Little Opera shirts! And bags! Come see the cute little beasts perform at the Alcove Theater in downtown SF! Next week!
(Attending will grant you the possibility of seeing a few of those beasts in color-coordinated and adorable micro baseball shirts.)
Check it out:
Our first retail license at Coyote!
And I have been finding our screen printed signs popping up all around the Temescal environs of Oak-land.
All of this activity coincided with our grand opening party last night. To mark the occasion, EB and I printed some shirts re-appropriated by Rachel H.
Thank you to the devoted lot who stopped by to mark the occasion.
Sir after calculating my score with your percentages present in the syllabus I came up with a percentage of 61.75%
Check out how good this tee-shirt came out.
It was done by Martin (with a little creative input from Banksy, who fully supports the appropriation), one of nine SF high schoolers in a screen print class I’ve been teaching at the nonprofit arts center Root Division this spring.
It can be hard at first to convince high schoolers that screenprinting in the age of mechanical reproduction is almost by definition not about technical perfection. But then we get to magic moments like this that make more sense than me talking. The shirt not only looks great but it maintains the trace of its maker: way cooler than a shirt bought at a store. Creative high schoolers understand that.
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Kids receive their Little Opera tees:[flv:little_opera_shirt_reaction.flv 480 360]
Everyone likes tee-shirts, most people like cute kids singing, and a small number of folks like opera. That accumulates to a fairly good reason to make tee-shirts for Little Opera, San Francisco’s newest all-kids opera company.
In discussing the design with Little Opera CEO and supreme empress Erin Bregman, we decided each year’s shirt would feature a figure from the sordid history of Opera. This inaugural year’s mascot, Engelbert Humperdinck, was selected mostly on the strength of his mustachioed headshot on Wikipedia.
Tonight we made a dark print on light shirts for kids. Stay tuned for the exciting follow up I think I will call light print on dark shirts for adults.
You will note the exquisite detail one can attain with a fine mesh screen. Note it![flv:little_opera_shirts.flv 640 480]
People seem to be much more interested in my studio when I am working on t-shirts. So maybe out of the goodness of my heart or maybe out of a pitiful need to be noticed, I printed a few tops for friends and family.
My secret weapon: H&M. How are they able to manufacture garments in Bangladesh, ship them eight thousand miles to the West Coast of the U.S., and sell them at profit for $5.95? Just a little thing called supply side economics you dumbass liberal apologists. You jerks are so in love with regulation that if you had your way this rampant federal government would probably be trying to take over the delivery of everyone’s goddamned mail (and taxing me for it).
Anyway the series depicts three figures selected the from the city’s history. I already executed a second printing, mostly because I carelessly failed to buy any large shirts the first time.
It’s a series of, I don’t know, twenty? Anyone want one? If so, I will heat set and drop in the mysterious blue container outside. It seems to seems to receive, sort, handle, and promptly deliver anything I place in it.
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:
I almost never screen print t-shirts. I’m not good at it and there are loads of other people who are. Just about the only shirt printing I do is for other people. That was the situation on Sunday. A friend of a friend was interested in making some shirts for her physical therapist assistant program (as any reputable department should be), so we got together and did some textile printing.
I was reminded of the power of grey. Simple. Versatile. Sexy. Definitely my favorite color, like that dude from Counting Crows. The shirts didn’t even turn out that awful: