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Perfect prints: Team OLP and friends go screen printing

So a bunch of us decided to do a screen printing workshop with Toby (who is super cool) at Fittees in Obs. It’s something Prawn and I have always been interested in trying. We’ve taken books on the subject out of the library and looked at stuff on the interweb, but never got round to actually doing it. Anyway all I can say is, if you ever get the opportunity to learn about screen printing, you should definitely do it. Toby’s workshop is very good. He guides you through the whole process explaining every element most thoroughly and, you get good coffee and yummy snacks!

On the Friday before the workshop, we sent our chosen designs to Toby who created positives by printing the designs out on acetate. On Saturday, screens were primed with a chemical that becomes impermeable to ink when exposed to light, our designs were placed on the screens, and the screens where then exposed to bright light. The area of the screen covered by the positive image, stayed permeable and thus our designs were transferred onto the screens. We then chose our ink colours and got busy printing onto t-shirts, calico and paper with some really wicked results.

Hit the jump to see more photos of the workshop, and our finished prints.


Inks can be mixed to any hue your heart desires.


Fabric or paper is placed on a board that slants towards you, the screen goes on top of that, and you firmly and quickly squeegee the inky over the design. It’s easy once you get the hang of it. This pic shows me in action printing my jester design.


And then, you’re done! Seriously it’s that quick and easy. Now the prints just need to dry and be set with heat.

Here are our printing efforts:


Tyra’s Fork-tailed Drongo on a t-shirt.


Muppet’s Percheron on calico.


My jesters on a cool baseball tee bought at Fittees.


Prawn’s little invader buddy looks like he was born to be on this tee.

If you’re interested in doing a workshop with Toby, you can email him for information on info[at]

5 replies on “Perfect prints: Team OLP and friends go screen printing”

great post.

i’ve dabbled in this before, but i fear my tutor wasn’t as clued up as yours… serves me right trying to be self taught ;-)

Hey easy, the course costs R380 per person (R700 for two). We printed using one colour and were allowed to make 15 prints in total.

Toby mentioned that if we didn’t have the funds to buy our own screens, we could easily take a design to him and he’ll transfer it onto the screen for us. I assume there would be a small charge involved.

My design was probably the most basic out of the lot, but I’d like to get more involved in this kind of thing, especially with multiple colours.

Oh, have you seen Aesthetic Apparatus? They are awesome.

i think Toby meant if we didn’t have equipment etc to prep our screens he’d do it for us (probably for a small fee), but I think we would still have to buy our own screens which costs about R250 for one big enough to print t-shirts.

i’m definitely going to drop Toby an email, i’ve got a couple very interested people.

i used to do a lot of woodcut printing (graphic prints) and multiple colours were a pain, yet so satisfying when done right. especially after laying done more than three colours… think i managed seven once, but it literally cracked due of the amount of ink.

btw the clip was classic! wasn’t sure what i was listening at first.
and you right, awesome result.