Today Darren introduced me to a whole new world: the business of screen printing, otherwise known as silk screening. He learned the craft as a Graphic Design major in college and has designed and printed hundreds of his own t-shirts by hand. During my last visit in August, he designed a shirt for my grandpa’s birthday (see photos below) and demystified the process for me. Now when I see just about any t-shirt, I think, “I could make that!” I’ve never done crafty things like making jewelry or knitting, so I feel empowered knowing how to produce something useful.
I’d known that Darren had made a neat profit selling t-shirts at local festivals and a design shop he ran for about a year, but I hadn’t experienced it firsthand until now. Last night we stayed up late printing a few dozen shirts, mostly with his new “Buy Local” design, in advance of tonight’s Fondren Unwrapped event (see photo #53). At this annual festival in Jackson’s Fondren neighborhood, locals tour small businesses, sample food and wine, and buy arts and crafts. We set up an outdoor table and arranged our t-shirts and tote bags, as well as buttons and postcards made by Darren’s friends.