13 April 2010

squeegee vs. sponge brush

Next up on things to talk about with thermofax printing is what to print with: a squeegee or a sponge brush.

I think its pretty obvious from this picture which one I prefer (that squeegee is far too clean):

I do use squeegees when I print with these kinds of screens. Its my go to tool for deconstructed screen printing and other kinds of printing. But my preference for thermofax screens is a sponge brush.

After several times of printing with a sponge brush and having almost as much paint on my hands as on the screen, I did a little modification on the brush. You can see the difference here:

There is a cardboard insert in these brushes that give it its stability. But it stops short where the brush forms the chisel end. This makes the end of the brush nice and bendy. While that works well for a lot of other things, I wanted a little more pressure then it offered. (I used to just push on it with my finger as I printed to get that pressure which is why it got so messy.) So I simply chopped off the very end of it and use the part that is fully supported by the cardboard.

Super easy. The thing you have to remember, though, is that the cardboard that's left in the brush is now exposed and you have to be careful not to scrape it across the screen. (I'll talk about printing in another post.) But its a really stable brush now and easy to print with.

Plus the sponge brushes are really economical and easily replaced. Always a bonus.

You may end up with a mountain of these:

I hang on to these to use for direct stamping on fabric. They work really well, you can cut little shapes into them or just do rectangles.

I leave for IQF in two days. If you are attending the show, please stop by the Cloth Paper Scissors area and see me during Open Studios on Saturday morning from 10:30-12:30. Hope to see you there!


Linda Branch Dunn said...

I never thought of using a sponge brush. Thanks for this post.

janice said...

I have found that expired credit cards work well, just so long as you keep the angle at about 35 degrees and don't use a lot of pressure. It also saves a little on the paint, because it doesn't get absorbed like it does with the sponge

Deborah said...

Thanks for the info! I use the sponge brushes, too, but never cut one off....great idea!

Yep, those old credit cards are fab, Janice. I've been using the same one for about 4 years now....never seems to wear out!c8coxyza