A Quick Tutorial from Fuse Muse Fused Glass
Using a Ready to Ink Screen is easy once you have a little practice at it. You may have to do it a few times to get the hang of it but once you do... Voila! You will have a beautiful picture on your glass or polymer clay or wood or whatever you are screening. These designs are very detailed, so take a deep breathe, dive in and practice, practice, practice.
A word about your “ink”. You can use many different mediums to push through your screen. One thing they all must be though is fairly thick. Globby! Like really thick pancake batter, like a paste. If you are using enamels for glass or clay and your “ink” isn’t thick enough, you can always use a bit of Flux to thicken it. Flux is basically ground clear glass that is added to thicken your enamel. If a lot is used it will lessen the brilliance of your color though so use it sparingly.
I use Rogue Enamels based on the brilliant colors and the ability to mix it to the desired consistency. All the pictures below are done with Rogue Enamels.
If you are looking for a screen to get started we have many of different sizes and complexity. They can be found here.
DIY Screen Printing
1. Decide where you want your print to go. Important: Glossy Side of the Screen goes UP!!!
2. Adhere your screen to your glass with masking tape at one end. This allows it to stay in place and helps
get a better image. It also acts as a third hand and let’s face it, we can always use a third hand.
3. Put a glob of “ink” / Enamel across the top of the screen on the side of the paint. Make sure the “ink” is a little wider than your screen picture.
4. Take a squeegee tool at a 45° angle and evenly spread the ink across the surface of the screen. If you
like, you can hold the other end and do it backwards ONCE! Only ONCE! If you do it too many times you will
get distorted lines and your print will not turn out very well. Take your screen and tape off of your glass.
5. Immediately go and wash out your screen with warm water. Gently run your fingers over the area,
helping to release the “ink”. If you do not wash your screen right away, the “ink” may dry in it and make it
useless. Hang your screen to dry. Store your screen in a dry place, that allows it to stay flat.
6. DRY IT! You should always allow your “ink” to dry. The easiest and fastest way is to put it on top of a
firing kiln. You will see when the print looks chalky that it is dry. This is also when you can fix up your print a bit.
I find if one edge needs a little bit of straightening up, a razor blade and a steady hand can do wonders.
7. Fire your piece to your enamels specifications.
You have now learned screen printing. This tutorial can be applied to almost any medium and substrate. Whether it is Ceramics, Polymer Clay, Wood, Fabric or Paper.
Now Practice! Practice! Practice!