Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Bleach Screenprinting

This is a screenprint using bleach suspended in a clear matrix instead of ink on found black paper. Though it's somewhat toxic (wear a gas mask and work in a ventilated area) bleach prints are so much fun to make. Even though you know damn well what the screenprint will look like, there's a magic to pulling the print and watching the image develop from black to the bleached out golds and browns, and sometimes even blues (for some reason, black velvet often bleaches out to blue). This print is actually about a year old, but I'm going to be trying some new bleach prints this August.



Jessica said...

Intriguing! What proportions of bleach to clear base do you use? Or should I just play with it myself?

horsefleshproductions said...

Hey Jessica, I use either sodium alginate or bleach extender. Both can be purchased from dye retailers like Dharma Dye. I prefer sodium alginate of the two, but bleach extender comes pre mixed.

Regular transparent base or extender base will break down in the bleach almost immediately.

With either sodium alginate or bleach extender the ratio of matrix to bleach is sort of up to you. It's impossible for me to say given that bleach also varies in intensity and printers have different preferrences in ink viscosity. But, as long as you add bleach slowly to the matrix you can gauge yourself pretty easily.

Bleach will also break down the emulsion, so print quickly and efficiently.

Nic said...

Wow this is beautiful! And clever.

horsefleshproductions said...

Thanks, Nic! And congrats on the SLUG article!