The following pictures show the steps to a successful printing with the use of a silk screen masked with beeswax.
Set the electric plate on low to melt the beeswax slowly.
The beeswax is melted.
These are the only tools I used. One is a natural bristle brush that will be dedicated hereafter to wax use only. Other, non natural brushes will melt with the heat of the wax. The second is an inexpensive tjanting tool that is specifically fashioned for batik wax application.
A paper plate was used to catch any drips between the melting pan and the silk screen
Melted wax with heated tools. Heating the tools keeps the wax from cooling and hardening too rapidly.
The screened embroidery hoop is laid face down on newspaper and wax was applied to the back side of the screen. If the wax had been applied to the front side, it would have seeped through to the newspaper and the screen would have adhered to the paper.
After the wax had cooled and hardened the hoop was turned over.
This is the back side of the screen to which the wax was applied. The natural bristle brush was used to mask in a rectangular frame for the design, to apply the intersecting grid lines, and to put big dots in the middle of each grid square. The tjanting tool was used to make the wavy diagnonal lines and to add small dots.
Commercial fabric that approximated a hand dyed fabric was used as a ground
A faux credit card and a spreading tool were both used to pull the printing ink through the screen, but the wax that came through to the top side of the screen created an extremely bumpy surface that made full coverage difficult.
In order to assure that ink was successfully applied through the screen to the fabric, a brush was used on the screen.
This is what the screen looked like after ink application with a brush. (See the big bumps of wax?)
This is the final screen printed image.
It dawned on me that the wax that had emerged on the top screening part of the silk screen could be picked off to produce a smoother top screening surface.*
After the globs of wax were picked off, I was able to successfully use a faux credit card as an ink pulling tool.
This is this is the screened image that the modified screen produced.
And here is a panel of screen prints from the wax masked silk screen.
CLEAN THE SCREEN WITH COLD WATER IMMEDIATELY AFTER PRINTING IS COMPLETE. The use of hot water will soften the wax and the design can be lost.
A wax masked screen can be used over and over again. Something convenient about using an embroidery hoop as a screen frame is that screens can be removed and set aside for future use and new screens can be inserted for different projects. Since the image in this project had a waxed border and ink didn't need to be pulled to the edges, I didn't even need to tape the hoop edge to make a well.
*There is only one disclaimer to be offered here. I only needed to pick off the big globs of wax from the front of the screen. The thin tjanting lines didn't need to have wax picked off. Some lines were so delicate that a few came off of the back.