My dad is a master screen printer. He has screened thousands upon thousands of paper/plastic/metal items over the years. We have screen printed flags and even blankets together. But he doesn’t screen print clothing items.
But we did this week. Last spring I was able to purchase a four color screen printing system for my classroom with an education grant. It is really cool and we used it with my students for one color jobs and have had great success. We are working our way up to the more advanced projects!
So for our 14th annual Maxwell Lakehouse trip, I asked Dad if he wanted to screenprint shirts for all 22 of us. Kylie and Dad came up with the design, I fine-tuned it and printed it, and we ordered tshirts. We made the screens and are increasing our skills with the emulsion process.
Finally we were ready to print. Kylie and Lexi had to come help. Given that I grew up screenprinting with Dad, no way were they not going to help us! Just getting the shirts ready to print was an undertaking given that our sizes start with a 6 month old and go up to an adult xl.
I took a time lapse video of our work. If you watch carefully you can see Kylie and Lexi screenprint a little themselves at the end! Lexi was the master at loading the shirts exactly right and Kylie pulled the shirts and set them on the drying rack.
We were doing fine.. actually we did great until about shirt number 17. At that point the fact that we were not putting the shirts under the flash dryer between colors became an issue. I knew it would be.. but I had hoped that we would make it to the end first. But no. Dad was so disappointed. I wasn’t. I guess twenty years of teaching public school has me thinking that getting 16 of the 22 done without too much of a mess is a win. Dad said we weren’t screenprinting, we were SCREAMPRINTING!
After we took stock of the shirts, we decided to run white on top of the blue. I LOVE the way it turned out! There are a couple of shirts that are not great, but overall, I consider this a successful project.
And next time, we will stop and figure out that blasted flash dryer so that we can print all the colors without ending up with “psychedelic” shirts!
I can’t wait to get our Maxwell Lakehouse family picture taken in a week or so.