Monday, August 9, 2010

Andy Warhol For A Day

When one thinks of Andy Warhol, one thinks of silk screen printing... and vice versa. He was the man who made silk screen a commercial success and became a notable Pop Art icon. From Mao Zedong to Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor to Grace Kelly, and even Mickey Mouse were immortalised in his pop prints.

Warhol has been my idol and I have always wanted to learn silk screen printing. I finally did it today. I decided to wake up early on Singapore's National Day and realise one dream of mine. Hence, I made my way to Instinc@Soho2Central at 930am for a course conducted by Shih Yun (artist and founder of Instinc).


So, what exactly is silk screen printing? It is a print making method in which a design is imposed on a screen of silk, with blank areas coated with an impermeable substance, and ink is forced through the mesh onto the printing surface. To make a screen, the finely-woven fabric called "mesh" is stretched over a frame of aluminum or wood. Areas of the screen are blocked off with a non-permeable material to form a negative of the image to be printed. Ink is pushed through the open spaces in the mesh to make a positive print on fabric or other materials.

Sounds complicated? Here's a simple explanation on how a simple homemade silk-screen can be made.

1st step : Print out your choice of print/text on white paper. Then lay a piece of transparency over it and cut out a stencil, using the print as a guide. This is how you can make a simple "film".

2nd step : Stick the transparency on a stretched screen using spray on glue. It is now ready to be used. Put on some paint and then spread it over the stencil using a squeegee (rubber blade).

3rd step : Only try to spread the paint over the stencil once. Ensure you have put enough paint to begin with, so as not to end up with empty patches. Once the "spread" is done, you can remove the stencil carefully.

4th step : Always ensure the paint is dry before you proceed to create the next design on the same sheet of paper or fabric.

This is an example of how intricate silk screen printing can be. I printed this using a stencil that Shih Yun made. The stencil print was created from an old picture that Shih Yun found. She converted the image into a film, which was then made into a silk screen. I will most likely choose a picture of my choice and have the silk screen made so I can have my very own print.

Here's my "certificate" of participation. If you are interested to be Andy Warhol for a day, do check out Instinc. Just gather 3 friends to form a minimum class of 4 students, and you are good to begin. Alternatively, if you are alone, email for enquiries or to register. It costs S$80 for pax per session, inclusive of materials and apron!

Official Site :

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like great fun! Thanks for the recommendation! Ivan Teo