Adventures in Screen Printing

April 17, 2015/0/0

Over the past few weeks I’ve been researching the art of screen printing. I usually use subcontractors for my clients, but this time around my goal was to find a way to easily make Gigawatt Graphic T-shirts for friends, family, and fans (f3?), and I wanted to be able to print them in small batches whenever I needed more. This limited my options, most of the screen print shops in my area insist on larger print runs to drive down costs. So, I set out to find a new solution.

I watched a lot of YouTube tutorials, including some on how to build your own screens from the frames and how to burn your images with emulsion. This spiraled into a “Hey, I bet I could build my own 4-color press in the basement!” comment to my wife. I also tried going for the “As seen on TV” route, which was a complete failure.

In the end, I reached out to one of my friends at QRST’s in Somerville and he was kind enough to burn my design into one of his used frames. This gives me a high quality screen and allows me print small batches at home. The shirts turned out better then I had hoped, and I’m thrilled that the grunge areas held up so well. I haven’t given up on the 4-color DIY press in the basement, but for now this will do just fine.  Give me a shout if you’d like a Gigawatt Graphics shirt for yourself!

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