Screenprinting Esther Hamra
It’s a fairly common-known fact that printing is one of the oldest forms of art. Woodblock printing was the first to develop as early as 960 A.D. during the era of the Song Dynasty. Since, printing has evolved into many forms, most memorably by way of the invention of the printing press around 1440. Screen-printing, also known as silkscreen, or serigraphy was introduced to the Western Europe from Asia late in the 18th century. In 1907 Samuel Simon patented screen-printing in England. At first, the process was used to print interesting colors and patterns on wallpaper and fabrics and then by advertisers.
The process of screen-printing is still very relevant today, although artists have pushed the boundaries of the craft to keep it growing and interesting. Visual-arts-cork.com tells us that the screen is first created by stretching a fabric (that use to be silk) over a frame of wood or aluminum. The image is first drawn (either manually or with computer software) on a piece of paper or plastic, or captured in a photograph. Then it is cut out to form a stencil. The stencil is attached to the screen, then areas of the screen mesh are blocked out using a waterproof masking medium—these areas become the negative spaces of the final image.
Here’s a detailed screen printing demo:
This body of work serves as evidence that traditional printing is far from obsolete, but it will continue to be used and expanded by artists looking for new ways to express themselves: in with the new, and out and with the old. There are several notable screen printers around today, pushing the boundaries of the art, and mixing things up a bit. Screen printing artist, Chuck Sperry, is one of them. With perfect precision, Sperry utilizes many color layers, translucent inks, and metallic inks mixed from raw powder, in his complex designs.
20 x 30.75
Edition of 30
7 colors on oak panel
Signed and Numbered
On his website, it is stated that for over 20 years, Chuck Sperry has explored his unique signature style of silkscreen technique that blends splendid artistry with impeccable craftsmanship.
I spoke with another rock print artist, AJ Masthay. I assumed his work was also screen print, but in talking to him, I learned that he only uses letterpress. He gave this statement, "Yeah I'm old school lol. I've always treated variants as experiments, some work out beautifully, others fail miserably, but it's the failures you tend to learn from the most. If we don't try to push the boundaries of our mediums things will always remain the same."