So I have been talking about it for a l0ng time, sitting through linguistic classes and doodling ideas, hemming and hawing over which package to buy- and I finally did it. I am the proud owner of silk screen system.
Dad-in-law and I set up a little corner in the basement so I could make my own messes without messing up other peoples' messes. It's a perfect place to work since it can get completely dark for coating and burning screens, there's a sink for all the washing, and it gets freezing cold down there. We installed a bench, cabinet and lighting; mounted the press; and away I went.
My first attempts at burning a screen did not turn out too well*. Luckily I had lattes, tunes, and New Belgium to keep my spirits up. Fourth time is a charm, though, and I made a usable screen. Turns out I needed a higher wattage bulb, a longer burn time, and I only coated one side of the screen with emulsion. I used a cut-out stencil for my design since I didn't trust that my printer was printing the film opaque enough so that light could not get through. I used a panda design that I had originally submitted for a dorm t-shirt contest at Simpson University, but it only received two votes. Take that Simpson! The Panda LIVES!
I scrounged Goodwill for t-shirts to practice on and only came back with this black one for a buck- not bad, not bad at all. I practiced on some paper first cause I didn't want to screw up my nice new shirt.
I slapped some ink on the screen, squeegied (sp?) away, and BAM! Sexy Panda. WWF here I come (that's World Wildlife Fund).
SO GET YOUR ORDERS IN! This panda shirt can be yours for only a $99.99! Seriously, though, everyone who ever gets a gift from me from now on will probably be getting some sort of t-shirt or other printed item. Just pretend you like it.
Special thanks to my wife, mom, and grandma who supported me financially in this creative venture, and to everyone else who supported me in other ways like saying, "Dude, that's awesome! You should totally do that." Thanks to dad-in-law too for letting me set up shop in the...shop.
It's been a fun process. I love being able to have creative outlets.
*If you want to know more about the screen-printing process, check out this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ee_8IMx0uMo