Adventures with a screen print

It occurred to me recently that when I finally finish the Dreams of Amarna panels I will probably want to exhibit them somewhere – displaying them at home would require a complete redesign, including moving walls! – and that, however large or intricate they may be, two panels do not an exhibition make.

Nefertiti rendered in "newsprint"

Nefertiti rendered in “newsprint”

At the same time, however, I’d had an idea for a design for which I could apply the combined silk and gold stitches of the Tudor Rose, and furthermore, that might allow me scope, later, to play with some of the mixed media techniques that are available…

So I went rummaging among the assorted copyright-free and Creative Commons images on the web (my goodness, there are thousands!) and found a photo of the famous painted head of Nefertiti which is in the Berlin Museum. Then with some cropping and processing, from a photo of the bust in its case it became a plain headshot with no background, rendered in the style of an old-fashioned newsprint picture. An email conversation and a payment later, that image had been turned into a custom-made Thermofax screen…

At which point, all the simplicity fell over. I’ve actually done four screen prints on the faience-coloured linen, and about three on sandy coloured linen, and none of them was good enough for my purposes. I’m not sure whether the screen is too detailed for the fabric or whether it is simply my technique that is faulty.

So I guess I just need to try harder!


  1. Lady Fi says:

    That newspaper print is lovely!

  2. Dima says:

    The image would look amazing embroidered :O

  3. Keep going! I hope you can get it to work for you! xx

  4. Carolyn says:

    With printing you just have to keep experimenting until you get the look you want. It could be any of the variables, screen, ink, pressure, image. And sometimes you come up with something you didn’t expect and that can be better than your original idea.

  5. Lin says:

    Carolyn is right – there are so many variables. I am wondering how big your screen is as the picture does look very detailed. Anyway, I hope it works out for you, good luck. xx

  6. Karen says:

    it may not be working yet but what a fantastic idea!

  7. Alex Hall says:

    The newsprint look really works well to texture the image and I’m curious to see the ‘failed’ attempts!

  8. jenclair says:

    I like the newsprint, but exploring will continue, I’m sure.