsion method.
Cutting is also somewhat more limited in terms of how fine a pattern can be burned--the limit is your own patience and cutting skills.
However, this limit can be an advantage as hand-cut screens convey more of the artist's hand and demand ingenuity to create simple yet elegant designs.
The below sheet links to a high-resolution .pdf. It provides the highlights of the process and materials checklist, but you'll have more fun the first time out if you can do it with someone who's done it before. Shop online or call a local crafts store to find the required materials.

Lacquer thinner is nasty stuff. Wear gloves and a respirator and work outside if possible when doing step 7.

How to Rubylith Silkscreen

Here are some hand-cut designs I've made over the years. Basically, broad bold lines are easiest, although you'll notice some fine lines and tiny details. Again, it's all up to your patience and razor skills.

Got this one from Adbusters. Very popular.

Designed for me by Scott Cocking.

This is actually the result of two screens, one for each color. Getting the screens in exact same position is called registration. This is easier to do if you make the frames for screens exact same size. Then you can mark or build guides to align screens one after the other.

Related links:
Silkscreening How-to (photo) - March 19, 2003
Silkscreening workshop - October 2, 2002
Silkscreening workshop (AoR 1) - May 15, 2004
Silkscreening Workshop (AoR 2) - May 14, 2005

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