Friday, October 28, 2011

Shooting Screens with Sunlight

I'm back in the studio big time these days. With Halifax Crafters winter market and a solo show at The Black Duck in Lunenburg, both coming up in December I have a lot to get done. Lucky me, I have four brand new big screens to do it with!

I might be gaining access to a light table to shoot my screens with soon which is a huge relief. Right now the sun is my primary exposure unit and it can be cloudy for days here in Lunenburg County leaving my studio work at a stand still. However, when there is a spot of sunshine it is incredibly satisfying to shoot a screen in the sun.

This is my set up: I use a pane of glass to hold the designs tight to the screen and stuff a piece of foam covered in black fabric behind the screen to stop any light reflecting. I carry the screen out in a garbage bag and when the sun looks right I pull it off and start exposing. My exposure time is around 30 to 40 seconds, depending on the strength of the sun.

After 40 seconds I then frantically run and hide in the shade behind my favorite forsythia bush, remove the design (I've learned how crucial it is to fold over my tape ends for quick removal) and rinse the screen out with my garden hose.

However, once the snow flies I lose my garden hose and this system gets a lot more complicated. Bring on the exposure table!