Layers and inky considerations

I've started printing the actual images for the snail book project.  For those of you who are not familiar with my screen printing process, it goes a little something like this... I print a background sheet, related images generally have a related background image.  In this case the related background sheet is a solid color with the wallpaper pattern printed over it.  The bulk of the images for the book will be printed separately and then collaged onto the background sheets.

With that in mind, here's the first color on one of the snail-lady images.

hmmm....the color on this photo is terrible but you get the general idea. See all the dotty messy stuff around the main image?  That my friends is the sign of a poorly exposed screen. The emulsion had not fully hardened or been exposed to enough UV light before I washed out the screen. If I weren't such a lazy printer I would have re-exposed the screen or used a screen filler to plug up the holes.  Since the image with be cut out of the paper it doesn't really matter for my purposes.

After the first layer is printed, I use screen filler to paint in the areas I want to remain the initial color.  With ink on the screen it looks something like this:

The purple-y parts are screen filler.  The light part is where ink can still get through the screen.  The next layer ends up looking like this:

Here you can see the dark and light ink colors on the image.  The sheets of paper are held in place by using registration pins.  That way each piece of paper ends up in the same spot. The screen is on a hinge so it can be lifted up after each pass without disturbing the registration.  I am probably explaining all of this poorly.  Maybe I'll tackle this topic in a later post.

Usually when I print I mix the next ink color directly from the one I used previously.  Often I just mix them in the same container so the process of making the new color ruins the one before it.  I suppose it's just another way of making sure I can't recreate a print edition. Because this is a book project, I want to make sure I have ink available in case I need to go back in a reprint any one image or section.  So far this is resulting in a large number of small containers with cryptic labels filling up the shelves in the print shop.  I'm finding it rather soothing.