Continuing Screen-Printing Sampling Processes with Different Composite Materials

Experimental use of MDF and OSB Materials

Morris (2020) Waste Collective: Six 3mm Screen-Printed MDF Boards from Natural Surface Imagery (20x30cm)

Although not completely new to Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) I was new to using MDF as a material to print onto using screen-printing processes. As this material is created from waste…mainly wood fibres and chippings I felt that I was capitalising upon waste products which was environmentally sound. Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) is an engineered wood-based sheet material made by bonding together wood fibres with a synthetic resin adhesive. MDF is extremely versatile and can be machined and finished to a high standard. From experimenting with MDF I was pleasantly surprised just how well the material accepted the printing ink. Single pulls using a small squeegee continued to be utilised as proven to be the most effective technique from exploring different approaches. Waste printing ink was utilised using black, blue, and deep pink to investigate the impact of colour on such a surface. The colours used within this series and other experimental prints all dried slightly darker which I liked. Given the printed and painterly effects achieved further research is planned to further investigate a greater range and scale of MDF.

Morris (2020) Waste Collective: Six 3mm Screen-Printed MDF Boards from Natural Surface Imagery (20x30cm)
Morris (2020) Waste Collective: Six 3mm Screen-Printed MDF Boards from Natural Surface Imagery (20x30cm)
Morris (2020) Waste Collective: Six 3mm Screen-Printed MDF Boards from Natural Surface Imagery (20x30cm)

Oriented Strand Board (OSB) is a material made from large wood shavings glued together with resins and wax applying high heat and pressure. I was intrigued by this OSB material after witnessing my partner lay the new roof on the outbuildings which was principally made of OSB Board and roofing felt. Already aware of its environmental credentials I was keen to exploit its textural qualities in print, to play with the material through using a range of screen-printing processes and experimenting with imprints.

Oriented strand board is manufactured in wide mats from cross-oriented layers of thin, rectangular wooden strips compressed and bonded together with wax and synthetic resin adhesives (95% wood, 5% wax and resin). OSB uses the wood from trees that grow quickly and sustainably, like aspen poplar, southern yellow pine, and mixed hardwood species. The process of making OSB involves cutting the logs into strands that are then dried, organised, and treated with wax and binders. To form panels, these strands are grouped into big sheets and pressurized at a high temperature.

Morris (2020) Example of textural imprint from Oriental Strand Board picked up on the screen from printing onto the OSB Board.

Despite the apparent potential given the textural surface qualities for screen-printing OSB Board proved difficult to print onto and with. The only way to capture something of its texture was to utilise an imprint from attempting to print onto its surface. That said even once the surface wax and resin had been removed to enable the print process the material then became too porous to yield a sufficient print.

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