Wednesday, August 14, 2013

New work and the importance of testing absolutely everything

In life, some lessons stick. Like never loosing your cross, an ultimate disaster in weaving. Others creep up on you and even when you think you've done everything you possibly could, it strikes to remind you to test every parameter. I had a (luckily) retrievable disaster with the printing on my most recent Luna work. Here is what happened...

I'd tested my samples (below) on an old screen but gotten a new large screen exposed. I'd used an old small squeegee for samples but borrowed a larger one from school for the final print. I'd also bought enough adhesive for one large print. I thought all would be well. It's cool, I thought - no biggy, I'm just about to print on a large woven panel that took me three days to set up and numerous cold hours to weave.
Alas, all was not well. You see, new screen with different mesh and new squeegee should have meant one final test print. But I thought, I'd wing it. I really don't know why I was playing it so cool. After all, this sort of printing means you only really get one go. So after doing quite and number of floods and pulls, I discovered the faintest marks on my weaving and empty patches elsewhere. While I washed out the screen and my heart thumped in disappointment, my helper carefully put my woven panel into the bathtub to gently wash away the adhesive. Thankfully I'd chosen a water based version.
I spent most of that weekend annoyed with myself for not going that extra mile. It turns out the squeegee was too hard for such a job and I would need to wait until Monday morning for more adhesive and a softer squeegee. On top of this, I would miss my deadline. I really didn't think it would all come together. So after drying the screen, I finally did that test and tried the copper foil you can see in the photograph above with my new screen and squeegee. As an aside, I can't wait to try the copper on lighter coloured yarns. Come Monday morning, I bought my supplies and retreated home to print after reassurances that all would be okay and the squeegee I bought was perfect for the job.        
Yes, indeed it was. Again more flooding and pulling and total relief when a strong print emerged. After about two hours of drying time for the adhesive, I finally applied the foil I had bought from a supplier in Sydney. As is the case with work that is immediately rushed to where ever it should have gone the day before, all I have is this Instagram photograph of the final work. You might also spot it photographed today on The Design Files in Suzy Tuxen and Shane Loorham's Brunswick abode. It was photographed just this past weekend by my talented friends and is now on the Significant Others website for sale. It is hung from a beautiful Blackwood hanger made by Ryan, one half of Significant Others and framer extraordinaire at United Measures. Thanks guys for including me! So what do you think?