Photo Essay

Julio Alvarez is our resident artisan on serigraphy, having spent more than ten years in the workshop perfecting his craft, while attending university to finish his economics degree and pursuing his masters. He is an expert colorist, and lab technician, able to intuitively mix the right set of colors for a precise match. In Part Two of this serigraphy edition, you’ll see how a prepared silkscreen flatbed with an impregnated image allows paint to bleed through onto our desired substrate.

The application process of paper serigraphy, or silkscreen, happens exactly how prints end up on textiles such as shirts, and dates back before the 1900s. A silk mesh (“malla” in Spanish) is stapled taut in a wooden frame (“bastidor“), and once you apply a light-sensitive emulsion film and put your preferred printed graphic under a photochemical process (explained in Part 1) you can use the same prepared silkscreen frame indefinitely, as long as you clean it with paint thinner alcohol.

A prepared silkscreen frame will have an negative image rendered over an emulsion coating. Meaning, where the image is intended to appear on the substrate, there will be nothing but porous fabric so that paint goes through. In Taller Leñateros, we use a meticulous stencil technique and carefully reapply a block (“bloqueador”) to spaces that may have been missed. We use a rotating flat bed. Daniel also appears below, please click on thumbnails to enlarge.

Summary on Flickr. Click on images to enlarge.

Spanish Words of the Day: | “serigrafia” silk screen” | “tipografia” typography | “forma offset” offset printing” | “libro de mecatines” hand-sewn book binding | “remojar, estar en remojo,” soak | “escolpo, formón” wood chisel | “cincel” metal or stone chisel | “aspa del rotor” rotor blade | “artilugio” gadget | “aparato, mecanismo” device

Our brightest blazes are often kindled by unexpected sparks.” – Samuel Johnson. Be open. Be aware. Be ready. No truer words were ever uttered.

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