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A silkscreen is created by the long established method of a stencil printing process in which colour, usually paint or ink is passed through a fine screen onto paper.  The screen used comprises of a fine weave silk, or something similar, pulled over and secured to a frame.  The silk is then masked with the exception of the areas that the paint needs to pass through.  Each individual colour and shade require a separate screen hence the whole process is very involved and takes a great deal of time.  Layer by layer the final piece or artwork comes together.