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Blake Brasher: The Screenprinter

Brasher explains the process of screenprinting.

In 2008 Blake Brasher ’01 decided to pursue a full-time career as a visual artist. Brasher runs a screen printing business called Solid State Circus.
His junior and senior years, Brasher lived in Towers and took photos of Scutigera coleoptratas, aka Towers bugs. One photo from those years became a shirt design.
A digitally produced negative is placed on a screen coated in photosensitive emulsion.
The UV-rich, 150-watt metal halide fixture was originally purchased for use in a hydroponic garden.
Once the screen is exposed, Brasher removes the negative and rinses off the unexposed emulsion.
A hair dryer speeds up drying.
The ink he uses is made of plastisol, a suspension of PVC particles in a plasticizing agent. Brasher prefers it to water-based inks because it is brighter and more durable.
Shirt sales spiked last week after this design was featured on technology and culture blog, boingboing.net. Brasher sells his shirts on Etsy.com and plans to open an independent online store this winter.
After the ink is down, Brasher slides a 1.8kW flash curer into place.
The screen and single color press are set inside a homemade fume hood.
The ink heat cures in 45 to 90 seconds.
Orders are fulfilled within 10 days. A customer in Toronto will receive this shirt.

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