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Under the Midnight Sun

(January 2006) posted on Mon Jan 09, 2006

The prospect of teaching Native American artists how to screen print led Andy MacDougall to Canada's Yupon Territory, a place known for its hidden treasures. Find out how the workshop he conducted helped these craftsmen strike gold of their own.

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By Andy MacDougall

We covered a lot of topics, including some hilarious tales about Yukon characters like the Teslin Elvis, a guy who had spent the last 20 years hitchhiking around the Yukon, apparently in the same stinky glitter outfit. He was supposedly visited by The King himself, who came via spaceship to see him in his cabin in the wilderness. It was hard sometimes to tell whether the guys were just spinning stories at my expense, but at least the Teslin Elvis story was true--I saw him the day I went to fly out.

Preparing to print
We fired up the exposure lamp the next day and exposed some screens. Again, everybody got a chance to set up the art, time the exposure, then wash out the screens. Our simple vacuum setup gave us nice, sharp stencils with the ruby positives, and after the first step-wedge test to determine the correct exposure time, it worked flawlessly. The first round of prints we did were all single color, just so everyone could go through the steps and get the relationship between the positive, the stencil, and the print. Everybody printed in pairs, one person acting as racker and gofer while the artist printed, then switched roles.


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