I very much agree with your comments Paula. I attended one of Art2Screen's courses at the beginning of this year and it exceeded my expectations. I learnt so much and there was no hard sell at all, although I did end up buying a lot of equipment from them because I was so impressed. Jim was great, very down to earth and generous with his knowledge - I would highly recommend.
I recently attended Art2Screen's screen printing school and I would like to write some comments about it for the benefit of others who are looking for lessons or screen printing equipment. I viewed a 6 colour, 6 station evolution floor standing carousel at their studio and met Jim who clearly has a wealth of knowledge and more experience than anyone else I have met in the industry so far. It was a fun three day course, very informative and hands-on and I was quite overwhelmed with the amount of information and advice given, and at no point was I pressurised to buy any of the equipment. Jim even told me to go and view other equipment to compare! I have done exactly that but believe that theirs is by far the best in terms of value and quality. Money well spent, on both the course and the equipment.
I have just started using Art2Screen for various screen printing consumables and I have been delighted with the service. They are such a cool company, very down to earth and extremely helpful. I am quite new to screen printing and they have helped guide me on things I was a little unsure on without using a load of jargon I can't understand, and I have to say that their advice and product recommendations have been spot on! I am loving screen printing more these days and fearing less thanks to them and I love that even when I'm not buying anything I can still give them a call and ask for their advice :)
I just want to say, i have found this company so helpful and i really can't fault them. As a tattoo artist, screen printing seemed quite scary and a very different process to what i'm used to, i have been able to reproduce my tattoo designs using the intro2pro 6 colour kit i bought and my customers love them! It also adds an extra element to shop front and i've already had requests to reproduce some printed designs already. So, 100% this company deserves 5 stars in my eyes!!
I couldn't disagree more with the last 2 reviews I have read on this forum! My experience of Art2screen has been nothing but good. I too ordered an exposure unit from them fairly recently. I found their video to be an extremely useful step-by-step guide on how to put it together - it took me no time at all. The lamp in mine has been absolutely fine although I know from fellow Screen Printers that the bulb shattering is a very common thing and therefore probably no reflection on the quality of the exposure unit itself. As for being badly packaged, admittedly, mine didn't arrive perfectly packaged but I know from personal experience that the blame doesn't necessarily lie with the company you've ordered from, it could well be the couriers they use and if that it is the case unless they're informed they wouldn't even know!
As for Susan Kemp's experience, forgive my bluntness but I think their offer was actually extremely generous considering the unit had been used. As I say, I hear that the glass shattering is quite common due to the heat, and they did offer a full refund on a used item which isn't faulty. I don't think many other places would offer that. My experience of their customer service has always been more than good. Over the last few months I have had to speak to them (including Hazel) a number of times and I have always found them to be extremely helpful and polite and to offer a very personal service - they always take time with me. I have ordered a number of screens from them over the last year too, and numerous other companies previously, and to be quite honest with you I have always found frames to have some little inconsistencies wherever I order them from but certainly never inconsistent enough that it would cause me any problems with my work. I personally would highly recommend using Art2screen not only because of all of the above but also because without doubt they offer the best value for money around.
Some of the products sold by Art2Screenprint, such as their plastisol ink range, are actually quite good, and the prices are very good. Unfortunately this is spoiled by the utter contempt they seem to hold their customers in. Late order dispatches, poor packaging, missing items... It seems that they would screw up 2 orders for every 3 they got right. I myself have spent nearly £500 on aluminium screens from them and the quality is very questionable. The frames seem to be very inconsistently assembled resulting in major issues with press setup. The last batch I ordered arrived in completely incorrect specifications and all the frames were welded warped. I returned the screens at my own expense and was then treated to a month of stonewalling before I resorted to initiating a court claim to retrieve my money.
You need only read the abusive responses to negative feedback on their eBay shop to see how they regard customers that dare to speak out on their lousy business practices. Buyer beware. There are plenty of professional screen print suppliers in the UK. Yes, most will be more expensive. But ultimately the extra money buys you a level of professional service A2SP cannot match.
As an artist I am one of many who do operate on a very tight budget. Sometimes, however, it is necessary to invest in new equipment to develop creatively. To take my work to a new level I decided to invest in screen printing equipment. Looking online Art2screen seemed to offer a reasonably priced package so I placed my order. I received an email confirming my order and the money was taken from my account. I received no further communication or reply to my email enquiring what the status of my order was. I was concerned that money had been taken with no further word as my usual experience with reputable companies is that they let you know about shipping very quickly and are prompt about informing you about any stock delays. As there was no reply to my email I phoned and left a message. No phone call in reply. I called again and was eventually told that my order was about to be sent in a couple of days. No apology for lack of communication. However, I stuck with it as I didn’t want to go through the hassle of cancelling and re-ordering somewhere else. I received the equipment in two badly packaged boxes. There were no instructions on how to assemble the exposure unit so I had to trawl through the videos until I could piece together how to do it by how it looked on screen. The screws did not fit the base board, exceeding the depth by three mm at least. Again I thought it would be easier to buy new screws myself rather than deal with repackaging and returning the equipment. So I prepared two of the screens and burned the first with no problem. On the second exposure the glass in the lamp shattered. This spread shattered pieces of glass all over my darkroom and onto the screens. This was the final straw. I contacted Art2screen who said they would replace the lamp but I explained I no longer wanted the exposure unit as I felt that all the events that led up to the glass shattering represented an entirely unsatisfactory experience. They agreed to refund the whole but when I asked about arranging for the unit to be collected on their account they insisted I had to pay the cost of postage myself. I didn’t agree that this was right. I was told they would enquire further and get back to me by email that night. No email. I phoned the next day and left my number and was told Hazel would call me back in an hour. No call back. I phoned again and spoke to Hazel. After some argy- bargy she insisted that because I had used the equipment I had to pay for the postage. They would have replaced the lamp and paid the postage for that but did not accept that I had a right to be unhappy with the whole experience because if I hadn’t been satisfied with the unit I should never have used it. I do not believe that if I had phoned up about the screws and asked for them to take back the whole for that fault they would have agreed, however, I can’t go back in time to test that theory. So I will be significantly out of pocket for the postage and feel that I should share my experience of Art2screen with the wider community so they can make informed decisions about whether to spend their hard earned money here or elsewhere. Susan Kemp knowesfarmstudio.com
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