We started with the idea of a pop-art treatment, and with a lot of Photoshop work on the iPad, B flipped the picture, removed la Tour Eiffel and simplified colours.
All of the different colours have to be hand cut on separate stencils. A bit more work was required to simplify the shapes and reduce the colours to 6 (this is a LOT). With 150 cards printed, that means 900 passes of the squeegie. It also means sore forearms!
I don't have photos of every colour application since I was running a retreat all day Saturday when the first four colour runs were completed. To give you an idea, here are some examples of trial prints that B uses to get the colour registration correct (these are printed on copy paper, before the good cards are printed), below.
While printing happens on our dining room table, cards are laid out all over every horizontal surface in the living room to dry between each colour run: the fireplace benches, the coffee table, a piece of cardboard propped across the arm chair and even some ironing boards.
All of the colours are custom mixed using a colour wheel for reference. IKEA drinking cups and chop sticks come in very handy.
Lots of checking, remixing and re-checking.
It's a process, that's for sure. I mostly watch and stack cards to dry while B does all the hard work. It's very physical - a lot of downward pressure is required to push the paint through the tiny stencil holes and the silk screens. I simply don't have the hand strength required to print well.
Here's the final screen being masked off with tracing paper - this prevents paint from going through the silk that surrounds the stencil.
Lining up the card against paper registration tabs
I hope you enjoyed this little photo essay of our annual Christmas card screening. I just love sending these hand made works of art all over the world each year. We typically mail out about 90 cards, but we receive less and less every year. This is a major bummer. I love receiving cards and hope that people don't stop sending them. Staying in touch with real-life handwriting, even if it is only once a year, is so important I think. We have a plate rail around our entire living room where we display our cards and visitors love to look at them and always remark at how many we receive (you've got to send to receive, people!).
So, how about you - will you be sending cards this year?