Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Denny"s Screens

 I first saw a "Denny Screen" while taking a weeklong workshop along with Denny Webster at John C Campbell in NC. The workshop was Deconstructive Screenprinting where we used screens all day long so it was nice to have a lot on hand. Denny came up with the fabulous idea of converting a window screen into a silk screen. We had our Fiber Junkies meeting on Thurs at Denny's house where she showed us how to make these "wonderful, lightweight, easy to store and inexpensive to make" screens.

First thing is to start with the adjustable window screens you buy at a home improvement store. The screens slide to open wider so you get 2 screens to work with when taken apart.
The clip (upper right picture) comes off easily to separate the screens.
Next you remove the white plastic corner brace from a single screen. This makes it easy to remove the black vinyl cording which holds the screen in place.
 This corner brace comes right off...the screen is still intact.

Remove the vinyl cording which holds the screen in place. It comes out easily and will be used in the next step. Once it is removed you can remove the screen. Don't throw out the screen. If you make art quilts, it's a nice "fabric" to use and gives the feel of a transparent fabric.

 Next you are going to replace the screen with a piece of sheer fabric. What kind of sheer fabric to use?  ...absolutely anything that is sheer. Denny goes to the thrift store for sheer curtains; fabric stores often have a home decor section that sells sheers. It can be any fiber but usually they are a polyester and that seems to work well. Cut the sheer around 1" larger all around than outside of frame. This gives you wiggle room

Using a spine tool (around $3 at home improvement store), lay the vinyl back in the groove to hold fabric in place and run the tool over the vinyl cord. It will sink into the groove on the screen to hold the fabric in place.
 It's best to do this working the sides across from each other (sides 1 & 3) and then doing other opposite sides (2 & 4). Pull the fabric gently but firmly so it's nice and tight with no wrinkles. When finished, you'll have some extra sheer fabric hanging off the edge.
 Use a scissor to cut away excess; cut leaving @ 3/4" of fabric or the width of the screen frame. You can see how the edge of the fabric meets the edge of the screen.

In this next step, you get to use a wild and crazy duct tape to finish the edges. We all brought different ones so our screens wouldn't get mixed up. Tape all 4 edges, bringing the tape to the edge (or beyond) of the screen's outer edge. The tape should cover the raw edge of the sheer, the vinyl cording and a small section of sheer fabric that's the screening area. You do this on both sides of the screen; the tape should line up with each other on the sheer part (you can see through the sheer to see if they line up

You finish by adding a "well" which is an extra piece of tape at the top. You do this on one end only and usually where you begin your pull for screening an image. However, wherever you choose to put it, tape the underneath side as well in the same place, lining up the edges. The well holds the paint you want to pull over the screen. 
    Thanks to Denny for this wonderful and innovative idea. More to come on using these wonderful screens.

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