Huh, have I not talked about the new Pocket Vinyl shirts yet? My memory is a bit foggy. Well, I was just in the basement screen-printing a whole bunch more in all sorts of sizes (previously we only had them in larges and extra-larges, sorry about that for those who were asking for smaller sizes)! And they’ll be available for sale at our FREE show tomorrow night opening up for Ezra Furman!
First, the shirts…
Some advice: If the all of the internet tells you, “Sorry, no one’s ever done that before. It’s not possible.” don’t believe it.
For a few years now, at least since I started designing t-shirts, I’ve wanted to create a shirt that had a design that completely covered the entirety of the shirt, front & back! With us needing a new Pocket Vinyl t-shirt design, and with me having a couple past designs & screen printings under my belt, I felt like the time had come to fulfill this shirty dream.
I create shirts using the photo emulsion method of screen printing. Typically that means I draw up a design, get it copied onto transparent paper, and then use that to burn the imagine into the prepared screen. (Like exposing a photograph, if you’ve ever done that.) I decided that to be able to mostly cover at least a standard extra large t-shirt, I’d need to make a screen 3’x3′. Which I did. By hand. Using bits of wood I found, the circular saw in the greenhouse, a drill with a broken gun, and for the screen part I actually used an old sheer curtain!! I am very proud of this alone.
After preparing the screen for burning (that was the messiest part, but I won’t get too technical here) I needed to create a design on something transparent… This was tough. After considering and dismissing a lot of options I decided to paint with black acrylic directly onto a sheet of plexiglass that fit into the screen. That was hours and hours and hours of tedious work. I had to repaint my lines 2-4 times each to make sure the paint would be dark enough to block light in the burning process.
Finally when I finished that I checked on-line to see how long, approximately, I should be burning a screen this big. This is when I started to get really worried. In all of the internet, the biggest homemade screen I could find for printing was 18″x24″. Mine was 3’x3′. Oops. I made some calculations and guesses, and set the burning to what I hoped would work… That was so nerve-wracking. I was in a state of complete anxiety literally the entire time.
Amazingly though, it was a success!! I had to scrub the screen for over an hour afterwards, but it actually really worked!
Then of course, even more anxiety as I tested it out for the first time on a t-shirt. But, as I think you’ll see from the photos, total success. Things are a bit messy here and there, but you know what? I feel like a frickin pioneer!! And I could not be more proud of these new shirts!
Here are the details:
Also, we do have a handful of other shows coming up this week:
Friday, August 17 – New London, CT – The Telegraph (19 Golden Street, New London, CT)- 6:30 PM (early show)
Friday, August 17 – New London, CT – The Oasis Pub (16 Bank Street, New London, CT) – 10:30 PM (late show)
(Those two will be fundraiser shows for our upcoming Pocket Vinyl 7″!!! There will be lots of extra stuff, like maybe dancing…? We’ll see… You should come!!)
Sunday, August 19 – Brunswick, ME – Whately Farm (DIY space: 330 Cathance Rd, Topsham, ME 04086) – 3 PM
Hope to see you at a show!!