Scheduled 2019 dates:
Sat 4 May – click to book
11:00am – 5:00pm
Suitable for ages 14+
Class size 8 max
Make a lightweight thermofax screen from your own artwork using this super easy screen printing method. Print onto fabric, paper, a t-shirt or a tote bag and experiment with flock and foil finishes using a heat press. Then take the screen home for more printing!
‘Thermofax’ screens can be made with a heat system devised by Japanese company Riso. The machines use either a flash of bright light or a digital thermal head to make the stencil on a heat-sensitive film. Once you have the stencil, the method of printing is very similar to regular screen printing but with lighter frames and squeegees. It’s a great for artwork with line art and solid colour, only takes a few minutes to make up a screen, and offers an instant solution for screen printing smaller work up to A4 in size.
The screens last well, are very easy to store, and can be reused again and again. Use your screen to print party invites, t-shirts, birthday cards, bags, fabric, stationery and wrapping paper etc.
In this workshop led by Xtina Lamb, you’ll expose the heat sensitive screen mesh with your own artwork, stretch it on a plastic frame, then print onto textiles using a squeegee and one ink colour at a time. You’ll see some of Xtina’s extensive Riso machine collection, and use a Riso Screenfax or MiScreen to expose your screen.
- Create and keep a thermofax screen
- Use your own artwork or source an image from the studio’s design library
- Print onto paper, card or textiles
- Compare Riso Screenfax and MiScreen machines
- Add foil and flock effects to your prints with a heat press
- Troubleshooting tips
- Look at examples of thermofax screen printed work
It’s a small group so you’ll have individual attention, and all the materials are included in the price. No printing experience is necessary.
- Pay online £70 – click a date to book
Sat 4 May – click to book
- Pay by phone 01634 753299
- Pay by cash or cards in person at INTRA
If you have any questions about the course or payment, please call or send us an email.
After booking you will be sent details of the types of artwork that work best with this system. You can bring along artwork to use or create or copy something on the day. The general rule is to use clear black and white lineart with good contrast, and avoid grey tones and shading. You can bring along images on a memory stick, or print outs at roughly A6 (postcard) size. If you don’t have your own design to work with, you can pick something from the studio’s design library with hundreds of illustrated and vintage books.
Please give us as much notice as possible if you are not able to come to a course that you have booked. If you cancel with seven or more days notice, we will reschedule or refund your booking. For cancellations less than seven days before the workshop date – we may be able to offer you a discount on a future booking, but please note that we have to cover space, preparation and tutor costs and if you cancel at the last minute we still have to pay for these.
What is the difference between Thermofax machines, Print Gocco, XpresScreen, Riso ScreenFax, GoccoPro, and MiScreen?
‘Thermofax’ is a generic term for screen printing stencils created with a heat process, using a mesh made by the Japanese company Riso. The material consists of two layers – a polyester mesh much like regular screen printing fabric, and a heat sensitive film coating. It is a popular method for printing on textiles, but can also be used to good effect on paper.
German-made Panenka thermofax machines were used to make screens using line art or textured areas rather than solid blocks of open stencil, but since the discontinuation of Riso’s blue mesh they have fallen out of use for making screens as they don’t work with the new white mesh. If you have a Panenka, you should find it easy to sell it to a tattooist though as they make excellent spirit stencils. 3M thermofax machine owners have reported mixed results with the white mesh.
Screens made with a Riso Screenfax (sold as XpresScreen in the US), GoccoPro or MiScreen can cope very well with line artwork and large printable blocks in stencil designs. The Riso Screenfax is an older style machine that requires a drawn or printed inkjet or photocopied image to be flashed with bright xenon bulbs to create the stencil. GoccoPro and MiScreen are digital machines that connect to a computer, so the artwork is sent to a thermal head and as the mesh passes through the machine the stencil is opened.
It is also possible to make thermofax screens with another Riso machine, the Print Gocco. This is a small scale system for making short runs of about 200 or 300 postcard sized prints inside a machine that easily fits on a kitchen table. Print Gocco was hugely popular for home use in the 80s in Japan, where there is a tradition of hand making New Year’s cards. Sadly however Print Gocco machines use flash bulbs that have to be discarded after use, and the consumable supplies are no longer being made.