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It was exciting to feel the energy in the room this past weekend at WB Camp! We’d like to thank the over 70 people who attended, along with our educators and sponsors who MADE this event possible. It was great to see such a strong turnout and support for water-based printing. 

Ok, let’s dive in! 

While water-based ink is primarily a print staple globally, the United States market only utilizes water-based ink under 10% of the time. This was the main motivation for hosting a camp specifically dedicated to it. We brought in experts from both international and domestic markets to teach the screen printing community how to better employ traditional, discharge, and new hybrids of HSA (high solids acrylic) water-based inks. 

Over the course of two days, we had four talks in the morning, followed by three circulating hands-on presentations from Dave Makin of Saati, Eric and Val Solomon of Night Owls Print Shop, Jesse Martinez of Matsui Ink, and Colin Shane from Timber Print Labs, and our own Brian Lessard. Each provided their own insight and experience on using water base ink in their shops, methods to put into practice, the types of screens, mesh diameters, tensions and emulsions, economics, business aspects, and production requirements needed from water-based screen printing at scale and in the US Market.  

The circulating sessions gave invaluable time to see water base printing in action. It gave attendees plenty of time to print their own garments, ask questions and have conversations with the experts. Eric and Val specifically set up to have prints fail so they could walk through why and share knowledge on how to fix them. Everyone loved Colin’s technique of simply adding a clear under base before a traditional white HSA under base print and what type of quality that added to the end result. Jesse was able to pass around tangible samples of the many different Matsui inks with their additives, and people were surprised by the special effects that water base ink offers, as well as the adaptability and versatile uses. 

The first night was followed by networking social events, including exploring some of the local Fort Worth culture. On the closing of day two, we were lucky to have industry celebrities Dylan Gilligan and Andy Rudman from the Shirt Show Podcast pulling off a last-minute live podcast with the presenters and a special appearance by the Print Girl Mafia to end the camp. After we set the stage for them, we cracked some cold ones and talked about screenprinting. It was the perfect way to end such a well-attended and informative event!

Thanks again to all of the sponsors who MADE this happen and everyone who came. Be sure to catch our upcoming events, including Print Hustlers Conference happening later this year right here in Fort worth. Check out our upcoming events!

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