Riso Screen Enameling
Diane Montag uses a technique her professor discovered to create enameled riso screens.
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Diane Montag was a student at San Diego State University under a professor in the enameling department when she began the process of using riso screens for enameling on copper. It was a technique her professor had discovered, and she has been making wonderful use of it ever since. A riso screen is very similar to the more common silk screen, and in fact is used in much the same way.
Montag begins with a black and white image, which can be drawn, a photo or clipart. The image is then copied at a copy shop to create a strong contrast. This new image is put into a Thermofax machine and copied onto the screen; the carbon on the copy will remove the emulsion on the screen, creating the reverse image for the enameling.
The screen is then brought back to the studio and attached to a frame. The piece of copper that will receive the enamel is then prepared by cutting it to size and cleaning it. The screen is placed slightly above the copper, balanced on bottle caps to prevent the two elements from coming into direct contact. Powdered enamel is then passed through the screen using a simple foam brush; this is another step that is very similar to silk screening. That layer is then fired to melt the glass and create the image. Other layers of color and/or new images are added using the same process until the desired look is achieved. Each layer of enamel gets fired before another can be added.
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