Its been a very stressful couple of days. Go ahead laugh, you’re thinking, no job and all you do is ride a bike and roller skate, how stressful can that be. Well you don’t know about my latest volunteer donation. Screen printing.
This weekend is the Southern Illinois Fat Tire Fest, which like the countless other fat tire fests around the country is a weekend of camping and mountain biking. I haven’t had much to do with this in the past but this year I’ve been a bit more active in mountain bike community. I made a design for the Shawnee Mountain Bike Association and silk screened it on some shirts. I was asked if I would make some more shirts for the Fest.
Of course I jumped on the opportunity, in fact I jumped right off the ledge. I went to the hardware store and bought some 2x4s and assorted hardware to make a silkscreen press. You can silkscreen without a press but its much harder and makes mistakes harder to avoid. I built my press by looking at pictures of them online, there are several examples on youtube, no good plans or directions so I just wung it. I also received several old and unused silkscreens from a fellow rider, sweet!
I made my design and my screen and went to print, the results weren’t good. My design sucked, my press wasn’t working, my ink was clogging, basically nothing was working right, meanwhile I’ve got this big box of shirts that my good friends have trusted me with. I spent Sunday and Monday frantically trying to fix everything, I got a .ai file of the clubs new slick logo, I put new mesh in an old screen, I figured out what offset is and basically leanred how to print on a silkscreen press. I failed a lot, and my wife says I cussed too much.
Finally last night around 7:30 PM I made a print on paper, that came out actually looking good, then I made a print on a shirt that looked good, but even more importantly I was able to repeat the process with the same results many times. It was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Spent the morning making shirts, after a relaxing trip skating of course.