Instructions for using Silk Screens:
- Use well conditioned clay. The thickness of the clay is up to the user to decide and depends on the project.
- Lightly adhere your clay to a tile or surface so that it is not going to move around.
- You can polish your clay very lightly with the flat of your hand. This gives a nice sheen to the clay. Not necessary but worth trying!Squares and Lines Necklace. Artisan: Suzanne Ward
- Lightly burnish the screen onto the clay with the flat part of your fingers or roller to ensure it has sealed the blank parts of the design onto the clay. This is so the paint does not seep into these areas.
- Put a line of acrylic paint directly along the top of the screen or along the edge of a mini squeegee or credit card and apply evenly over the entire surface pattern. Make sure to include the registration marks on the screen that are designed to be used with more than one colour. Use light pressure so the card is gripped with the screen at an angle of less than 90o. Add more paint if necessary. You can wipe the excess off the card back into the paint container (if your paint is in a jar).
- After applying the paint, peel the screen slowly and carefully from the clay. Don’t rip it off or you may leave bits of your screen behind.
- Make sure you have a bowl of slightly warm water ready to drop your silk screen and squeegee / credit card into as soon as possible to prevent paint drying onto the screen. With the help of a sponge, wash the screen immediately in water. Tip: The paint can still set into the screen if left to sit even though it is in the water.
- Lightly rub the screen with a sponge to remove the paint but don’t try to get every last bit off. Some staining of your screen is OK. You just don’t want the mesh clogged with paint. Give it a rinse under clear running water and leave to dry flat on an absorbent surface like paper towel.
- Leave the design to dry before cutting your clay to the desired shape.
- Bake in accordance with the instructions for the clay you are using.
- It is a good idea to seal screen printed clay. Some acrylic paints (like Jacquard Lumiere and Neopaque paints) are heat set and don’t need sealing. Seal with the sealant of your choice that is suitable for use on polymer clay.
The necklace pictured is silkscreened black Neopaque acrylic paint over a sheet of blended colours of clay. The squares have been enhanced with the stripes hand painted with gold alcohol ink. It is finished off with polymer clay tassel.
Artisan: Suzanne Ward