Thursday, 17 December 2015


I am always surprised at how quickly the end of the year arrives with the momentum akin to a steam train at full throttle! At the start of every year I feel that it's going to be a slow and cruisey ride, but somehow opportunities and deadlines manifest from nowhere and before you know it you are on the downhill slide to Christmas.  This is a perfect time to say thank you to all my loyal customers and friends who have supported me throughout the year at my market stalls, studio sales, exhibition openings and faithfully opened and read my Mailchimp newsletters and, of course, this blog. I hope you continue to enjoy the work I make for sales and exhibitions, because it is all made by my hands with love and passion.

What better way to have ended this year than with the World's Longest Screenprint!!! This was a world record attempt by Megalo for their 35th Birthday Celebration. It took place at 11.15am on Saturday 12th December in the Fitters Workshop at Kingston, but staff have been planning the event for months. In order to produce the world's longest screen print, a silkscreen frame and stencil had to be made the entire length of the Fitter's Workshop - yes! that's 35 metres!!! Teams of volunteers started at 7am in the morning to help move everything from Megalo into the Fitter's Workshop for the day.
Here you can see the sides of the frame on the floor with the hand-cut stencil lying
on top of the fabric beneath it. The stencil took the staff weeks of bonding over
sharp scalpels and craft knives.

A 35-metre paper stencil was designed to showcase the history of Megalo over the last 35 years - incorporating each different location and the services provided as well as other interesting facts. The paper was then cut by hand and joined to form the 35m stencil. A wooden frame was then erected over the top of the stencil and fabric underneath it.  Once in place, Megan and Jemima rolled out the 43T mesh over the top of the stencil, then teams of volunteers lined the sides to help lift the frame and staple the mesh to the screen as taut as possible.
Jemima and Megan roll out the mesh in preparation for attaching it to the screen frame.
This was a tricky procedure and it all fell into place beautifully because of the attention to detail in the construction and how to organise the many volunteers in a safe and supportive environment.  A lot of this work was done by the partners of Megan, Ingeborg and Jemima, who had us all working like clockwork to fulfil our tasks.
The mesh is stapled to the sides of the frame and temporary supports locked in place.
An ingenious system of supports were drilled into the screen sides every two metres so that the screen remained straight and true.  As the ink was squeegeed down the length of the frame by the rotating teams of printers, these were taken out and then replaced again to ensure the frame did not collapse. Myself and Yasmin Masri were support printers, just checking the print as it was printed and cleaning up any sloppy bits.  As you can imagine, to man a squeegee that is about a metre wide and print 35 metres of ink is an heroic task.I  don't have photos of the print process to hand - because I was too busy helping to use my camera! But several people did take videos of the whole procedure (can you believe it took less than 5 minutes??) so I may pop one up on the blog in the next post.
Here is the finished print - all 35 metres of it!
Once the whole screen had been printed, teams of volunteers and the general public descended on the frame and lifted it up to rest it against the workshop wall.  You can see in the photo above that the paper stencil has attached to the back of the screen by the viscosity of the ink.  The coloured design at the start of the print was done on the fabric beforehand. 
And here you have it !
Congratulations to all the staff at Megalo for including the print community and the general public in this momentous (and hopefully world-record) performance. We  LOVE MEGALO!!


SEE YOU IN 2016!!

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