October '21

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 1 O C T O B E R G R A P H I C S P R O 2 9 The first is the workspace, or the physi- cal area itself. This includes considerations like temperature, humidity, and light. The second key thing for your screen room is making sure you have the right tools and equipment. The proper equipment makes the best screens possible, which, in turn, lets you print better and faster. Let's ex- amine each of these key categories and how they interact with each other in your darkroom. PROTECT YOUR EMULSION BY BEING LIGHT SAFE A good place to start is just a basic under- standing of what your darkroom is. This is the area where you are going to prepare your screens, coat them with emulsion, and develop them. It is vitally important to make this area "light safe." This does not necessarily mean blocking out all the light as you would in a traditional photog- raphy darkroom. Instead, screen printers just need to filter out UV light. When emulsion is exposed to UV light it begins to develop and harden. Accidental UV light exposure from the ambient light in the room will make it more difficult to burn and properly develop your screen. Creating a light safe environment is rela- tively simple. You can use a yellow safe light, or a bug light. A more popular op- tion is to get UV filters for your lights. These come in all shapes and sizes and are a great way to filter UV light in the fluo- rescent tube lighting that is typically found in ceiling fixtures. If you have windows to block out, try using a UV film so you still get some (UV safe) light into your area. MAKE BETTER SCREENS BY CONTROLLING THE ENVIRONMENT During the screen creation process, you will be washing, drying, emulsifying, and drying your screen again. Most people do not separate their wash out area from their screen print area, so the water usage will raise the humidity levels in your darkroom. This creates a challenge as you need a low level of humidity for drying screens. To resolve this conflict, you should invest in a

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