Screen printing with Daniel Heath

Well where to start? You may have already seen the screen printed peacock which I shared on my social channels last week - a fantastically detailed design, and one that last week I tried for myself after a quick masterclass with Dan. 

I'll share more on that in a moment, but first have a look at the fab venue - Blackhorse Studios in Walthamstow. What a fab place, it was quite a dash to get there after work but having looked at Daniel Heath's work beforehand I knew I didn't want to miss this event.

An easy place to be inspired, I'm sure you'll agree.

In The Window who organised the event had made sure there were cakes and some soft drinks ready for us when we arrived. And you know how much I like a cake, well somehow I ended up posing with these

These soft drinks were great too - they have a kick to them which is the cayenne, and I know it sounds odd. But trust me these are good. I'm reliably informed that the cucumber and mint variety is good with gin. As I was hoping to try out the screen printing, I opted for the mango and ginger version and drank that straight.  I liked it and would choose it again, it was a cold drink with a warming feeling. They're definitely worth a try, trust me.

Then we went up to the studio. Talk about overload for the senses. And for a magpie like me, I wasn't sure where to look first.

Daniel showed us how to screen print, all the while explaining the process and answering our many questions. In the photo below you can see the screen for the peacock design we would use. And yes, the screens have small holes in them to allow for the paint to go through and onto the surface - in our case wallpaper. 

With the screen positioned and weighed down with lead to stop it moving, Daniel added the gold paint and demonstrated how to print the design by moving the paddle across the screen. With a couple of taps he brought the paddle back the other way and repeated this once more.

I have to admit that the reveal of the gold layer was a bit of an anti-climax.

It seems you have to have lots of patience for this, and rightly so - the detail in Daniel's designs are incredible. He creates the designs, transfers them onto the screens and prints his designs by hand. That's a lot of precision.

Soon though the gold paint was dry and it was time for the teal layer. Just look at that colour.

It was also time for me to try my hand at screen printing - and just look at that concentration!

And this is our finished design - isn't it great?

This peacock design is 1.5 metres long which is quite large which means only two patterns can be printed in one go. So it'll take a while to print a ten metre roll of wallpaper, although Daniel says he can usually do that in an afternoon or so. Daniel doesn't only print his designs on wallpaper or as prints, he also screen prints them onto fabric (there's some fabulous examples on his website) and etches them onto wood. These were just stunning, delicate but still very stunning.

In the gallery below there's a few more examples of Daniel's work. Not only is he a clever and talented man, he's also very nice and deserves every success. Thanks to Daniel and to In The Window for a fascinating evening and definitely one that gave a real insight into the work that goes into hand printed wallpaper.

This is a collaborative post with In The Window but all words are my own.