Category Archives: Silkscreen Printing



Marimekko scandal is almost behind us. I’m still waiting for news about Isola but it seems like she’s allowed to continue to work at Marimekko. Grrrr. Very disappointing.

Anyhoo, pinning new things has been a welcome distraction from all this hardcore journalism stuff I’ve been doing and I have few good ones to share:

Erik Bruun, Jaffa, juliste, poster, Hartwall Vintage soda poster Jaffa by Erik Bruun. He did quite a few ads for Hartwall Jaffa back in the day and one of them was even made into fabric and other home decor products recently. They were/are a HUGE hit and even I wouldn’t say no to the shower curtain.

young Jack Nicholson From my board “Beautiful People”. I don’t have any information about this photo. All I know it’s young Jack Nicholson hot and ready to bother and that’s all I need to know. Which is a nice build up to:

someecards, inappropriate, heart skips a beat, funnyBut in my defense, I just think them.

maison de reefur ballerinasAh, these shoes!!! Maybe I could balance the little evil in my heart with some sweetness on my feet. These shoes are a Disney-princess musical scene waiting to happen. And no, no one is too old to have a Disney-princess moment. Just ask Penny, Amy and Bernadette.

floral keyboard, computer for a princess Talking about suitable for princess…Now this is what I call, call, call…Well let’s just call it PRETTY! I wouldn’t mind having patterned computer. I think it would bring certain je ne sais quoi to my life. Or at least make my mornings little bit less boring/mundane/soul sucking. And if I could have one of these:

spotted puppy sitting on a chair I’d never, ever be sad. I mean look at that belly! Gah! I’m bursting with inability to handle this cuteness. I want to squeeze him so hard! Sniff it’s head and then squeeze some more!

Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze and one more squeeze! Seriously this is just too much for one woman to bear.

Last but not least, some words of wisdom to live by:

hide your crazy and act like a lady, silkscreen print, tank top, quote

Hear, hear.

Thrifty Finn- Pinmeister and Blogger Extraordinaire

Design Idol: TOP 10 Maria Prymachenko Prints

Sometimes you get such a fabulous blog post idea that you just have to do it right away. No matter how hungry you are or how much you have to pee…Writing comes first!

Since Marco Mäkinen voiced that Marimekko should do a Prymachenko-collection, I thought, why not give my suggestions on what prints to use? The prints are in no particular order and I didn’t separate fashion prints and home decor prints but I think you’ll enjoy this regardless. (Click the images to go to the original sources):

Maria Prymachenk, suggestions for Marimekko, folk art, naive, blossom bird on blueberry field

I call this Blossom Bird on a Blueberry Field. This would work as a large repeated pattern where there’d be four repeats or so per curtain panel. A B&W version where everything would be an outline would be fabulous as well. Also, the blueberry bushes could be made into an allover pattern.

Maria Prymachenko, blue and pink fish, ideas for Marimekko

Fishies! I love the pink, yellow and blue in this. How about a pattern were schools of fish would be separated by small gatherings of berries? Not fashion but home furnishings. Tea towels, aprons, oven mitts…Maybe a set of serving dishes?

Maria Prymachenko, folk art, naive, ideas for MarimekkoRiding a Wolf Amongst Acorns. Again, my own name. What I like about this art work are the hot pink acorns and those dotted leaves. If it were printed on a heavy weight canvas to be used on home decor, I’d use all the elements to create an allover pattern. For fashion fabric the best usable elements are the acorns, oak leaves and those dotted thingies in a scattered pattern. It’d be amazing.

dear-taras-hryhorovych-whatever-you-see-here-is-yours, Maria Prymachenko, ideas for Marimekko, folk art, naive
Dear Taras Hryhorovych, Whatever You See Here Is Yours. Yes, that’s the actual name of this piece. There are so many workable elements in here. By removing the grave, I can see this as a print for children too. Both in clothing and in decor. For women’s fashion the florals could be used to create a scattered pattern. Summer evening gown in chiffon? I’d wear it. But then again, you know my penchant for floral prints even if they make me look like a sofa. Not that everyone else would look like one, I just want to it to be known that I acknowledge the fact that I would.

Maria Prymachenko, ideas for Marimekko, folk art, naiveForest Harvest (my invention). I’m not too keen on the background colour but this would be lovely home decor fabric. Remove the characters, enlarge the trees, add those smaller plants and saturate the colours. And voila, you have a very Marimekko-esque print.

Young Lion, Maria Prymachenko, pink, ideas for Marimekko, folk art, naive

Speaking of Marimekko-esque…Young Lion (real name). This is ready to be printed. There are few other animal pieces by Maria so it would be possible to make a serie out of them but I found the other ones bit too scary. Large lions for home decor and small ones for an allover pattern for clothing. This. Is. Wow.

let us go to the betrothal party, Maria Prymachenko, 1968, ideas for Marimekko, folk art, naive Let Us Go to the Betrothal Party, 1968. I love three elements about this piece. The arch, the rug and the oranges. I’d work it in to a stripe pattern for ceramics. Maybe it was my years in Holland that did it for me but blue, white and orange is one of my favourite colour combinations. Ooh, I’d use the couple in a set of dishtowels! Can you imagine receiving a coffee set and couple of those towels as a wedding gift? The collectability factor just went through the roof.

My dear has fallen in love with brigadier, Maria Prymachenko, ideas for Marimekko, folk art, naive My Dear Has Fallen in Love with Brigadier, 1972. Sensing from the tone, both the title and the colours, Maria wasn’t too happy about that. The image would need a lot of work, but there are lot of elements that can be used in a print. The girl. The shutters. The details in the dress. Definitely more home decor material. Maybe even some small ornaments?

Side note…Arabia and Marimekko should make a series of ornaments based on Maria Prymachenko’s characters! Limited Edition, 12 ornaments, available for a short period of time! There could be also a special packaging made of wood for collectors!

Me, the merchandising genius me!

Maria Prymachenko, sunflowers, ideas for Marimekko, folk art, naiveSunflowers! This is simple, either use this as is (only do bit technical cleaning) or separate the blossoms and create an allover pattern. Would work for clothing, home decor, footwear (have you seen the Marc Jacobs Daisy-shoes?), ceramics and other merchandise. 90’s nostalgia is here and the sunflower was the symbol of the era. Hipsters, ravers, 90’s rockers and people who just like sunflowers. Target audiences!!! I just thought. The background should be inky blue. Almost black but not quite. I bet that’s expensive to produce. (But so luxurious and fabulous!)

Four Drunkards Riding a Bird, Maria Prymachenko, 1976, ideas for Marimekko, naive, folk art Four Drunkards Riding a Bird, 1976. Am I the only one or does Maria really tell how it is? This one is a tricky one. I don’t think this is directly repeatable but if those men were made into separate characters, as well as the bird and then combined with the various decorative elements, it’d work as print. The print then could be used in a set of Jonathan Adler-esque ceramics. Remember those cute salt&pepper-sets? Or does he still do them?

So here is my list of Maria Prymachenko prints I think Marimekko could use. What do you think of my ideas? Let me know your own ideas and thoughts in the comments and if you know any other good Maria prints, link up!

Thrifty Finn- Master of Merchandising and Inventor of Ideas

How To Screenprint in 10 Steps


How many of you are still panicking about Christmas presents? I managed to send last of my presents (most of them handmade!) just today and I feel so relieved! I can finally start enjoying this season, maybe even make a gingerbread house! From ready-made dough. I want get to the decorating bit faster ;D

Even if you have only days left, it doesn’t mean you can’t make anything nice anymore. Just last week I made some Christmas themed shopping bags to sell at a boutique in Helsinki and believe it or not, it took only few hours. With some unprecedented forethought I took pictures of the printing process so I could share it here with you.

Materials needed:
Printing frame
Photoemulsion and flooding scoop (or whatever that thing is called)
Cardboard box + matt black fabric to cover it
Sheet of glass (mine is from an old picture frame)
Strong light source (I use construction light, 400w)
Transparent sheets (mine are by Crafter’s Companion)
Printing ink

Stage 1: Getting started!  I used my printing frame to test if it is the right size for the bag I wanted to print. I also measured the printable are, which in case was 26,5cm*37cm. It’s important that you do this, otherwise you might risk creating an image that you cannot actually print with your screen.

Stage 2: Flooding the frame! I took my frame and photoemulsion to the bathroom. Flooding the frame is easy peasy, tilt your scoop carefully, keep it in a small angle and let the emulsion flow on your screen. Basically what you want to do, since the scoop is usually smaller than your frame, is flood one section, then scrape excess off and then move on to the next section. Your goal is two thin layers of emulsion on each side. After you’re done, leave the frame to dry in a dark room. Extra tip: Don’t kick your open photoemulsion jar. That stuff can be price-y.

Stage 3: Transparent! Meanwhile your screen is drying, you can go back to your computer and finish off your design. Print your design TWICE on a transparent. You need the image you want to print to be blacker than black. The black will block the light from burning the light sensitive emulsion and that un-burned area is your printing area. Since my image was bigger than A4 I needed to use 4 sheets of transparent.

Stage 5: Burn the screen! Now your screen is dry and you should be ready to burn your it. First you need a matt black platform, which should have about the same surface area as your screen. You can make this, as I did, by covering a cardboard box with jersey. Then the order of items going on top of that is: screen, transparent (flipped over, if you have text it needs to read “wrong” and sheet of glass to weigh them all down. Then with some masterful balancing and aiming, try to have your light as close to 90 degree angle towards the screen. In this case I didn’t (usually I do) and it did work fine anyway. Now depending on your light source and how far it is from the screen you need to adjust the developing time. My distance was about 50cm and I left it on for an hour.

Stage 6. Clean the screen! Higher the water pressure, the better. I bought this handy dandy tiny shower head that adds water pressure AND makes the actual water flow sharp and pointy which makes the cleaning easy and quick but you don’t need it, regular shower will do. When all the excess emulsion is off your screen, leave it to dry.

Optional Stage 7: Making ink! Since you again have some free time in your hands because the screen is doing its drying thing, you can mix some printing ink. You can buy printing ink ready made too but I have printing emulsion and various pigments so I can mix my own colours. Usually the company who sells pigments also have recipes for different colours on their website to use for reference. For black, Emo-Tuotanto, gave a following recipe: 15 drops of pigment per 100ml of emulsion. I made a double batch. Not that I used all that but printing is easier if you have enough ink to spread on your screen.

Stage 8: Prepping Printing Surface! You have your ink and screen and you need a printing surface! I laid a vintage sheet (folded) on table, taped it on place and then laid a vinyl table-cloth on top of that and taped that in place too. You need something soft yet firm underneath your fabric when printing. At first I had a towel under the towel and as you can see from the test print, it affected the print quality. Lesson learned: the surface must be smooth.

Stage 9. Printing! Now your printing surface should be ok, but do one more test print just to be sure. You can see smudges on the test print here and that’s because I laid my screen down when I re-set the printing surface and the ink smeared. That is why you must keep you screen leaning upright between prints if you can’t do your printing serially but have to stop to make room for the next printable thing.

When doing the printing you can use your transparent or in this case the original photocopy to guide your screen. Put the copy on the fabric, hold your screen on top of it (matching the image), remove the copy and then lay the screen down. Voila, no guess work! When you’re done with printing, store your printing ink in an airtight container for future use. When your prints are dry, use the ink manufacturer’s directions on how to set the ink.

Stage 10: Enjoy your handiwork! Nothing more satisfying than seeing your own work finished! I made a small batch to sell at the boutique but if they won’t sell, I just give them next year as Christmas gifts 😀 It’s a win-win! If you are wondering the bag size, the bags in grocery stores are really that big in Finland ;D

Hope you find this helpful and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. You can use the image above to make some holiday gifts of your own, just click it to make it full size. Both the text and image are copyright free. I used the text from Just Something I Make’s Christmas Text Collage and the Santa, I think, is from Graphic’s Fairy.

Happy Holidays and Good Night from Thrifty Finn.

Another Printing Sample

The second pair of owl eyes. My goal for today is to get a screen to burn properly. Because I’m ambitious like that.


Progress In Process

So, I told you about those screens I bought and how I gave up on the cleaning the last one and decided to replace the silk. Well, I haven’t done that yet. But I have done my first trial in my home studio (read: with a hastily put-together contraption in my bathroom) and printed! I actually printed!

Well there were some issues. My lamp was in a wrong angle and I should have left it on for few minutes longer as my image didn’t “burn” purely. But it’s still better than nothing and I felt this sense of accomplishment I haven’t felt for a very long time. Super!

Well, do you care to know what I printed?

I printed me some eyes…

And I used one set of eyes for an owl plushie. Which I made. With my sausage fingered tiny hands (which is another story for some other time).