Friday, 6 July 2012

Friday 6th July 2012 - Internship; Day 5.

Last day today! What a week. Fortunately for me, I have kept a running log of what I've learned, potential ways to expand my working routine, and all other things on this blog. That means there won't be any huge consolidation in this blog post, merely a similar entry, and conclusion.

Today once again started with a coffee and a quick sketch (a totally wonderful routine which I want to keep up with), and meeting up with Sheldon. From there, we proceeded to Advance Printwear - A local textile printers who deal with mostly safety gear and industrial work wear.

This was quite insightful, and quite amusing. All the processes used at Advance are processes I have tried, and experienced at uni, except at uni they are obviously on a much smaller scale, but, what else was apparent, was how amateurish some of the procedures at uni are compared.

The first process I was (re)introduced to was screen printing, but on an industrial scale - where everything was automated and printed via a pneumatic press (see vid.)

Whereas whenever i've printed in the past it has been 1 or 2 colour, one at a time, with 1 or 2 screens... These machines can print up to 12 colours, fully automated, with heat curers to expedite the printing process. So, in the time it would take me to register and print about 5 artifacts, this machine can pump out approx. 36.

Sheer crazy.

Along with the printing itself, I also got to see how screens are prepared, treated and maintained with proper due care and attention - picking up a lot of small tips and hints for how to get the best possible screen print, in terms of bleed, purity and sharpness.

Something else I discovered - this company pays £20 per silk screen. How come our university charges £70? Hoping I can somehow get put in charge of some of the print room at university next year, and try to implement some of the procedures I observed at Advance.

Another technique I was reintroduced to was heat press printing. This was what I'd done for 6 years in my previous job, so in my mind that needed no going over.

The final piece of equipment I was shown was the Embroidery machines. This was an 8x16 machine, so 8 separate machines, each with 16 needles, each able to embroider the same pattern at once on multiple items. I got to see all the back up software and how each design is reinterpreted for the machines to read and transcribe into an embroidered design.

What was the most galling however was watching these machines pump out what was easily hours of embroidery work for me (My Embroidery Escapade) in seconds, to a higher quality, with nicer stitching.

Other than the actual shop floor and physical printing process, I was alert enough to inquire about the more business centered side of it all - Understanding the principles of having a business bank account, invoicing all the orders, confirming orders and designs, and so forth.

So, as a final day, today was, I thought, a good way to wrap up what has been an incredibly advantageous and educational week.

Didn't have time for extensive sketches today, so instead decided to finish this one off. Using a brush pen to help with the line weights and wood effects.

Ah yes! And off the back of today I will hopefully eventually set up a LinkedIn account, to help maintain a link with the people I have met and encountered this week.

Also; a lot of comments have been made on the quality of my Business Cards. I love this, as the fact they are a conversational point and memorable shows that they aren't simply just another card to be thrown in a wallet or on a desk. Profit!

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