All about silkscreens

Unveiling the Artistry Behind Silkscreen Printing

Silkscreening is a complex and highly-skilled method of reproduction. An artform in its own right, each colour is printed separately meaning the process to complete the edition can take months. As it is done by hand, there can be slight variations in each one.

Also known as silk-screening or serigraphy, silkscreen printing involves using a tightly-stretched mesh or screen (hence the name!). The first step is to mount the silkscreens over your chosen canvas, with a separate screen for each colour. Once the screens or stencils are in place, artists roll, press, sponge or squeegee their ink or paint over the silkscreens to leave a design.

Other materials – including polyester mesh, nylon threads and even stainless steel – can be used in the process. Different types of mesh size will determine the outcome and look of the finished piece.

Tracing the Roots

Silkscreens are believed to have originated in China as far back as 1000 years ago. The technique was introduced to Western Europe by Asia in the late 18th century, but was not widely used until silk mesh became easier to get hold of.  

In the 20th century, Pop Art pioneers like Andy Warhol and James Francis Gill brought silkscreens to the forefront of contemporary art. Before this time, screenprinting techniques had been considered trade secrets and were kept confidential. Many regarded the art form with scepticism, as the reliance on a machine questioned the typical view of art creation as direct contact between the artist and medium. 

Today, it is an important technique that is used by artists all over the world. 

From the blog

AVAILABLE NOW: After Warhol by Paul Stephenson

25/02/2019

We are thrilled to present the debut collection from the contemporary artist, who has been lauded by the BBC and VICE Magazine for his groundbreaking collection of artworks - created using Andy Warhol's original acetates.

Bob Dylan | The Beaten Path | 2019

17/05/2019

Illustrating his vision of America whilst touring the United States, this series of 12 graphics illustrates Dylan's continuous evolution as an artist and features some of his most pivotal images yet.

Tribeca Rider: the iconic Richard Hambleton silkscreen

12/11/2021

Taken from the groundbreaking street artist's Horse and Rider series, this haunting rodeo scene captures the frenetic energy of the original painting, which remained in his private collection for several years.

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