A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Soy Wax and Screen Printing, inexpensire resists 1

Probably the most inexpensive item to use as a resist for your screen is newspaper., something that most of us have around the house.

First, cut your newspaper to a size that will cover the whole of your screen area, with a couple of inches extra of overlap, so that you can tape it in place. You can then cut or tear a shape from the paper, depending upon whether you want clean edges or a more rough edge. I did a couple of torn shapes on mine and below is the paper taped to the bottom of the screen. You can see the wax image clearly through the lower void and this is what will be printed. You don't need to tape all the way round for this as the newspaper tends to stick to the screen as you print.

Don't forget to save the pieces that were torn out.

It doesn't matter whether you are methodical in printing this design because only such a small area will be printed. You can be as random as you like or even line the prints up next to each other. I decided to space out the prints fairly randomly on a piece of previously dyed cotton.

I wasn't particularly impressed with the result so decided to overprint by using the cut out pieces to mask off the already printed design. Using the soy wax screen that had simple wavy lines on it, I positioned the larger cut out onto the bottom. You obviously can't tape the paper to the screen but as long as you hold everything in place carefully, the dye should keep the newspaper on the bottom of the screen. If you are concerned that the cut out might move then you can attach it with a temporary spray adhesive. 

Alternatively you can place the cut out onto the fabric, positioning it directly over the printed motif and then carefully lay the screen over the top, taking care not to move the newspaper cut out as you do

Once the cut out is in place, position your screen carefully onto the cloth so the cut out covers the shape that has already been printed. Print with a colour of your choice. 

The lime green was not a good choice as the lines from the screen are not very clear the colour and made the shapes stand out even more. Perhaps if I had used a darker blue it might have integrated the piece better.  Nothing is wasted and this will simply go into the box of pieces that need further attention. It may even end up getting tossed but not before I've given it a chance to redeem itself. Don't be afraid to give up on a piece, sometimes it just doesn't work out and I'm definitely not keen on the shape that I tore in the newspaper.

The newspaper mask can be saved it use again if you remove it carefully from the  screen and hang it up somewhere to dry. I did just that but doubt that I will use this one again.

On Monday I'm going to cover using masking tape resists. I prefer to use the blue painter's tape for this as it is not as sticky as masking tape and is easier to tear. It's fairly easy to obtain from any store that sells decorating items.


  1. I'm really enjoying all of your great ideas for using the soy wax on the screens. Can't wait to see more.

  2. I quite like the results of the shape you tore!
    Sandy in the UK

  3. Newspapers! What a great idea, I never thought of that one.


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