Experimental Studio in Applied Art: Screen Printing

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Course Information
Terms offered: 
Fall, Spring
Language of instruction: 
Contact Hours: 

Basic drawing course or equivalent experience, openness to learning and creativity, and an interest in studio art.

Additional student cost: 

€55 for materials for printing, like screens, pastes, colors and effect-pigments (for example: blow up-, shining in the dark-, reflection- and metallic-pigments). Students must also bring the materials they wish to use to print on (e.g. cloths, garments, other textile products).


This studio course is intended for all students who are interested in new experiences in developing their own method of design and forming of colors as well as in manual skills and creative work in the medium of screen printing. The goal is to become sensitive to the view of the interaction of form and color. Using a hands-on approach, the students will learn the technology and application possibilities of screen printing, as well as the use of line and color as a means of creating a work of art. This will be manifested in the creation of diverse workpieces, for example the process from sketching a design, putting the design on a screen, working with colors and screen through various stages to application to fabrics. The course will take place in the Seriagraphy and Textile Studio at the Vienna Institute for Art and Technology, and class-size is limited to 5 participants.

Attendance policy: 

Attendance is mandatory to first class, then students must log 40 hours of supervised studio time.

Learning outcomes: 

By the end of the course, students should be able to...

1. Become familiar to the interaction of form and color, the creative possibilities therein, and how this can be applied to the silk-screening process.
2. Be exposed to the intricacies of the silk-screening process in the context of studio work, the multiple steps involved, and experience the successful completion of their own art projects.
3. Develop a greater technical proficiency in the art of silk-screening.

Method of presentation: 

Each student will be continually tutored individually in this supervised studio environment from the initial idea and sketching process to the finished product; thus the course can be tailored to each person’s current abilities and skills. During this process ongoing discussions of various possibilities of design take place. The most important aspect is the creative experience of experimenting with forms and colors.

Required work and form of assessment: 

As the Vienna Institute for Art and Technology studio is only available to IES students on Friday afternoons, students must be willing to report to class every Friday; the class usually starts at 1pm, but is open ended as far as length is concerned; students should plan to sign in and log hours in (at least 40 across the semester). Plan to be inspired, but know that silk-screening can be tiring work (mostly standing, washing and drying screens, mixing and applying colors, etc.). Plan also to spend time developing and refining sketches on your own, outside of studio time.
Grading Components:
1. Overall performance in semester coursework - 30%
2. Attendance, participation, personal responsibility and initiative - 30%
3. Creativity and artistic effort - 20%
4. Artist’s Journal - 20%
The Artist’s Journal shall be a compilation of the student’s sketches and drawings, as well as diagrams, notes and writings. Entries should be dated, and done regularly, as the journal should be a record of the student’s ideas, thoughts, observations, etc., as they develop over the semester. On the last page please write: dedicated to the Vienna Institute for Art and Technology and IES Vienna, sign and date it. The journal’s importance should not be underestimated, and the journal should also include photos or examples of the student’s practical work during the course of the semester. The journal will be submitted to the instructor during the last class along with the student presentation of projects.

Week Class Activities Assignment
  • Overview of facility, equipment, and technology used for the silkscreen process. Much time will be devoted to visual and tactile observations of various examples and materials – exploring and brainstorming about the possibilities including, but not limited to: fine screens for delicate designs, coarse screens to use with a plethora of media, like “Schaumdruck”, neons, glow-in-the-dark, gold, silver, metallic colors, sparkles, etc. 
  •  The photosensitive processes of making screens and some techniques for silk-screening.
  • Start working on sketching ideas: this outside-of-class work is integral to in-class development over the semester! 
  • Begin Artist’s Journal (see description, above)
  • Note: after working some in the medium, the student will develop a better feel for which of the sketches are versatile enough for screening, and will be advised by the instructor how to develop these sketches and ideas.
  • Begin to experiment with screen-printing
  • Learn how to create colors by mixing a binder-base and small amounts of concentrated colors, as well as the importance of this process in achieving results in screen-printing. Initial work will begin with magenta, yellow, cyan, and black pigments, and each student will be given a screen and tape with which to make designs. 
  • Practice learning to print, and get a better idea of what kinds of designs will work well with the process.
  • learn how to wash the screen, dry by hand, then put in drying cabinet every time they switch colors or if colors starts to dry, and the importance of washing often when using dark pigments
  • Learn how to properly place fabric on printing tables, ironing so it will stick and be flat and even for easier printing
  • Learn how overlapping different colors functions
  • Experimentation with different methods of applying pigments and binder with and without different tools and equipment.
  • Developing sketches and ideas, incorporating instructor’s in-class feedback and suggestions.
  • Continue with Artist’s Journal.
  • Supervised making of screens from student’s sketches/ideas. Instructor will individually guide each student through the various stages, producing numerous test prints.
  • Same as week 2, above.
  • Continue working and developing designs, experimenting with pigments and techniques
  • Learning from failures as well as successes and incorporating this into practical work produced and projects.
  • Same as week 2, above.
  • Class presentation of projects
  • Submit Artist's Journal

Schedule: The workshop begins on the first Friday of the regular term, at which time the student’s present abilities will be assessed and the schedule for all subsequent sessions will be set. Therefore a detailed schedule and syllabus will be concretized at the first class meeting. It is also advantageous for the student to bring along any ideas in the form of (non-digital) sketches, drawings, or copies to the first class (no photos!). Additionally, in the course of the semester, participants are required to put in time (log-in hours on a studio sheet with signature and date) in a supervised setting at the Institute for Art and Technology, in order to present a finished piece to Mag. Amon at the end of term. Students registered for this course will receive a letter grade reflecting their performance in completion of all the above requirements. All course-related activity takes place at the Vienna Institute for Art and Technology, ground floor, Salzgries 14, 1st district.

Required readings: