May 4th. Report: I have continued to produce t-shirts and designs for t-shirts but without any particular style or direction. My placement with Shinobi screen printer has not yet born fruit but I am still hopeful that in the coming year I will have some time with them.
May 2nd. Added a t-shirt design to the gallery below, ‘Good Patient Bad Patient’, which is reflecting on my experience of the NHS in recent years (and as a nurse student many years ago). I haven’t tried to create a t-shirt but I think this might be a possibility next semester, either at Bower Ashton or with Shinobi.
April 23rd. Worked on the Mask t-shirt but disappointed with the result. Still, a poor result is a a result, empirically speaking, and I have certainly learnt something from this exercise. Firstly, the base image was not the best of the set – there are 24 – for this purpose.
Secondly, having decided to use dye and a batik and stencil approach I didn’t allow the t-shirt to dry properly between applications of dye and wax. Consequently the wax sometimes did not penetrate the cloth and the text was then poorly defined, subsequently.
Thirdly the choice of colour was not sufficiently rigorous, I needed to have tried a few more combinations and to have a really solid vision of how the final result would look. Fourthly the use of dyes was poor, in particular the main green was not tested and the result was a vivid green rather than a the dull grey/green in the sketch below.
On the positive side, I have kept the stencils – rather waxy – and can use them again for the next attempt. I could use heat transfer material, digitally printed, for some of this project, or heat transfer using hand drawn and embellished text…
April 22nd. Have added the completed t-shirt, ‘Welcome to South Gloucestershire‘ to the gallery. This is a heat-transfer t-shirt and is part of the Tourism project.
April 12th. Working on a t-shirt for the
‘Masks’ project, to be a mix of heat transfer, stencil and dyed. And also on a t-shirt for the ‘Tourism’ project, ‘Welcome to South Gloucestershire’. For this first attempt I am cutting a number of vinyl stencils of lettering using the Silhouette Cameo drag knife cutter. This worked well, these devices are used a lot in the screen print and vehicle display industries for producing vinyl lettering.
April 10th. The T-shirt “He Will Not Divide Us”, (see gallery below) was sent (early in March) to an exhibition called, AMPLIFY & MULTIPLY: Recent Printed Activist Ephemera at The Press, Colorado College; I haven’t had any feedback of how it might have been received. This T-shirt was made in response to the closing of a New York City exhibition at the Museum of the Moving image; the work was by Shia LaBouef in response to the inauguration of Donald Trump. The show was closed by assaults and the museum, shamefully did nothing to protect it.
January 2017. During this semester I will have a placement with Shinobi, a T-shirt printing firm in Bristol. This is part of my ‘Professional Practice’ development, looking at most aspects of T-shirt design and production. I’m starting work on a number of new designs, not necessarily with a view to sales, as well as re-working some existing designs. I have a number of drawings reflecting the lyrics of The Incredible String Band and I will be updating these. I will also use the exploded drawings from the plywood toys I have made, four of these so far. The theme of exploded objects might be explored further.
I am also interested in trying out maps on T-shirts, and perhaps as artists’ books. These would be modified maps, with personal references and additions. Maps and compasses are of great interest, especially in the psycho-goegraphical sense, see Complex, for example.
I have asked two Bristol-based T-shirt printers (as well as Shinobi) for interviews, no answers so far.
October 2016. I want to improve my understanding and practice in the printing of T-Shirts. Having looked at the history of the T-Shirt in my Research Practice essay earlier this year I want to explore the subject in greater depth, especially the quality of design and print, and the semiotics of designs.
This project includes a set of all the T-Shirts I have made during the MA course. There are also some I have bought with a view to wearing as part of my approach to learning.