Primary Tools & Materials:
SCREEN PRINTING, GLOW IN THE DARK PAPER
Additional Tools & Materials: pencil, pen, paper, scanner, Adobe Photoshop, inkjet printer, camera
Today's combination added analog printing with specialty paper. Through some pie-in-the-sky "surely this exists" Amazon searching, I discovered glow in the dark origami paper. I decided to screen print on it, then attempt to photograph it.
When the small, 6" square package of Japanese glow-in-the-dark origami paper arrived, I realized I had to figure out on my own how to use it - was it heat activated? Light? Turns out it was a combination of both. When exposing it to sunlight then ducking into a dark room to see it glow, I noticed that the places where my fingers touched the paper were glowing brighter. They also came in two colors, not just the pale green I had expected, but also a pale pink. The texture was surprising, almost like extremely high-grit sandpaper, and slightly iridescent. I decided to print on these small squares with white ink, expecting that any color would block the glow of the paper, and the lights on versus lights off image of the paper would provide maximum contrast.
I used a letter 'D' I had drawn as part of a larger composition, isolated and sized to about 4.5" tall. The image roll to the left shows several snapshots of the screen printing process; first - the photo I took of the final print (in a darkened bathroom, of course), then the very exciting packaging from the glowing paper, the Photoshop file of my scanned letter, the yellow mesh screen with pink emulsion (looks orange in the photo-safe light room), my small glowing paper clamped down on the printing table, and the white inked screen, shown before and after pulling ink. Images 8 and 9 are scanned images of the two colored glow paper after being screen printed. Number 10 is a zoomed out version of the image I took of the glow-in-the-dark paper on a clip board in my dark bathroom.
This study fits squarely in the "novelty" zone. I found a weird kind of paper I never knew existed and I wanted to try using it for something other than its intended purpose (origami). The glowing image did photograph better than I thought it would, with only minimal contrast manipulation in Photoshop. One thing that did surprise me was that the pink and green papers looked exactly the same in the dark. I had thought maybe the pink one would have cast a pink glow. As for screen printing on glow-in-the-dark paper, the best usage case I can imagine is printing onto these sheets with the same colored ink as the paper, to create some kind of hidden message. I'm imagining something like Rodger Rabbit's disappearing reappearing ink.