On Saturday, April 13, The Plant — a shared creative space located on Gaines Street — played host to the Florida State Print Club as they led a workshop on screen printing. The Print Club is one of many hyper-focused student-run clubs on campus that you wouldn’t know existed unless you were specifically looking for them. Nonetheless, members of the Print Club are committed to their mission to “foster a diverse community brought together by a mutual love for print.”
The Print Club is actually really active in the Tallahassee creative community and can be found showcasing their work at First Fridays in Railroad Square Art Park and leading free workshops. The club is very important to Kacee Reguera, Print Club’s president and founder.
“Print Club has given us so many opportunities to bring the community together around print and to share what we love with those that may not ever get to do printmaking,” said Reguera. “That is everything I hoped for when I started our club.”
The workshop was held at The Plant on Saturday and focused on the art of screen printing. Screen printing, for those who are unfamiliar with the practice, is achieved when ink is dragged across a screen using a rubber squeegee, transferring a design onto a piece of paper, a shirt or really anything that the ink can adhere to.
Reguera explained to attendees that a stencil is placed on its desired spot on the screen and is then treated with a light sensitive emulsion and exposed to light, ideally in a dark room. Any part of the screen that the light touches (everything but the design) hardens and becomes impervious to ink. The design then becomes the only part of the screen where ink can seep through
The workshop was free and open to FSU students and community members alike. Attendees only needed to provide the t-shirts that they wanted to print on. Print Club members facilitated a practice print in which the design was transferred onto a piece of paper. This gave individuals the chance to get a feel for the squeegee in their hands and learn how much pressure it takes to push ink through the screen without the stress of ruining their t-shirts.
As participants cycled through, Reguera explained that quality screen printing set-ups ranged anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to a couple thousand. But investing in high quality materials pays off as emulsion on the screens can be removed, allowing the screen to be used for hundreds of prints.
Next came the t-shirts which proved a bit trickier of a medium as they did not lie as flat as the paper did. Print Club members did their best to stretch the fabric tight as participants dragged the squeegee across multiple times, allowing for a large amount of ink to adhere to the fabric. T-shirts were held up as proud creators admired their work, laying them out across the tables to allow them to dry. The t-shirts turned out great and sported a design that advertised The Plant and a creation method that called attention to the wonderful work of the Print Club.
If you’re interested in joining the Print Club or attending a workshop you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Examples of their work can be found on both their Facebook and Instagram pages: @printclubfsu.