Brief History Screen Printing
Silkscreen printing has its origins in early prints, woodcuts and block prints of the Chinese during the Song Dynasty (960 A.D.-1279 A.D.) and by the Japanese in the 15th and 16th centuries, where stencils were commonly used on cotton and silk for clothing and decorative purposes. However, the silk-screening process we know and are used to do is generally credited to English and American artists in the early-1900s.
Samuel Simon of Manchester, England is said to have taken out the first patents related to the modern process of screen printing in 1907. Using sheets of silk and cotton stretched over wooden frames, Simon and William Morris placed single- colored, hand-painted stencils on top of the material to create a design. In 1914, John Pilsworth of the United States took out a patent for multi-colored screen printing. Commercial screen printing became very popular around the time of World War I; it was most commonly used for printing flags and advertising banners that were placed in fledgling retail stores.
During the screen-printing process, ink is pushed through a screen onto the chosen material, which has been partly sealed, either through manual means or by a photo-mechanical process whereby the area meant to be printed receives ink. For every color intended to be applied, a separate screen has to be used with a different area blocked out each time. The artists must then wait for the ink to dry. This process is sometimes helped along with the use of an electric fan before they can apply the next color.
Silkscreen printing is used for a variety of purposes, both artistic and commercial. Artists have been using the process since the early -1930s. Promotional materials such as posters and stickers are commonly made using the silkscreen process because of the fairly low cost involved. Silk screens are generally thought to be more artistic than commercial printing, as they are done mostly by hand. Many clothing companies silkscreen products such as T-shirts, sweatshirts and baseball caps. Printing companies often still use the silkscreen process to make signage and banners for other businesses.
Pop artists and creators of Op art during the 1960s and 1970s such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Victor Vasarely and Robert Rauschenberg helped to make screen printing into a new art form that has held its own and rightly earned a place in contemporary art history. Silkscreen printing remains popular for emerging artists working in a variety of styles.
Brief History Stain Glass
There are examples of colored glass that have survived since ancient times. The Egyptians and the Romans were masters in the manufacture of small colored glass objects. Many windows remain from early Christian churches of the 4th and 5th century which are filled with ornate patterns of thinly sliced alabaster set in wooden frames, giving a stained glass like effect. There is evidence of stained glass windows in churches and monasteries in Britain dating as early as the 7th century. Around 675 CE Benedict Biscop imported workmen from France to glaze the windows of the Monastery of St. Peter at Monkwearmouth.
Evidence indicates that by the 8th century tinted glass was also used by Islamic architects in South west Asia. During the 10th or 11th century stained glass began to flourish as an art. During the Middle Ages it became a major pictorial form used to illustrate narratives of the Bible. For hundreds of years stained glass production continued in Europe. In the 16th century, as a result of the Reformation in England, large numbers of Medieval and Renaissance windows were smashed and replaced with plain glass.
The Dissolution of the Monasteries under Henry VIII and the 17th century injunctions of Oliver Cromwell resulted in the loss of thousands of windows. Traditional methods of working with stained glass were also lost. They were not rediscovered in England until the early 19th century when the Catholic revival spawned renewed interest in the Medieval church and brought about a revival of church construction in the Gothic style. Many new churches were built and many old churches restored. This created a great demand for stained glass and a resurrection of the art form.
During the French Revolution many churches and cathedrals lost their windows due to neglect and destruction. A great number of these were restored in the 19th century. Also during the mid to late 19th century many ancient buildings in Germany were restored and some completed in the Medieval style. The demand for stained glass swept across Europe. As the 20th century began the Gothic movement gave way to newer styles of architecture. Many of the 19th century manufacturers of stained glass failed and went out of business.
Following World War II another revival occurred based on the desire to restore the windows of thousands of churches throughout Europe that had been destroyed as a result of bombing. Today, in the 21st century, stained glass craftsmanship remains as a viable architectural art form. It is employed in restoration projects as well as contemporary designs. Though most notably used in windows, it has become a popular medium for lamp shades, hanging panels, fireplace screens and various forms of objects d'art.