Weekly Update 02/24/2010

Posted February 24th, 2010

This past week at the Hostel was full of freshness… Spring is eagerly peeking around every corner, waiting out these last few cold spells before it can hit full force in the forest. Two of our staff have moved on to new life adventures, leaving behind space that’s fertile with possibility and potential as to who will be here next and what kind of sweet lovin’ they will give the forest. The band Over Under Yonder, consisting of five lovely ladies, played a couple of nights around the campfire sweet bluegrass world harmonic melodies, surrounded by their own friends and family, guests and staff. It was a beautiful thing to witness another family community interact, through all life’s ups and downs, alongside ours. We have also begun experimenting with DIY silkscreening instead of paying to get our logo painted on our clothes. If you want to try it yourself at home, here is a simple set of instructions:

1) The first thing you need to do is to come up with a design. Thick, broad lines are easier to work with than tiny intricate designs. 2) Once you have your design made up, photocopy it onto a piece of transparency. The image on the transparency should look exactly like you want the final design to look on your clothing. The dark parts on the transparency will be the parts that get ink on the clothing. 3) Next, you need to put together a screen. You can go to your local art supply store and buy a pre-made screen for $20-30, or you can put one together for around $5. You will need an old sturdy picture frame, a canvas frame without the canvas, a needlepoint frame, or any other kind of wooden rectangular frame, and enough silk to fit across the frame with at least two inches of overhang on each side. To stretch the screen, take you’re piece of silk and lay it across the frame. Put a strip of duct tape across each edge of the silk to reinforce it. Starting on the top edge with one staple in the middle, staple through the duct tape and the silk into the frame. Then, pulling the screen as tightly across the top edge as possible, staple out from the middle until you reach the edge on each side. Then do this along the sides, starting at the top and stapling down, pulling down on both sides as tightly as possible to make sure that the screen is still centered on the frame. Finish by stapling along the bottom. You can check for tightness by looking across the surface of the screen and seeing if there are any ripples. If there are, then remove a couple of staples in the area of the ripple and try to pull the screen tighter in that area, then re-staple. Do this until there are no more ripples. 4) The next step in the process is using a chemical called photo-emulsion to transfer the image onto the screen. The instructions for doing it are contained in the directions of the photo-emulsion kit. To “burn” the image onto the screen, you’ll need a 150 watt light bulb and some sort of hanging light socket. To clear the image out of the screen, use room temperature water to wash the photo-emulsion out of the areas that were covered with the black on your transparency. The rest of the chemicals that were under the clear part of the transparency should be baked into the screen. 5) Then next thing to do is to get ink and some sort of wiper to spread the ink across the screen. There are three different ways to get a wiper: Spend $25 for one at the art store, Take a piece of cardboard folded in half and wrap it with duct tape until you have a stiff, disposable wiper, or Go to the building material store and buy a piece of 1/4” x 6” board and a piece of rubber corner molding, cut the pieces down to size and then staple the molding along the long edge of the board. 6) Now you are ready for your Tshirts. You’ll need a board that fits snugly inside of the T-shirts you are screening. Put the T-shirt over the board, set it on a table, and position your screen on the shirt. Put ink in the screen and using your wiper pull the ink across the design to the bottom of the screen, then turn around and pull it back towards the top. What you want to do is force the ink through the parts of the screen you cleared out to transfer the image to the T-shirt. Then lift the screen off and the image should have transferred. Put the shirts on a hanger and let them dry. Once they are dry, take a clean piece of paper, put it over the design, and iron for 5 minutes per shirt to set the ink.

May the Forest Be With You

The Hostel Staff