the categorical days: Tshirts

July 31, 2009

Knowing is half the battle

Designed by a nerduo, printed by us

We're going to get a good workout at the studio when this BATTLE shirt goes to press.

Its been the fastest selling design on our site.

In commemoration of G.I. Joe, I present my favorite fake PSA.

Look at all your different colored hats!

Filed under: Tshirts, Work | | Comments (1)

December 03, 2008

From screen to magazine

Making the cover

Cincinnati Magazine just released their annual "Best of the City" issue for 2008 (on newsstands now).

In it they list 110 of their favorite things around town, from restaurants and shops to services and activities (including kilt rental and clogging lessons.) They not only gave a shout out to Wire & Twine for our shirts, but they had us print up a batch for the cover along with a tee for every winner on the list.

This is the type of thing we file under 'awesome' around the studio. A great reward as we approach our anniversary and look forward to 2009 and lots of new projects.

(Related link: The "Open for business" post.)

This appreciation would not be complete without tipping our collective hats to everyone who filled up a cart and checked out of our virtual store, 'blogged about a product, emailed a friend with a link, or even sent us good vibes.

Thank you thank you thank you.

Filed under: Tshirts, Work | | Comments (9)

November 18, 2008


an excuse to use the font Avant Garde

Been wanting to make this shirt for a long, long time.

Tom figured it out with some creative screening and a hit of white underneath to help intensify the colors. (Had we gone with a white shirt, this would have been a lot easier).

Printed up a batch today while the sun kept hidin' and the temperature dipped—reminding us that the holidays are right around the corner. And soon? The inspiration for this shirt might make the rounds on the 'tube. Right before Frosty, Rudolph and all those other kick ass specials.

For sale here: SPECIAL, at Wire & Twine.

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September 09, 2008


Reed Ghazala, circuit bending pioneer

Ever since Tom spent some time with the fella above, they've been talking about doing a project together— mixing Reed's knowledge of circuit bending and our work at Wire & Twine.

It all came to a head as Cincinnati hosted the first Circuitastrophe! this past weekend. An event that brought together folks that enjoy the bending of electronics to make music.

In addition to the shows, there was a BE-IN off the grid out near Fort Ancient in southwestern Ohio. Reed explains the origin of the event:

The first Be-In occurred in 1967, in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. At least 20,000 people showed-up. There were no mishaps, no arrests. In fact, the police weren’t even invited. The occasion was to become known as the launching of the counterculture, the Beat generation merging with the Hippies in a wave of social evolution. It was at this gathering that Timothy Leary first announced his now-famous challenge to convention, "Tune In, Turn On, Drop Out."

So we printed up a batch of items and loaded up the car. (sidenote: a first for us was printing on a button up workshirt). Tom developed the design based on the Incantor, a versatile example of circuit-bending using Texas Instrument Speak & Spell or Speak & Math toys.

Everyone at the campground was super-friendly. The weather was darn near perfect, and I wish I would've stayed for the night-time festivities. I did however, manage to take a few photos.

- Photos from the BE-IN (9/7/08)
- Reed Ghazala's website, Anti-Theory
- The Incantor shirt (at Wire & Twine)
- How bend the Incantor (on Make Magazine)
- Previously, Tom makes the Barbinator 3000 (9/1/07)
- Overview of circuit bending (wiki)

Filed under: Tshirts | | Comments (0)

August 25, 2008

Here to Make Friends

Mixing colors on the shirt

You might remember a test print way down at the bottom on this page of unjournaled photos from July. We'd just received new process (CYMK) inks to test in the studio and Tom experimented with thinning them down to provide translucency.

See, these inks are pretty much opaque liquid plastic that never dry out until you cure them at 320 degrees or so. You can mix them with additives to make them less opaque or soft to touch. Usually we mix a little of both because the ink right out of the container is hard to pull and feels thick on the shirt.

For this design, we started with a cup of thinning agent and added a teaspoon of color to achieve the effect.

The concept began to take form after watching this video by Rich of FourFour:

From our product description:
"Life is not a reality show; it is not a competition.
Though we may differ, there is always overlap.
At this intersection we find warmth, laughter, and friendship."

The last bit of interest is the font itself. I first saw a query about it on Scott Hansen's weblog. I didn't think it was available until I was clued in by Frank Chimero. It is called Hellenic and it's just lovely.

Oh yeah, the shirt. We printed up a whole bunch of different sizes for kids and adults.

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July 18, 2008

Images from the festival

1st ever (I think) Cincinnati T-Shirt Festival

So that was fun.

Hot — but fun.

We got to the square just as the sun started to beat down. Luckily there was a breeze and a crowd.

Lots of WOXY fans stopped by our tent. So many we ran out of shirts. (We'll remedy that problem tomorrow). These listeners define enthusiasm.

Also got to see folks from the online world that I've never met before proper. Reinforces my joy of the 'net and always brightens the day.

Overall? A success. And pretty fantastic to see the Square come to life at night with the bands of Indie Summer (see schedule).

Enough gushing, check out the threads and smiling faces:

Photos2008 Cincinnati T-Shirt Festival

Current music: Beastie Boys "The Sounds Of Science"

Filed under: Cincinnati, Tshirts | | Comments (5)

July 11, 2008

Cincinnati T-Shirt Fest

A new WOXY in Cincinnati shirt, available tomorrow (in person)

My car is loaded to the brim with bins upon bins of t-shirts, because tomorrow—we're taking the show on the road.

It's going to be a scorcher, but I hope we'll have some respite under the shade of the tent on Fountain Square. We'll be set up with a bunch of other companies from around town, selling our wares. Full list of vendors here.

It's also game day. The Reds will be up against the New York Mets and this means there will be live music as well on the square. (I'm secretly hoping this means there will also be some beer).

Stop on buy, say howdy. Oh, and if you are wearing a Wire & Twine or WOXY t-shirt, you get 5 bucks off your first purchase.

Cincinnati T-shirt Fest
Friday, July 18, 2008 from 11am–2pm and 5–10pm - Fountain Square

Current music: Deerhunter "Activation"

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June 25, 2008

Green thumb

Modeling in the back yard

A virtual friend remarked upon seeing our yard,

"Did you garden? Because you do now."

How right he was. Turns out Dan has the proclivity to use the hose and the wheelbarrow thus far, but I figure once the inside is more "done," I'll get some (outside) dirt under my fingernails.

First and related package to arrive at the new digs? This, my new favorite t-shirt: "What would nature do?" found at SUPERfantastico.

Diggin it and diggin in.

Current music: Elbow "On A Day Like This"

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May 22, 2008


On the press right now

I think I've mentioned that we print on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the studio. This gives us time to recover from the physicality of the process and spend the other three days of the week doing design, marketing and support.

Today's job: an election-year inspired design for a limited edition WOXY shirt by Tom . It's one of those pre-order deals and the last day to guarantee one is tomorrow. ( Details here )

Okay, enough typing, I need to get back on the press.

Current music: Mudhoney - Superfuzz Bigmuff

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April 22, 2008

50 ways

and lots of icons

Every time Wendy and I find something that helps the environment and is easy to do, we've been adding it to a list. This has been going on for a good part of the year in hopes to have something made to commemorate today, Earth Day.

In the meantime, it became clear that what we've been doing all along at the studio was celebrating the things we love. Whether it is Tom's enthusiasm for music, Wendy's passion for education, my obsession with say, videogames, hairstyles, or pop culture in general—it is all parts of who we are.

Loving on the planet is a thing we share in common, so this project was extra fun.

Now some folks might not believe its necessary to change any behaviors when it comes to conservation and environmental concerns—and to them, we cannot preach—they've got their motivations.

But we'll keep at it, thank you kindly, and keep sharing:

50 Ways to Help the Planet

If you're in the Cincinnati area, you can get this shirt (and more of our goods) at Park+Vine downtown, or MiCA in O'Bryonville.

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March 11, 2008


Another day

It wasn't so much the spoof on Saturday Night Live as it was an email from my friend Alex up in Columbus. She was wondering if there would be a t-shirt for Christian from Runway.

This wasn't the first request, but it hit me on a night when I needed a big diversion and Dan was out in rehearsal. What came out was so bang on we printed it up the next day in a boatload of colors, deciding bright red said it the best, "FIERCE."

Now available in men's and ladies sizes on soft, fitted American Apparel:
FIERCE the shirt or Make It Work

Current music: Goldfrapp "Some People"

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February 20, 2008

Again, with the shirts

The last of the 2007 WOXY limited edition shirts

Real quick: We printed a few extra WOXY tees to cover any issues last holiday season.

Everything is now squared away and we're clearing out remaining stock.

Quantities and sizes super limited.


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February 19, 2008

dis-pwned pony

Done with Pegasus, seen in a downtrodden Dayton alley

This entry isn't about a discarded vinyl toy.

It isn't about a fresh (and redrawn) reprint of my Tim Gunn "Make It Work" shirt. (Which by the way, you can try and snag for free on Joe My God's Swag Tuesday, simply leave a comment with your email address.)

No, what currently is on my mind is that I want to go see that bodies exhibit, but word on the street is that there is a four hour wait to get in the Cincinnati Museum Center . This is exactly the reason why I did not make it through the Martha Stewart Apprentice try outs.

Long lines are a great travesty on the world. They impede productivity and spoil moods.

Wouldn't a system like a movie theater work? Let X number of people in at a certain time, sell tickets according to schedule and capacity. I suppose this doesn't maximize profits, but I'm just trying to think about the children—and my short fuse for long lines.

(insert grumble)

Maybe I should have written about the little pony.

Current music: Malcolm McLaren "Ride A Fashion Horse Part 1"

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February 13, 2008

Cut Loose

Not foot loose [ + zoom this photo ]

Back in the studio and largely on track today. This, I should mention, after I got a phone call in the morning and realized I spaced out on a meeting. I've only done this a few times in my life, but it falls outside of embarrassing and into something that smarts a little more.

Perhaps this is another reason why I would fail miserably in a corporate environment, making this special Threadless tee called "Cut Loose" somewhat appropriate.

I believe this design was only available at the Threadless Chicago retail store when it opened. Normally I don't like to post product taunts but this is the first day I've worn this shirt and I quite dig it.

Current music: Dave Eggers "The Commercials of Norway"

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January 25, 2008

Wearing my lucky shirt

It's already been broughten. FTW

Like McCain on the night of New Hampshire primaries, I too have a lucky shirt. This is the one I wore while running around the farm-slash-studio on my last Layer Tennis match—and it's the shirt I'm going to be wearing this afternoon for the playoffs. Two simultaneous matches are going down at 3pm EST (extra points if we cross pollenate layers.) Previews of each match are online:

Gruber will be providing commentary between me and Inman.

Rosecrans will be spouting off between Koxvold and Hutchinson.

So back to the shirt... It's mesmerizing isn't it? McCain would be jealous. You can get 'em over at Wuvable Oaf and they're available in 'bait or 'oaf sizes.

It's not pimping when you love it.

I'm off to warm up.

Current music: Ghostface Killah "We Celebrate"

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January 04, 2008

Apple Timeline

Mental note: Must. Stop. Eating. Crapfood.

I was trying to figure out when Job's keynote goes down when I saw the horrible t-shirts linked up from the Macworld website.

It pains to look at the designs available, much like it is painful to see how much my torso would benefit from a modernized man-girdle.

Anyway, all this is totally unlike my new favorite shirt from Insanely Great Tees called Apple Timeline. I had some variation of this in my head for some time, but this execution and design exceeds my imagination.

In self news: the first week of '08 had lots of darts lined up for the calendar. Didn't actually throw many on specific dates, but lined them up and felt the weight and girth. Oh, and the studio is beginning to sparkle. Next it week it will smell of Pine Sol.

Current music: The Breeders "Little Fury"

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December 05, 2007

On the press

Tom works his guns

If you placed an order for the Limited Edition WOXY shirt, they're on the press this week. There have been some questions as I didn't change the automated response that said they'd ship in 7 days when orders were placed. They ship next week in time for the holidays.

Tom and I knocked out all the olive in our most productive day ever at the studio. Next on tap are the navy and cranberry. Once these are out the door, I am confident my biceps will be much larger.

In other music news, it's official — The Breeders have a new album dropping in '08, oh, and it's snowing! here in Dayton.

Current music: Ladies Who Lunch "Gigantic"

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November 30, 2007


Tied and ready to go out the door

I don't cuss much.

I'm not opposed to it, mind you—but I'm around kids sometimes and it's just easier to change behaviors.

'Sides... I'm fond of fiddlesticks and dagnabbit.

But sometimes, an expletive is in order. So when Khoi of Subtraction needed to reprint his classic Hel-fuckin-vetica t-shirt, there was no hesitation to help out. Hell yeah we would!

Khoi also threw us artwork over the net to print up some Fear of a Cooper Black Planet shirts. Kick ass.

They're going out the door as fast as we can print em. In fact, I need to get back downstairs and stuff these into envelopes.

Real quick though: In other shirt related news, the WOXY pre-order ends TOMORROW. If you wanted to guarantee one of those for your torso, place your order pronto.

Current music: Jay-Z "Can I Get a..."

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November 09, 2007 limited edition tees

our test print

I warned there was going to be some hand-drawn lettering emerging from our studio, and it's finally here. (We're also sticking with generous whitespace no matter how trendy it gets).

Maybe you remember my first shirt for WOXY back in 2004. A lot has changed since then: I stopped doing stuff freelance and joined up with my friends to start Wire & Twine. The radio station closed, got revived by LaLa, and is now even available again on the airwaves in Cincinnati (HD Radio this time around).

Again, we looked to the doodles on Trapper Keepers for inspiration. And instead of just picking out favorite artists, Bryan over at the station sifted through all the tracks played this year and came back with the top 100.

The 2007 Limited Edition Tee
[available in 3 tasty colors for pre-order]

Current music:

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June 10, 2007

wearing your heart

Pride in Cincinnati

Wow. What a day. (and a gorgeous one at that)

Pictured here, me and Tom - partner in crime at Wire &Twine - standing inside of our first festival tent full of screen-printed goodness.

Not pictured: many months of planning, a lot of power production by intern extraordinaire and tube-top rocker Garrett, plus sweat, tears, and a pile sawdust created by the whole crew.

We'll be set up again tomorrow for the Pride Parade. If you're in the Cincinnati area, come on down to Northside and say howdy. There should be lots of sunshine, and a good deal or two. (And we'll be up in Columbus, OH on June 23!)

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April 30, 2007


Erik sweatin it up on the Ditch Witch

This morning I got in to the studio and Tom had the press all set up with the final run to complete stock on the Bubba Loves It camouflage shirt. So if you’d ordered one of those and hadn't gotten it yet, it ships TODAY! We've perfected the process for getting the fluorescent ink to really pop — two hits of white under three hits of orange, and they are screaming.

So that's good. Also in the category of good is wearing the OH DEER shirt (pictured above) out and about. It's like an optical illusion. No one notices that it's not a deer on your chest, but a big ol' fella with a beard and cap sittin there.

Might take folks a second take to see the J, D, and E have "worn off" and piled up on the hem with a stag's head.

I mention this because, after scrolling through feeds over lunch and seeing bubba crop up on Autoblog and recently on Boing Boing, we knew it was time to get something other than bumper stickers out there.

Surf on over: Bubba Loves It

(related link from 2004: Launching the icon)

Current music: Merzbow "Part.3, Merzbear"

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March 04, 2007

The Ladies Hairshirt

The latest tee

Though it's been in the works for a while, the topic of hairstyles (or lack thereof) seems to be making the rounds these days. I only wish this shirt was ready in time for press conferences that involved hairdos from the 70's.

Alas, I'm still pretty jazzed about how well the line work translated to fabric—using a fine-point marker instead of a Sharpie brought an extra level of detail to the artwork.

Originally slated to be exclusive for the ladies, test shirts proved popular enough to warrant sizes for all. So you can get this Ladies Hairshirt in fitted tees from small to 3X.


Current music: Kenny Smith "Foxfire"

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February 02, 2007


The screen before ink was slathered on

Though I'm still working on a movie and a bit of behind the scenes (update: movie posted), another shirt is up and online at Wire & Twine.

Going along the loose theme of things we love, I spent a good chunk of hours looking at the insides of a Wii Remote controller—translating the innards into an isometric technical-like drawing.

Presenting: The Tii-shirt, available for kids, the ladies, and unisex/men’s sizes up to 3X.

Current music: XOC "Chocolate Island"

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January 29, 2007

Sound Burger


Sound BurgerI will use this space to share my friend Tom's obsession with Guided By Voices.

His intense patronage has led to the collection of much vinyl—lots considered rare, trips to concerts—Pollard's mental state unknown, and I can't even look over his shoulder at his inbox—with thousands of unread messages from GBV mailing lists.

The good part of all this... obsession, was a nice electronic byproduct: The Sound Burger (Audio Technica AT-727) portable record player.

Its belt-driven turntable runs off 3 C batteries, has a built in pre-amp, and includes RCA outputs. The latter makes transferring those rare GBV tracks for digital enjoyment almost painless.

That said, Tom up and made a shirt of this player of records and it's now up on Wire & Twine.

In other news, I took a 3 hour nap this weekend, and man it felt good.

Current music: GBV "Pantherz"

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December 07, 2006

Open for business

One of the first shirts up for ordering

After many moons, my friends and I are ready to open up shop proper. It's taken a while to get all the tidbits working, but now that we have the site up and running, with credit card processing (in addition to PayPal capabilities), we're pretty excited to start making more stuff.

So take a gander: Wire & Twine

Feel free to drop a line if you find any bugs or oddities.

I'll be posting more about the hows and whys, but for now we're just happy to hang the "open" sign virtually.

And as for the Facial hairshirt (pictured above) I know, I know, there are many different names for beard types. If you have suggestions for version 2, drop a comment.

Otherwise, a kind tip of the hat for your patronage.

Current music: Frank Zappa "Trying to Grow a Chin"

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August 20, 2006

Make It Work: The t-shirt

Because we need more Tim Gunn in our lives

What started as a semi-serious notion while watching Project Runway back in 2006 turned into a sketch, and then a reality.

Two years later and I'm still enjoying the show.

I updated the drawing of Tim to look more like Tim and less like Paul Newman on a bottle of ranch dressing. I've also printed this new batch on heather gray shirts instead of three different colors. That got to be too confusing to keep in stock.

The one-color design is lovingly hand-printed on a super-soft American Apparel shirt.

So have a look-see, they're available in mens and ladies sizes for a limited time.

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May 18, 2006

everything but the squeal

Finally, the sun shines again (but not for long)

I've not posted a t-shirt in a while, and if I wait any longer before “recording” this one, it will start to fade.

It's a favorite in current rotation, not because it's incredibly soft, but because it was handmade by my friend John and I just dig it all around.

In related news: I was pulling some shirts this afternoon and encountered a few issues: the bleeding of camouflage through white ink, and glow-in-the-dark ink that was a failure on all levels (thin, transparent, gloppy, and requiring way too many hits).


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April 24, 2006


Music Now Festival shirts

Mid-morning Friday found a small crew tackling the shirt job. It's a robotic process I enjoy quite a bit.

We finished up in good time with only one dud (that was my fault).

I am hoping to catch Clogs and The Books on Thursday at this music fest, and then the summer concert season starts to warm up considerably.

I need to plan.

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February 20, 2006

postbear and links

postgaycowboy is next

And now some links, or a shorter way to say, "aren't you glad I'm not sending this crap to you in an email?"

Live webcam of the place Brokeback Mountain was filmed — It's gallery 6, "Three Sisters" (timelapse videos too)

Sing along with Willie — follow the bouncing dot for the gay cowboy song. (Flash, and not really worth the click)

Where I bought the t-shirt — And I must admit it is of excellent quality. Not sure if they're still for sale, but worth a shot (maybe he'll make more!)

Wiki defines bear — I never heard the term “pocket protector” before (in this context).

More random:

Let Them Sing it for You – Type in (simple) words and the magic of computers will piece together a song from other songs for you. (via)

Code Orange: The Slaves of Christo — Chronicle of two students who lived to tell about working on The Gates.

History of New York Egg Cream — I have yet to have one, but I know just where to go.

They Might Be Giants — are writing a song for every venue they're playin on their tour.

1,300 cereal boxes — I'm still looking around for the Halfsies. (via)

We Heart Gocco — The Wurst Gallery has another fine exhibition. (via my favorite sites)

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December 08, 2005

woxy winter shirt


Things on the press are moving nicely. We've changed inks to a local distributor that has lots of good insight, and we're getting better at fixing errors before they become wasted product.

Moving through a half a gross of shirts with 5 passes on the front and three on the back can be done in a day (with lunch break).

The results are actually on sale, but don't complain if it is slightly crooked or the ink is whack, that's the beauty of something home made.

It's wabi-sabi. WOXY winter shirt

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November 23, 2005


For the winter collection

Pellons are the felt-like sheets to do test printing and alignment. Up until this point, I'd never seen the letters put together, and I'd been referring to them as "pell pells," which is almost too ridiculous to stop saying.

Each job reveals advances in technique. This particular one represents a milestone in quality of ink going down, and the fumes are now exiting the space nicely with a new fan installed.

Filed under: Tshirts | | Comments (0)

November 17, 2005


Cure at 320°

After a distressing start, today was the first time at the press where things seemed to really click.

Minor screen printing realizations :

If you're printing a bright color on a dark shirt, throw a hit of white underneath. You'll save yourself a lot of time and the colors will appear true.

There is zen to finding the middle of the shirt when there is no crease. Observe the grain of the fabric, pull at the corners and sense off-center tension. Become one with the apparel.

Also, rejected shirts can be salvaged.

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August 23, 2005


Shirt by Veer, next to medicine cabinet

When the three bears rolled through Cincy a while back, they came bearing gifts.

The first was a Ziploc bag of Kevin's beard. He once said he wouldn't cut it until I would visit St. Louis... After I kept getting sidetracked, he couldn't take it anymore and gave in to a big trim.

I suppose the next time my mom makes homemade paper, I'll throw his follicles in the blender and give it back in some other fashion.

The second gift is perfectly suited as I've often been asked to describe my graphic style and always reply, "Swiss Anal," a brief period that came after Bauhaus.

I needed more red in my wardrobe and it will be cherished. (Detail of shirt)

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August 19, 2005

When is that screen printing set-up going to be finished?

The wash out station

Soon. So very soon.

There was one unexpected piece of the puzzle that required professional intervention—exhaust ductwork for the drying station—essentially, a big oven with a belt that sets the ink at a high temperature.

So that was installed just this week and all of a sudden we realized a better system for printing transparencies was in order. Instead of traditional direct emulsion, we're going with capillary film. This rolls on like wet wallpaper to the screen and produces a very consistent surface for burning the image for printing. Heavy ink on transparencies is required though, so what we've used previously—a laser printer—might produce lackluster results.

The next post on this topic will yield some tangible result.

Filed under: Tshirts | | Comments (0)

June 27, 2005


Spotted at the radio station today

I've been keeping a notebook handy of late. More-so than usual.

I thought of a great graphic the other day, where Bush would be like Andre the Giant from that OBEY thingy. So pleased I was, with the unoriginal thought I figured no one had done yet.

Turns out, I was wrong.

Proletarian Threads: Gear for Everyday Insurrections

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