Silkscreen Workshop: With Ronnie Gupta

Talk about cool . . .

We the editing class spend an inordinately long time everyday listening and learning. What we don’t get to do is play around on high end computers and do colourful creative things . . . that’s okay because we had a plan.

Tired of watching from the side lines as the design group got to do all the fancy shmancy craft stuff; we plotted in secret. We were prepared to fight . . . fight for all those who were here before us and for those who will come after us; using our collective prowess we decided that we will send an email; an email filled with our demands! And lo’ and behold we were victorious. The establishment relented. They set up a day for us to experience the silk screen process.

Ronnie Gupta, (a man of many talents) was roped in to take us through the process of silk screening—a process by which we can print elaborate colourful design on practically any surface of our choice. He detailed out the materials to be used, the type of mesh used, the exposure time of the photosensitive film etc.

The best way to learn is to do, and that is exactly what was set up for us next. There were all sorts of nervous, excited twitters as Ronnie let us handle the equipment and create our personalised stationery. Soon though, we were turning on each other; we were at each other’s throats competing to create the prettier work. A bloody battle ensued. The victorious walking away with un-smudged ink and their head held high; while the defeated stumbled off the field waiting for the opportunity to fight again, another day.

A lot of technical expertise, precision and experience is required to use this process, to print thousands of exact copies. A slight nervous twitch in your hand can ruin the whole material you are working on, as many of us learnt the hard way. Ronnie was extremely patient and let us have many many tries at it. We got to push gobs of gooey ink across the surface of the screen—some of us overzealous, some hesitant in their attempts. Perfection was not easy. But we all came away carrying our own handiworks, grinning from ear to ear and taking ‘artful’ photographs of said creations.

It was an extremely invigorating experience, not just because of the coffee that brewed beside us but because we got to create something; it’s not something I would have experienced otherwise.

So, ‘Thank You’ Ronnie Gupta and Seagull. We look forward to more sessions like these.

Antara Guha

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