INSIDER: First-Time Screen Printing Class

What to Expect in First-Time screen printing CLASS

There’s a first time for everything. In this series, we introduce you to Lillstreet’s First-Time ARTIST Classes. At Lillstreet, we’re a community of all kinds of makers, and our First-Time Classes uphold the fundamental reason we’re here – to create a space for all artists.

You will always find a place to start at Lillstreet. If you’re brand new to a medium (or art in general) this is the perfect place to embark on that adventure. We all start somewhere, sometime, and these classes are designed to help you master the basics. Each five-week introductory course allows students with no previous experience to connect with an experienced teaching artist, explore different media and meet others new to the craft. We promise you’ll learn new techniques in a no-pressure, supportive environment.

View our current First-Time Screen Printing schedule and availability here

Welcome to First-Time screen printing

If you’ve gone shopping for hand crafted fabric, prints, posters, greeting cards, invitations, band tees, tote bags, scarves, or ceramics, you’ve heard of screen printing. Screen printing is one of those things that’s just as simple and much more complicated than it sounds. The process starts with transferring an image onto a stretched screen which enables the user to print multiple identical copies of that image. This hands-on method opens the world of small scale printing to include anything within the maker’s imagination. You can screen print on many surfaces, and we offer two different fist-time classes that focus on fabric or paper. No matter the surface, once you’ve taken First-Time Screen Printing, you’ll have all the tools you need to create unique designs you’ll be proud to wear, display, or gift.

WHAT YOU NEED: No supplies or skills required. COME AS YOU ARE. 
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Week 1: introductions & fundamentals

Welcome to class! This first session is all about getting familiar with our screen printing facilities as well as your fellow makers and instructor. You will review the syllabus and do introductions, but this is no throw away day. In a five-week class, every day counts, so you’ll jump right in with demonstrations on how to choose an image, prepare it, burn it onto a screen, and set up for printing. Then, it’ll be time for you to take your inspiration and turn it into a concept for your class printing project.

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Week 2: coating and burning screens

Today’s the day you step behind the screen printed curtain and experience the magic firsthand. You’ll take your own image and go through the process of coating and burning it onto a screen.

First, you’ll coat both sides of your screen with emulsion – the mystical material that will block ink from permeating the negative space, leaving just the image you want behind.

 

After coating the screen with emulsion, you will take a trip to the artsiest tanning bed of all time – a UV light box that burns your image onto the screen.

Once it’s fully baked in, you’ll rinse your screen, leaving behind a perfect blank of your desired image.

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Week 3: how to register, print, and strip (your screens)

Armed with your completed screens, you’re ready to print! Your instructor will go over some more fundamentals including registration – the process of lining up your screen and surface to ensure proper printing. Attention to this very important detail will become even more essential if you want to expand your printing practice to include multiple colors and layers. You’ll also find out how to strip screens and start fresh with a new design. The rest of the class time will be spent printing as much as possible for your final projects.

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Week 4: Project progress + demos

By now, you’ll be well on your way to completing your first screen printed masterpiece. While you work away, your instructor will be available to answer any questions and demo any of the tricky parts, so you know just what to do once you’re on your own.

If you are taking First-Time Screen Printing on Fabric, you will get to meet an exclusive piece of equipment you won’t find at any other art center in the city – the D-100 Infrared Curing System. This beautiful heat set machine bakes your designs right into the fabric, ensuring that all your hard work will survive plenty of wearing and washing.

Still need some extra time to get it just right? Don’t forget to take advantage of open studio time. Though you won’t have your teacher on hand to answer questions, you can use that time to further familiarize yourself with the equipment and techniques you’ve learned so far. 

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Week 5: finish projects + party

Now that you’ve got your finished projects in hand, celebrate your progress and the work of your peers with a little post printing party complete with show and tell. Didn’t get enough after just five weeks? Continue exploring with our multilevel classes.

FOLLOW LILLSTREET textiles ON INSTAGRAM.

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ABOUT LILLSTREET’S textile DEPARTMENT:
Explore screen printing, sewing, quilting, and embroidery in our fully-equipped studios. grow your current practice or start from scratch with our wide range of classes from beginner to expert. Open Studio is included with tuition. Lillstreet offers art classes in Ravenswood, Chicago. You’ll find us at the corner of Montrose and Ravenswood. Get to know us>>
Find a TEXTILE ARTS Class
View all First-Time Classes

Stay tuned for more insights into our First-Time classes in Chicago. While you wait, check out all of our class offerings by department here.

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By Lillstreet

Location

4401 N. Ravenswood Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640

OFFICE/GALLERY HOURS:

Mon-Thurs: 10am-7:30pm
Fri-Sat: 10am-6pm
Sun: 10am-5pm

About Lillstreet

Founded in 1975, Lillstreet Art Center is a large community of artists and students working side-by-side in a friendly environment which encourages and inspires artistic growth in the individual. Lillstreet Art Center supports the arts through our education program, artist residencies, gallery exhibitions and retail sales opportunities, studio rentals, and arts-based professional development.

Get in touch

P: 773.769.4226
E: lillstreet@lillstreet.com
W: lillstreet.com