November 2008

Blast from Screenprinting Past

yes, i was a very clever boy once upon a time

It was a very long time ago that I screen printed these pairs of underwear. It was back when I first started printing, and I was unable to get a single satisfactory print. But I kept trying anyway. Still unwilling to concede defeat after mis-printing a few pair, I stuffed them into a box to be unearthed now several years later.

I wonder at the design, as I still like it, but it clearly falls under the ‘clever’ category, which I’ve been trying so hard to avoid. I’m uncertain, but would anyone be interested in this sort of thing? I could conceive of doing a very short tiny run of these if enough people displayed initial interest. The print quality would be much improved, of course, and the variety of color availability would be the usual tiny run madness, I’m sure.

Blackbirds. NO! BLUEBIRDS!

birds birds birds

big ol flock of bluebirdscloseup flock of bluebirds

big ol flock of black birdscloseup flock

“Blackbirds. NO! BLUEBIRDS!”
Hilesh Patel (embroidered by Michael)
Design run of 11/22/2008 through 12/06/2008

This is a rethreading of an older embroidery interpretation of Hilesh’s work that was used in one of my first batik-embroidery mix experiments. I wasn’t too amazed by those original results, but I gave it this recent try and just fell in love with version of blue on blue. There are multiple variables with this design that result in a less clean, ever so slightly less precise embroidery. These could be cleaned, reworked, updated, but I find myself really loving the imprecision of this. After so many hours fighting to get every single stitch to be perfect, I really comfortable with digging this one just as it is.

My favorite is the blue, but I understand some people prefer to go more non-chromatic, and I couldn’t help thinking of Jack Kerouac and his Blues and Haikus album, and a haiku therein where he says, in that amazing voice of his, “Blackbird. NO! BLUEBIRD!”

I gleefully imagine Tiny Run viewers deliberating a purchase making the same exclaimed reversal mid-decision.

Tiny Steeping

tea time, bitches!

I saw these tea bags (a serger stitch? let me see that!) on the desk of a co-worker today and commented on the interesting design. Upon examining, the beauty of the stitching being continued past the ‘bag’ and out to eventually be stitched through the tag. Very nice.

I inquired further about the packaging the bags came in, naturally assuming that it also was pretty awesome, textured, stitched or made of an unusual material. Considering the tea industry, and some of the boxes and containers I’ve seen, I figured it would be amazing.

hm.  do i really want to drink this?

Nope. Kinda plain jane.

What a missed opportunity. Considering the labor to sew the bags themselves, I would think that a box they put multiples of the bags in would have seen as much attention. Sure, a four-color tin is expensive, but so is hand sewing each and every tea bag.

This tin tell me so little, certainly not a package I have to pick up just to check out the texture, and no allusion to the neat little bags that lie within. It’s really disappointing.

And then, I thought, wait, are there things I’m missing like this with Tiny Run? I just changed my page theme drastically, am still messing with it, and I can’t help but wonder about some big things that I might be missing. Perhaps I’m missing something easy, a theme continuation that might just carry all the work already there forward just a little bit more. It’s not a new feeling.

To that end, and to try to develop things further, point out things that I’ve missed, and just keep pushing, I’ve enlisted Pam Slim from, for a brief coaching session next Wednesday. Hopes are running high for this to yield some interesting information; I’m very much look forward to an outsider looking in on things.

Tiny run visitors are notorious for not commenting, but anybody notice anything I’m missing?

Production Report – the things i would tell you

I can't hear you

I love printing. Love it. HATE it. Granted, I keep saying I’m out of practice, which is my pansy way of saying I keep forgetting things right in the middle of the process. Whoops. I only misprinted a few shirts today, but over simple mistakes.

C’mon man, are you a shirter or what??


But the crisp black images on the fresh American Apparel shirts held the day.