Archive for December, 2008

Moon at Perigee

Fuul moon at perigee

Nine Ladies Dancing

Every year for the last 25 or so, I silkscreen a holiday card. It is a process that involves a mixture of both high and low tech procedures. This year’s process is documented below. I am on the 9th year of the Twelve Days of Christmas series of cards. Here is how it’s done…

Ebay shoes

Buy a pair of used ballet shoes on Ebay. This is not the first time that I have turned to Ebay for materials for an art project. I thought that used shoes would be visually interesting.

Print setup

The setup for photographing the shoes – take about 150 pictures and hope one looks good.

First Stage

This image was selected for the card from the photo session. I have added a 9 to the inside of the shoe to tie into the theme (a little artistic license, they are actually size 5 1/2).

Final edits

Change the photo to grayacale mode and add some unnatural highlights. The final image that will be used is in the format of a single-color bitmap. During conversion from grayscale JPG to bitmap, pixels that are darker than the median value become black and the remainder are changed to white. The bmp image sometimes lacks detail in critical areas. The image is adjusted via dodging and burning.

Final BMP

This is the final monochrome bitmapped image. It is printed onto an overhead transparency sheet.

Burning screen

The image is “burned” onto a light sensitive coating that has been applied to a silk screen. It takes 10 minutes under a 250 watt bulb. After burning, the screen is rinsed under water. The photo emulsion turns into an insoluble polymer when exposed to light. The coating rinses out of areas shaded under the black parts of the image.

Finished screens

The finished screens – burned and rinsed out. I usually make an extra in the event that one does not turn out well.


Setting up to print. This is where it becomes a very low-tech process. The screen is blocked out with tape and attached to plywood using a set of cabinet hinges. Blank card stock is registered (held in place) with small metal corner braces.


Printing goes very quickly. Ink is applied to the card by running a squeegee over the stencil.

Cards Drying

The finished cards drying.

World AIDS Day

Quilt 2008 1
Quilt 2008 2
Quilt 2008 3
Quilt 2008 4

Images from the AIDS Memorial Quilt display in Albany, NY 2008.