CC/20 - Monday Morning Setbacks

Jon Wheeler

It's one thing to reflect on setbacks when you're not currently dealing with one, but another thing to talk about them whilst they're happening. Here's a recount of a shitty start to a Monday morning.

I've begun work on the next collection and this time, I decided to experiment with a new method of coating screens. I spent a week prepping screens, applying three separate layers of emulsion, allowing a couple of days between each coat to fully dry. This method creates a deeper stencil, allowing for thicker ink deposits on a shirt meaning white ink will print more boldly on dark fabrics.

Long story short, I didn't expose the screens for long enough under the sun to set the emulsion. When I sprayed the screens out, the undercooked emulsion started washing off, rendering the screen useless. So there you have it, a week's worth of work and patience washed down the drain. Literally.

Now I'm on my way to work writing this, and I won't be able to do anything about it until this evening. I knew I needed to burn the screens longer before I exposed them, but now I know I need to leave them even longer. It's a frustrating way to learn, but that's how it really sticks with you. There's a couple of other reasons that may be at play too, and I'm just going to have to start over.

One thing I did notice however is that I honestly didn't feel as frustrated as I thought I would. As I realised it was happening, I did get that sinking feeling, but the voice in my head just took over and said that it's okay, just try it again. I've already experienced a lot of frustration with screen printing so far, so I think coming to accept setbacks as a part of the process is beginning to take a hold in my brain. It's fucking annoying it happened but there's literally nothing I can do but take notes and start over.

Anyways, just had to get that off my chest. Perhaps your week hasn't been off to the greatest start either. It's okay, neither. Just acknowledge it, find out if there's something you can do to improve your situation, and move on. There's a lesson in literally everything.


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