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Hisotry Behind The Serigraph Print

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People see a product that is made by means of a serigraph print multiple times per day, but few know anything about the process. This wide-ranged art form is incredibly versatile that the different industries that use it are all around us, and yet entirely indistinguishable from each other.

Balloons, decals, printed electronics, signs and displays, watches, and especially clothing can all be seen using this incredible art form to achieve the graphic design or logo look. Literally tens of thousands of items can be found using this technique, so knowing how they are made is important to the more artfully inclined.

A serigraph print, also known as a silkscreen or serigraph painting, consists of a thin layer of woven mesh laid down over a stencil. This stencil can be anything the artist wants, as it underlays and simply forms a pattern or design with the open areas of mesh that remain. From here, a piece of paper, t-shirt or anything really, can be laid down underneath the copy box and aligned with the stencil above. Ink, paint, or another copy capable material can be pushed on top of the woven mesh using a squeegee made for this purpose to force the ink or paint through the woven mesh and onto the product underneath.

Some old techniques that artists have discovered over the years include overlays, which means performing the process twice with two different stencils and colors that coincide, so that a more advanced image will be the end result. Another option is to use multiple colors. For example, it is possible to have a striped design as the end result.

Where did the serigraph print come from? The technique was coined in China, sometime during the Song Dynasty. It first was used as a screen of silk, not woven mesh, to achieve the affect. The word itself comes from “seri” which is Latin for silk and “graphein” which is Greek for write or draw. The method was introduced to Western society in the 18th century, but was not made widely popular due to a lack of silk available until after the early 1910’s. Andy Warhol later made popular headway in the United States for the use of this medium.

Nowadays, commercial instances of the art form use sensitizers which are much safer than the original chromates used when it first became popular. This incredibly versatile and easy form of reproduction artwork has become so popular that it holds a place in DIY culture with the production of home-made movie posters and t-shirts.

One big reason that it has become so popular is simply the ease of use. Someone who is new to the idea of creating art can experiment for different results. Due to the wide versatility available using this method, a serigraph print could be used to paint or ink just about anything.

The necessary materials are inexpensive, and for the beginner who is not sure how their first few tries will turn out, this is imperative. It is very simple to test the stencil on a disposable piece of paper until it seems just right, and then perform the same technique on fabric once it is perfected. The total can be incredibly inexpensive compared to other art forms and very little coordination or artistic inclination is really needed for great results.

In short, in question of versatility, cost efficiency, and ease of use, a serigraph print is a very attractive form of art for both new artists and art enthusiasts alike.


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Serigraph Painting Is Also Known As Printing On Screens

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