For ten years, our printer Sam has been making our Rabbit screen prints. Here's a bit more about the process and what makes them so special.
What is a screen print?
The ’screen’ is an aluminium frame with a fine mesh stretched across it. On the mesh is our artwork - a stencil which we push ink through to create a print on the paper underneath.
Sam starts by printing the HAM Rabbit design onto a transparent film. This is known as a positive and is what we use to make the mesh stencil.
Next step is to coat a blank screen with light sensitive emulsion. This has to be done in a dark room so it doesn’t expose and harden; it is then left to dry.
Sam then lays the positive under the screen and exposes it to a powerful UV light.
The screen is then washed, revealing the final Rabbit stencil ready to print.
The green mesh stop the ink passing through, whilst the yellow allow the ink to reach the paper.
The screen is set up on a printing table that has hinged clamps - this keeps the screen in the same position so we can repeat the print.
We use a rich gloss black ink for all HAM prints as it gives them a crisp opaque finish.
Sam applies the ink to the bottom of the screen and uses a squeegee to ‘flood’ the screen with the ink
Bringing the squeegee back towards him, Sam pushes the ink through the screen onto the paper below. The HAM Rabbit is revealed!
Sam checks every print before placing them on a rack to dry.
The Rabbits then get packed up and sent to HAM HQ where Jo signs and dates each one before wrapping them up ready for their new homes.