Much as Spy Kids (2001) begot 2002’s Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams, so the Silian Rail poster resulted in a spin off project that I will detail in this sequel to the previous post. Following their tour, the band played a CD release show in San Francisco. At this show I was connected with Lia Rose, whose inspiring success in funding her debut solo album on kickstarter.com afforded her the funds to print some t-shirts. That’s where I came in, she suggested. I don’t usually print t-shirts because (1) I don’t have the proper gear (2) There are plenty of other people who print t-shirts and (3) They are much better at it than I. We decided to give it a try anyway and and to my surprise we were able to crank out 75 one layer t-shirts in just one long Wednesday night, including coffee break. I worked the squeegee, Lia Rose worked the heat gun.
This was the goal:
Typically, printing a light color on dark fabric is the screenprinter’s classic pain in the ass scenario. There’s almost no ink that will look opaque and bright when printed light-on-dark alone. Printing a light graphic on a dark shirt usually requires a base coat of white or an initial spot bleaching step to lighten the bit of shirt directly under the ink (i.e. discharge printing, which is like magic. Check out this fantastic video demo for excruciating technical detail more info). Naturally, I was pretty sure I would fuck up all of the above and waste poor Lia Rose’s hard earned venture capital. Once again, I found myself toeing the line between mediocre and piss poor.
What was I going to do?
Luckily, the light-on-dark dilemma is only a dilemma if a bright and opaque graphic is desired. You actually get a somewhat cool vintage-y look if you just say screw it and print with no conditioning. So screw it we did, hard and long with excellent results. It was an edition of 75 shirts, printed on Alternative Apparel with Matsui RC ink, heat set at 320 ° for 60 seconds. Mediocrity pays off again! Here’s Lia Rose with a freshly heat set men’s medium.
And a close up of the feaf, a “feather-leaf hybrid.” I think they have them in Madagascar: