Book review: ‘Beginner’s Guide to Screen Printing’ by Erin Lacy = 3*

“Beginner’s Guide to Screen Printing” is a new book by Erin Lacy and published by Search Press. All of the photos included in this blog are from the “look inside” function on the Search Press website available here.

I have no experience of screen printing which means I am the ideal, targeted audience for this book! I found the front cover immediately enticing (which is perfect as that is what first grabs your attention)!

Erin, the author, is a UK-based creative who graduated from the London College of Fashion and has founded her own business to promote printing as a craft. The photos throughout the book are fresh, beautifully styled and calming to look at!

The book covers a range of topics (such as tools and materials, repeats, gradients, tessellations, resists and more) alongside 12 projects. The idea is that, as you progress through the book, the projects offer new techniques and challenges.

The introduction itself provides a solid foundation for progressing through the book with a wealth of information about tools, inks, paints, surfaces, frames, fixing the fabric and more.

So, here’s the honest part… I really liked the projects but I felt they were incredibly muted which left me feeling quite flat. Screen printing has massive potential but the contrast between the surface and the print on a lot of the projects was quite hard to differentiate and didn’t grab me.

The instructional photos and the writing are clear and easy to follow but the actual prints (as you can see with the dragonfly) felt like they didn’t do justice to this skilled craft.

Similarly with the pebbles, I know it is aimed at beginners but this felt very basic and didn’t adequately offer visuals for the potential of printing gradients.

The projects themselves have lots of inspiration (I particularly like the cork coasters and wooden bunting) but the actual motifs, paints used to screen print onto the surfaces, and the photos of the finished projects unfortunately left me feeling flat and uninspired. Whilst I love the wooden bunting, you can barely see the prints (and the same for the skirt and the cushions). Now, I know I can simply change the paint colours when I do it myself but I didn’t feel the urge to start making based on these photos. For me, a book should be so enticing, creative and inspirational that I can’t wait to start crafting!

It is on this basis that I would give it an overall 3* review as, project photos aside, the instructions are great and easy to follow so the book is worth getting for the instructions as a beginner’s guide to screen printing.