As screen printers, we can all appreciate the ability to achieve a vibrant soft print that breathes and conforms to the garment. Screen printing water based ink is a great way to get there. We can also agree that running water based ink in a shop is not nearly as easy as tried and true plastisol. While much of the world prints mainly with water-based ink; brands like Nike call it out in spec sheets, the US market has mostly steered away from it. However, that’s not to say that water-based screen printing is not of interest. We would venture to say that 90% of shops that use primarily plastisol either dabble in or want to dabble in water based printing. We want to give you the opportunity to learn from expert shops who have helped convert to water based printing in the US AND International markets, in an immersive, hands-on learning experience. Welcome to the WB Camp Summit on July 29th and 30th at MADE Lab in Fort Worth, TX.
WB Camp is the brainchild of Tom Davenport and Brett Bowden. They knew that bringing together experts from shops and manufacturers would give fellow printers a better understanding of how and why to print with more of it. They worked with Printing United Alliance to present the first WB Camp, held in late 2019 in Sacramento, CA. The camp featured a full day of talks, followed by a day of print demos from three major ink companies. Over 80 shops and printers came to the camp and left with new knowledge. Tom and Brett received (and took) a generous quantity of notes on how they could take this camp to the next level. Two and a half years and a pandemic later, and a new venture called MADE Laboratory, the next WB Camp is NOW.
How has WB Camp Improved?
For this year’s WB Camp, we are expanding the curriculum and content drastically, creating a more integrated hands-on experience in the lab. WB Camp is NOT a beginner course. If you have never screen printed before or don’t know the difference between water based ink and plastisol ink, we recommend taking our entry-level courses- Print Makers or Screen Printing 101. However, if you or your shop (manual or auto) is experienced in print and want to learn from some of the best on advancing water based screen printing skills, we made this curriculum for you.
- Day 1 will focus on the CORE of water based printing, including a look into the different versions of water based ink, i.e., low solids, high solids, discharge, and their best application.
- An in-depth dive into advanced screen-making for stencil endurance while printing water based ink.
- Hands-on application printing (both manually and automatically) these different types of ink.
- Mixing inks for suitable applications.
- Day 2 will focus on advanced ‘water base printing workflow,’ which will break down a job tech pack and how major players in the international space print for big brands like Nike and the others. We will get on press and dive into the more technical aspects of water based printing, including full color and athletic brand work.
For this class, we have partnered exclusively with Matsui International to be the ink provider. While we only have one manufacturer, we have experience from all ink perspectives.
Jesse Martinez will present and teach from his years of experience in shops building the Matsui water based business and product line.
MADE Lab Partner Brian Lessard spent the last ten + years working for Rutland and Avian.
Colin Shane has done international development work and consulting for Virus and other large brands.
Dave Makin from Saati will be diving into his advanced Screen Makin class for water based inks.
We are also pleased to partner with fellow Texas screen printers Eric and Val Soloman of Night Owls. They will bring the fun, practical experience of learning and becoming experts in water based printing, including the mistakes they made along the way. Eric and Val from Night Owls Printing were at the first WB Camp, and watching their knowledge and success expand from it is impressive.
Get ready to be wowed by the state-of-the-art space Tom and Brett have put together at MADE Lab; the floors are clean enough to eat off (though we will not be serving lunch on them!). WB Camp will allow you to connect and network with like-minded, boundary-pushing screen printers from all over the country. Join us after class for happy hours and an exclusive dinner on Friday night. You will be leaving with new knowledge and with the water based prints (you make!) made on the latest newest garments from our partners SanMar and Bella+Canvas to remember the good times.
For more questions about WB Camp, please shoot us an email by entering your address below with a question. Also, if you are a member of the Printing United Alliance, you get $100 off this course. If you are not a member, please visit the Printing United Alliance membership page to learn more about this and the many other excellent benefits of membership.