screenprinting work in progress ('mandala I')

I recently spent a couple of days in the printmaking studio working on a new “Curiosity Cabinet” screenprint (I’m still sorting through and editioning that big ol’ pile of prints, but hopefully more on them soon!). I had a bit of time to spare on completing the CC prints and, as I often work in black and white, thought it would be a great opportunity to spend some time simply playing with colour. Playing being the operative word here!

I made a quick drawing in Indian ink which I could use to create the films for exposure onto my screens, keeping the drawing very straightforward (a simple circular ‘mandala’ motif) as I didn’t want anything too complex distracting me from the serious business of playing with colour.

screenprinting work in progress ('mandala I')

simple ‘mandala’ drawings  |  resultant film transparency for screen exposure, and a screenprinting ink colour chart (I do love a good colour chart!)

screenprinting work in progress ('mandala I')

mixing delicious, gloopy inks
(colour choices perhaps inspired by the garland bedecked patchwork ruminant that presides over the hand-basins in the studio’s WC?!)

I split the design into two parts – an inner and an outer ring – so I could experiment with various colour combinations in simple two-colour prints, and then printed nine different two-colour combinations…

screenprinting work in progress ('mandala I')

checking registration  |  turquoise and red

screenprinting work in progress ('mandala I')

prints awaiting their second colour  |  nine different colour combinations

I always find it fascinating to observe the ways in which colours shift and change, resonate differently, when juxtaposed alongside other colours.

I’m still trying to decide what I’ll do with these prints – having laid them all out in rows on the floor I’m partial to the repeat pattern they produce and am considering stitching them together, with some gorgeously coloured hemp string (pictured below), to create a vast and colourful ‘wall-hanging’ of some sort…

screenprinting work in progress ('mandala I')

hemp string  |  repeat pattern

I’ve also enjoyed pairing them, as notecards, with a stack of brilliantly coloured envelopes I picked up at my favourite paper shop here in Amsterdam (Vlieger – the hemp string was also acquired here).

screenprinting work in progress ('mandala I')

notecards

Although I’ll probably always gravitate towards working in black and white – I like the clarity and simplicity of it – occasional forays into brighter realms are undoubtedly good for the soul!