printing (screen printing)

Screen printing is a multicoloured printing technique that was developed in America. A fine polyester or silk gauze (the screen) is stretched across a wooden or metal frame, approximately 5 cm in depth (the screen printing frame). The image can be applied by painting the gauze with a fast-drying substance, or by adhering templates to this. It is also possible to apply the image by photograph to the gauze, using a light-sensitive layer. During printing, a sheet of paper is placed underneath the screen printing frame. A blade is used to pull ink over the gauze and that is pressed into the area on the uncovered parts through minuscule holes in the paper. The excess ink on the gauze is scraped off. When the frame is opened, a smooth membrane of ink can be seen on the paper: the image that has been pushed through. After printing, etchings, lithos and woodcuts always form a mirror image. That is not the case in screen printing . Furthermore, on account of the screen printing method, surfaces other than paper can also be printed (fabric, wood, glass, etc.), in the most beautiful of colours and in quite large print runs, even though that is not always appreciated by art enthusiasts.

The screen comprises a (wooden) frame which is spanned by a fine gauze of natural silk or a synthetic material (for example nylon). When the screen frame with the spanned silk is placed on the paper and printing ink is pressed through it, using a squeegee rubber, the so-called blade, the result will be an evenly printed surface. If part of the gauze is covered, that part will not allow any ink to penetrate; during printing, only the open part will produce the required image. The screen can be covered in various ways, including with paper templates, with strip-coat film and with photographic templates.

Quite simply, the Terragraph technique is a screen printing technique where, during the printing process, sand is added to the printing ink and the print runs. The sand is especially selected and filtered and the printing inks are strengthened with a type of silicone mixture, resulting in a very strong printing ink. By means of specially prepared screens, the printing ink is applied to the background, colour by colour (in the case of Clemens Briels, on beautiful linen cloths). Clemens Briels produced the pieces in a special atelier in Isra, which makes the pieces even more special. The printing run of the Terragraphs equates to just 60, so these have already become true collector's items!

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