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The Bones of Psyche
Major: Graphic Information Technology (UX)
Genre/Medium: Screenprinting, Linocut, Pen and Ink, Canvas, Marker
About the work: The Bones of Psyche represents our humanity in the mission. Through Psyche we will hopefully gain further insight into Earth and it’s core, and therefore how life formed. The mysteries behind Psyche are as much a part of it as we are, which is why the asteroid is portrayed as the human skull with the satellite flying in to observe it. I wanted this to be tactile, a bit messy and fun, so using screen printing, linocut, marker, with pen and ink felt appropriate. Plus, I had never done screen printing before and it allowed me to experience something new creatively!
For the process, I took a photo of my initial proposal sketch and drew over it in the iPad app called Procreate. I printed out the drawing and traced it onto the screen I used. After I had traced all of the areas I wanted to show when rolled with ink, I used brushes to apply drawing fluid to them. Once all spots had been painted and dried, I rolled screen filler fluid over the majority of screen. Screen filler, when dry, fills in holes of the screen that you do not want your ink to show. Once it had dried, I put my screen under cold water and washed the drawing fluid away which left the screen filler. Patting everything dry I laid my canvas down, put my screen on top of it, and lined the top of my image with ink. Using a squeegee, I pulled down, up and side to side across the screen to coat my canvas underneath. Pulling one side of my screen up, the graphic style image was revealed on the canvas below.
It was so, so exciting with that first print that I made multiple others in a row. For some, I first put down marker on the canvas then screen printed over it. Others I used my linocut design and coated it with ink to print on the canvas first before screen printing. Some prints, I screen printed then used other materials on top. It was hard to decide which one to share for this project because some felt better than others and at one point I wasn’t sure if any of them were good enough. I realized as I was staring at them that it might be appropriate to share all iterations.
I consider the mostly black canvas with the detailed skull and asteroid to be the final product of this process, but I feel the 6 works in progress are just as important as the 7th final product. It almost feels like a relief to share the prints that aren’t quite right because that represents humanity as well. Nothing is perfect and that is okay.