Tuesday, 11 March 2014

FOG Tuesday – The Thrill of the Thermofax™

“Well Maggie Muggins, you’ve had quite a day!”

You might have to be a Canuck (Canadian) and of a certain age to remember this line, but at FOG Tuesday I think that we all had “a Maggie Muggins Day!” Tra la …

Lynda and "The Machine"
The magic of this process is the machine itself – once a constant in every staff room, in every school in the country – the Thermofax. Lynda generously brought her thermofax machine and the Riso™ screen required to burn the screens for screen-printing.

We all made at least 10 screens at a fraction of the cost of purchasing ready-made ones or sending away to have one custom made. The limit in size is the width of the screening, just under 12”, but you could make them as long as you want as it comes on a roll.

A "Lynda W. original"
Hand drawn

We learned a lot about “just the right” amount of carbon required from either a toner based laser printer or toner based copiers (ink jet prints do not work), the types of thickened dyes or screen printing inks to use and the best tools to get a great print. 

One neat thing that we all discovered is that newspaper text works quite well, especially the headlines.

I certainly learned a lot about my laser printer, my copier, Picasa™ and Photostudio™ while I was tweaking images to print. I was very pleased with the results of my photo below.

A "Meredith H. original"
Photo manipulation

Karen brought along her Gocco, a similar process developed in the 1970’s.
Karen’s was the smaller version, and she made multi-screened cards back in the day.

"The Masterpiece"

Lynda brought a huge board covered in canvas and we each did test prints as soon as our screens were burned and were quite giddy when they turned out or made faces when they didn’t.

A Karen B. original in progress

Left to Right: 
Jan S,          Siri D,         Leslie B.
All hand drawn originals
A "Chris T" original
Hand drawn

All of these images were printed with thickened dyes.

Now we just need to get printing!

As with any images you use, be mindful of copyright, especially if you plan to sell your work.


  1. Wow, You and Maggie all had a very great day. I particularly like the sketchy look of some of the images!!!

  2. It seems that there is no end of creativity in your FOG group. I love the idea of making unique designs which could be used on quilts, on clothes or simply as pieces of art. More food for thought......hum, when should I get started