Last month I was sent to Young Harris College to teach a screen printing workshop. Young Harris is located in the southern portion of the Appalachian Mountains and I don’t recommend making that drive late at night like I did. As a custom, I don't usually make long night drives. For a good twenty minutes, I questioned whether I would make it out of the mountains alive. But I made it and had a pleasant stay at Lake Chatuge Lodge courtesy of Young Harris.
I met up with Ted Whisenhunt, professor and chair of the art department, and we brainstormed on ways to provide the best possible experience to his students. We both knew we had some hurdles ahead of us but we were both excited to get their screen printing course up and running. Before my arrival at the workshop, Ted had consulted with Ed Jewell, co-owner of Danger Press, on the best screen printing gear that would be most fitting for a college-level screen printing course and decided to purchase a four-color manual press.
Our first goal of the day was to put the press to use with a one-color print demonstration. We were gonna be printing one a kind Young Harris Art & Design t-shirts. We got some ink on our screens and we went straight to work. It was important for me to have the students experience for the first time how it felt to pull a print. We were limited on color choices so we were stuck printing pure white plastisol on dark color garments. If you’ve ever printed pure white plastisol before, you’d know that this is less than ideal but we made it work and managed to pull some solid prints. The highlight of this workshop was printing through a “Young Harris All-Stars” screen that had been salvaged by Ted and that must of been 30 plus years old. We used water-based ink so we didn’t struggle as much with getting successful prints and the students loved it.
We wrapped up the day by covering some fundamentals of printing on paper and how it differentiates from printing on garments. For their first project, they will be looking towards the work of Andy Warhol for inspiration and will be screen printing self portraits based on Warhols iconic style. I look forward to seeing the work that students create and from my time with them, I know they fell in love with the immediacy of the process. Check out the images below for a recap of my time with the class. A special thanks to Ted Whisenhunt for having me and I commend him for seeing the value of screen printing as a form of printmaking.
José takes pride in printing your posters and fine art prints. If he’s not in the shop you can find José at a photo session, drawing and designing at home, or spending time with his loved ones.