Here’s a short video that shows screenprinting guru Briar Craig discussing the medium of printmaking and UV cured ink. I got the footage while I was at UBCO’s printmaking studio in February, during my reading break. I’m in my last semester of a Visual Journalism graduate diploma at Concordia University in Montreal, so I’m just trying to get my video skillset up to par before I’m catapulted back into the real world.
I missed the studio so much that I literally drove across the continent to get back to it. It’s extremely difficult to find a place that has a UV drier, because the ink is used more in commercial practice than in fine art. Having used both air dry and UV cured ink, the latter is far superior but there are still only a handful of universities in Canada (and probably North America as a whole) that recognize this. The producer of the inks in North America went out of business, and because of an increased cost, both Queens University in Kingston, ON and Concordia here in Montreal have stopped using the UV ink system. From what I can tell, it seems to be less an issue of cost and more an issue of not having the right people to teach the method.
People often tell me my prints don’t look like screenprints at all, and when I try to describe how great UV ink is to other printmakers I usually just get a blank stare. It’s sort of like trying to convince someone who’s never seen or heard of a plane that it’s faster to fly across the ocean than it is to sail; they don’t understand how it works, their own method seems fine, and they’re not interested in buying more equipment just to do something they can already do a different. But a plane can take you more places much faster, and the same can be said of UV ink.