December Silkscreen Workshops

I’m pleased to announce that I have two workshops coming up this month at the Bushwick Print Lab!


On Sunday, Dec 14th, 4-7pm, I’ll be running a 2-colour paper printing workshop. It will be a hands-on instructional class, accessible to beginner screen printers.  We will provide a minimum of 20: 5×7” blank folded note cards from lab stock and Jam Paper with festive envelopes so you can print an array of holiday cards that will be ready for you to sign and mail by the end of class! Assorted paper will also be available through the print lab’s stock or you may bring your own porous material to print on.

Film, screen rental, tools and an assortment of inks are included as well. You may also bring your own screen printing ink or additional paper for use. Instructions for setting up files for film will be mailed to you upon sign-up.

PRICE: $110

Class will be limited to 6 students on a first come first serve basis. Email to sign up!


Later that week, on Thursday, Dec 18th, 7-10pm I’ll be running a 2-colour textile printing workshop. We’ll have t-shirts and canvas tote bags available, and you

This class explores creating a print on t-shirts, tote bags or anything you want to bring in! By the end of the class, you will have learned how to register a one-colour image and print using water-based inks. BPL will provide (3) assorted coloured t-shirts in XS-XL or tote bags in natural canvas or black cotton. Additional stock available in house and you are welcome to bring your own t-shirts, tote bags, thrift store finds or handmade clothing item to print on. If you have any questions about the material you will bring in, please email us before class!

Film, screen rental, tools and an assortment of inks are included. Bring your own textile-based screen printing ink if desired. Instructions for setting up files will be mailed to you upon sign-up.

PRICE: $90

Class will be limited to 6 students on a first come first serve basis. Email to sign up!

4/12 – Nicolas Cage show in SF!


I’m pleased to announce that my newest silkscreen, “Meme-ento Mori” will be showing today, Saturday April 12th, at Balançoire, 2565 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110. It’s part of the Nicolas Cage Art Show, which is an entire show dedicated to a celebration of our generation’s weirdest and greatest actor, Nicolas Cage. The festivities also include a number of visual and musical performers, so you really should not miss out!

I had a ton of fun going through his catalogue of works while I was working to find inspiration for this 6-colour silkscreen. The print includes both variegated metal leaf and 24k gold leaf. It’s entitled “Meme-ento Mori” as a play on both famous memento mori’s and the internet meme for photoshopping Nicolas Cage’s face onto other people, animals and inanimate objects. My camera really can’t capture it well enough to do it justice.

If you’re in SF this weekend I highly recommend checking it out!

Rumor has it that the show will also travel to Los Angeles later this spring, so if you’re on the West Coast you have two chances to check it out.

Meanwhile, I’ve put a couple pieces into my online shop if you’re interested in purchasing one of your very own:

Bonus: We got mentioned on the Jimmy Fallon show! Watch the video

Pigments Class


On Thursday, January 30th, I ran my first class of 2014 at the Bushwick Print Lab, teaching intermediate level silkscreening information.

I love sharing information here on the blog, but it was nice to run a 3 hour long class that allowed me to ramble on about what I have learned myself over the past few years of screenprinting, then have my students go on to print their own works. I’ve discussed pigment making in the past, with my April Silkscreen of the Month back in 2013 being my first foray into making my own utilizing ground graphite. I wanted to bring that back, plus show off what it’s like printing directly with squid ink, and then as a finale, I decided I wanted to try to make a pigment out of real blood. Please note that the following photos get a bit graphic.

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to find someone who can draw my blood and then give it back to me, so I opted to search all over NYC for pig’s blood. As a note, it’s very difficult to find in New York City, much less in most places. This is due to legality issues with transporting animal blood. Also, since blood puddings and soups aren’t common cuisines in America, most people will look at you weird for even asking.


But eventually we persevered & obtained an overly large bucket of pig’s blood. It came fully coagulated, like a gelatin. The way to re-liquify it was to run it through a blender with a tiny bit of the water it came in. Then it was ready for mixing.


When printing my first run, I went to try three different methods. The first, was to print straight with the blood. Second, was to mix the blood directly into transparent base ink, then print. Third, and most succesful, was to dry into a fine powder & mix into base, as though it were any dry pigment. This allowed me to make it more dense in colour if I so chose.


First, you spread it on a pane of glass. I obtained this from a picture frame, and made sure to cover the stool I set it on in saran wrap, to prevent any mess.


It should be a thin layer, so it dries quickly & you don’t end up “cooking” it. Cold, the blood has almost no scent. Dried, it was a little musky (but I didn’t get too close).


Here you can see the difference in how quick a thin layer vs a thick layer dries.



I used the edge of a (clean) knife to scrape it all up. Any metal edge would be fine.


I should have been wearing gloves for this. Don’t be like me. But I did like how it glittered in the light.


After which, I produced my image to be printed. It reads “Everything can be Printed with a Silkscreen”, which is kind of my motto. I’ve been interested in learning hand lettering, so this was my first attempt.


At the print lab, the inks can get very very messy if you’re not careful. While I added it straight to base (skipping thinners and thickening additives), as a pure liquid, it’s way too thin to print with. I made sure to clean up after with a harsh, bleach-based cleaner.

To break it down to the most basic of for making your own inks: a paint is nothing more than a colour vehicle and a binder. So you can print with blood, graphite, dirt, crushed semi-precious stones (lapis lazuli and malachite are some fancy ones) or any of the powdered pigments you can find in a store. It needs to be added to a binder, such as transparent base for silkscreen inks, linseed oil for oil painting, egg yolk for tempera paints or gum arabic for watercolours. Some items don’t react well with different binders and additives, as a woman in class brought ground walnut to print with, but it formed into tight balls and nothing could turn it into a liquid. There are detergents and thickeners to help wet the pigment, solidify the paint if it’s too runny or ammonia to thin the paint. That is when you’ll run into issues with bad chemical reactions and requires background information on the two items you’re using.

The Guerra Pigment company has a great selection of dry and wet pigments, as well as a FAQ that explains how to use them to make an ink. I highly recommend browsing it!

And always always wear a mask and gloves when using dry pigments! Many of the can be hazardous to your health if inhaled or absorbed through the skin.



And the finished pigs blood prints!

I printed another version in straight squid ink, which was completely uneventful save for smelling really, really bad, but most were given away to my students.

Speaking of, one of them sent me their finished piece:



By Lorenzo Sanjuan

Three-colour print in pig’s blood, graphite and metallic green. Lorenzo printed them in two parts, so it’s technically 6 prints onto one piece of paper. Click through to see it big!

And that was my very first intermediate pigments class! I had a lot of fun and hope to continue teaching how to create your own ink.

2014 Fortune cookies & crowns

I rang in the new year at Molly Crabapple’s studio and I wanted to make something fun to celebrate. Bringing out my best Martha Stewart, I decided to craft up some party favours.

First up utilized a recipe from the lady herself: Fortune Cookies!

I wanted to create custom message fortune cookies, based on good fortunes in the voice of Molly, written by the wonderful and amazing Chelsea G. Summers, and bad fortunes, based on horrible internet comments Molly has received (mostly from her CNN Occupy Wall St article).

I opted for alternative cookies, such as green tea, chocolate coffee & red velvet. To create the chocolate coffee cookies, I used instant coffee mixed with Bailey’s Irish cream (and a touch of hot water to help mix them). It replaced the amount of liquid in the almond extract. The hardest was mastering how to fold the cookies, as there were very bad descriptions. But I’ve put together overly specific photos for your help!


First, put a small amount into a non-stick pan. Make sure it’s heavy enough to lay flat. A non-stick cookie sheet kept warping in the heat, lifting one edge and not allowing the cookie to cook evenly. We used a deep cake pan.

photo 4a


I made double-sided fortunes, one side with the message, the back with a tiny version of Molly’s logo. When your cookie is done, it’ll be very thin and pliable, almost like a pancake.

photo 5a


With your fortune placed in the center, fold up in half, making sure to have one side longer than the other. *This was key to making it fold over properly.

photo 4

Make sure you have a cup (or in my case, a small candle holder) and place the bottom against the rim of the cup.

photo 2a

Press down on the sides, so the long edge folds over the top of the shorter edge.


Put inside a muffin/cupcake tin, so they don’t unfold back into the original shape.



Once cooled, stack high! I purchased black glossy takeout boxes and damask plastic sleeves to store them.

Next up was creating really cute crowns out of pipe cleaners. I loved the simplicity of the design, since it looks like someone drew a child-like gold crown in every photo.. Taking two to form a circle for around the head.




Then fold one in half.


And fold again, making sure the ends are just a little bit longer.



Pop out.



Place the base pipes between the middle of the M.




Bend around and then twist tie the ends around the base .


It should take about four pipe cleaners to complete the full crown. Just weave the ends around each other to blend in.


Then rock out.


My personal hat was a cake hat. I made a secondary strawberry shortcake one, but it was gifted away before I could snap a shot of it. They were made out of cardboard circular lids from Michaels, hot glued together, painted white, then covered in ribbon and glittery flowers from Christmas decorations that were all on sale. I felt like fireworks






And as a parting shot, I’ve taken to morning-after photos for the new year:


1/30 – Pigments Workshop at the Bushwick Print Lab

I’m please to announce my first intermediate silkscreen class of 2014 at the Bushwick Print Lab! I will give an introduction to the use of dry and wet pigments in printing, showing original works I’ve created utilizing my own handmade inks, explaining how to use anything from powdered colour pigments to using organic materials such as squid ink, chocolate syrup or crushed graphite to produce unique screenprints. After the introduction, you will have time to print your own edition utilizing one of the pigments provided or I can help you create your own.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 30th; 7 – 10pm

This hands-on instructional class, accessible to both beginner and advanced screen printers, explores the use of wet and dry pigments as well as printing with foods and other organic liquid material. Participants will be introduced to various applications and techniques before being given the opportunity to print their choice of a 1 color image onto paper (ed. of 6) Assorted paper will be provided or you may bring your own porous material to print on. Film, Screen Rental, tools and an assortment of pigments are included as well. You may also bring your own (non-biohazardous) material for evaluation, and if it’s liquid, we should be able to get it through a screen!

Melissa Dowell is known for exploring traditional and nontraditional methods of screenprinting, incorporating handmade inks and gilding into her multi-colour prints on paper, fabric and more. She has been collaborating on editions for the past five years with clients such as Molly Crabapple, Kim Boekbinder, Amanda Palmer, Coilhouse, Glass Houses Press, and Makerbot for Maker Faire. Her work was recently purchased by the Museum of Modern Art for their permanent collection and has given talks at NYU’s ITP program and the Future of Storytelling conference in NYC. You can find her work online at

Bushwick Print Lab
17-17 Troutman St #204
Ridgewood, NY 11385

*All those who wish to register:
Please email your Image/File at Final Print Size (300dpi)
by Tuesday, January 28th so we can prepare your film and send you an Invoice.
Advance payment of $80 secures your space and covers film, screen rental, paper, inks, and necessary tools.
Learn more at

Holiday shops you should support!

I’m lucky that the clients I pick up for screenprinting work are people whose work I have the utmost respect for. These many amazing people are wrapping up their holiday sales of gorgeous merchandise right now (some of which is my work, most of which is not), so please consider supporting them and picking up a tote bag, tshirt, poster and more!


For the past year now, I’ve been screenprinting t-shirts, doggie t-shirts, bandanas and more for Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue, a dog rescue and foster program here in NYC. They are really fantastic and I’m proud to work with such a great organization. Purchases in their online store directly supports their work and helps provide for the dogs they foster and place into forever homes.

The black Badass logo tee printed in sparkly silver ink is my favourite t-shirt to rock.


Glass Houses Press is an online press founded by Melissa Gira Grant. Their first book published is a collection of stories called “Coming and Crying” and they’ve been publishing ebooks and hosting live events in support of writers, photographers, designers and everyone involved in the process of making and loving books.


Kim Boekbinder, The Impossible Girl, isn’t shipping any of her physical merch at this time, but you should go pick up her brand new album, Stellar Alchemist and catch the second leg of her US tour in 2014. Her new album is all about space and samples science and magic into the most addictive electronic pop medley that I haven’t stopped listening to since it crashed to Earth.



Meatspace by Josh Gorfain and Andrew Maclean is a comic that was funded by Kickstarter, whose merch I got to print up! While the t-shirts are gone, the comic is running strong on Comixology. You can pick up the first two issues now for a steal:

Meatspace is the story of Lance Brighton, veteran of a future war who due to his injuries suffered on the battlefield, became one of the first brain-implanted robots in the world. After mustering out of the army, Lance spent his days indoors and engrossed in the massive multiplayer game that the world is playing, DungeonWorld, a co-creation of his son, Johnny and his friend, Anton Actos. Lance is forced into the real world, “meatspace” when his son dies mysteriously of a drug overdose. Aided by the latest member of Johnny’s team in the MMORPG, Rebecca, Lance seeks to find out what really happened to Johnny. Along the way, Lance reconnects with humanity and the real world at large.


Eye Heart Us is the artist duo of Laura Galbraith and Nate Bear. While the amazing Fry & Bender poster I printed for them seems to be long gone, they have wide range of items featuring their art in their online store, from prints to apparel to original paintings and hand crafted jewelry.


And of course, there can’t be a client countdown without mentioning Molly Crabapple, who has me producing work for her just about every month and gives me the freedom to produce the most beautiful and challenging work of my career. She produces art faster than I can print it and has a huge range of goodies in her online store to pick up, whether it’s a book or an original commission.

Holiday sale in the new store!


Happy upcoming commerce madness! If you’re partaking in this weekend of holiday shopping, I’d like to direct you to my new online store:

I have been doing some autumnal cleanings and dug up all these good screenprinted items I have in stock and put them in the store at low prices to help move them out of my home and into your hot little hands!


T-shirts, totebags, poster prints, original paintings and even some slightly defective shirts that I’ve slashed the price by 25-50%. The defects are slight cosmetic problems such as a detail blowing out or some pigment didn’t mix down for a smooth print – they aren’t horrible enough for me to throw in my print out pile, but they don’t meet my strict standards of what I expect you to pay full price for.

I even found a stash of perfectly good glow-in-the-dark dentata panties! So if you’ve been missing out on that out-of-print item, NOW is the time to get the last ones!

Come visit the shop!


New Business Cards

fullbusinesscards boxes

The time had finally come, dear friends, for me to get a set of business cards. I’ve been running around with my old cards from before I was even Glukkake, or my cards from Dr. Sketchy’s (which made no reference of my artistness) or even just only taking other peoples’ business cards and never giving one in return. Because, I stubbornly insisted, the only way to ensure that we’d be in touch again would be if I contacted them first.

But then I did my weekend at SPX, which is the time when everyone loves to collect cute business cards when they’re too shy to poke around your table. So I figured I’d get a batch made. But, I have so many projects! I have myself, where you are now. And I have the home of the Narwhal BBQ Skewers. And I’ll Fucking Print It, which is my landing page for receiving custom quotes for screenprinted apparel and poster goods. Getting overwhelmed with how to condense it all onto one business card with one design to tie it all together, I then decided FUCK IT and went onto and made three cards with different images on the back.

I ended up with their Luxe line of mini-cards, because they are GORGEOUS and I’ve always wanted thick, American Psycho business cards that also have a coloured edge.

fullbusinesscards box

Firstly, this is the packaging they showed up in. An adorable little box, squeeing with excitement, wrapped in a beautiful purple ribbon with a plastic wax seal. Each box holds 100 cards. I colour coordinated the edges in either red, black, or blue depending on which company they were representing. This way I could easily pull one of out of my separate business card holder just by glancing at its side and give the appropriate one.

fullbusinesscards wrap

I hung onto the ribbons for a while, because they’re adorable and such a fantastic touch.

fullbusinesscards sets

I built the back sides just using’s design wizard, because I was in quite the rush & hadn’t yet settled on branding for Glukkake INC. Their fonts & forms weren’t too bad! It was super quick to make a simple layout that looked pretty. There were times that I wish I had a bit more control, but for designing 3 sets of cards in less than an hour, it worked out great. I’ve eliminated my phone number from business cards because I don’t want people to call me, even if it’s on my Google Voice number. Email & web contact only, please!

fullbusinesscards screenprint

And here’s the fan out of all my screenprinting cards. The September ice cream silkscreen isn’t actually holographic, but I think they reproduced my photo fantastically.

If you see me, be sure to ask for a business card!

May Day screenprint in the MOMA collection

general_strike ORANGE


I’m incredibly excited to announce that the New York Museum of Modern Art recently acquired the Occuprint portfolio! It’s a collection of 31 screenprints that was curated by the Booklyn Artists Alliance and was published in 2012. This includes my May Day: General Strike poster that was created based off Molly Crabapple’s original watercolour painting!

The Guardian wrote about the acquisition, which you can read online, including an interview with Molly.


Rental Car Rally 2013

In mid-August I got a text from my friend Franz Aliquo, asking if I was doing anything the next evening. I had some work to do, but he said that there was a seat open in his mini-van for Rental Car Rally, NYC to Paris! (…Maine). Rental Car Rally is his project along with his partner, Steve Bryant, that combines a road trip with a scavenger hunt across state lines. I missed last year’s rally to Montreal, so this year I made sure to move around all of my plans so I could attend!


We started in his apartment, where I helped pack. Rental Car Rally is described (by them, on their site) as Halloween on wheels. It is an overnight, backroads-mostly driving competition between crazily-festooned teams competing for cash prizes and a golden gas pump. It’s ballerhouse tits-out crazytown. This includes the fact that contestants are given boxes of horrors such as jars of peanut butter, ketchup, mustard, flour, eggs and fireworks. Upon which, someone at the apartment decided it would be a fantastic idea to strap fireworks to the eggs for maximum destruction (and the rule of they can’t be thrown at moving vehicles).



We soon walked to the starting line.


The idea of the rental car is that you’re going to be punishing a vehicle through travel, decoration, and the inevitable destruction by peanut butter, eggs and shaving cream. You don’t want to submit your own vehicle to this, so just rent one like a responsible adult.



There was a Dias de los Muertos car with LED candles attached to the hood.


Peanut Butter Jelly Time.



An English fox hunt.

Oh, right. You’re also supposed to be in full costume along with your car theme! Additionally, your team should consist of multiple people.

IMG_4653 IMG_4666

My photos are blurry and terrible because we started at midnight and the idea was to essentially drive for 18 hours straight, burning the least amount of gas, passing through all the checkpoints.


Our first stop was Kiryas Joel. It’s a Hasidic town in Orange County that strictly follows the Torah. The point was solely to find the sign and take a photo with it. We eventually took one with another team who eventually arrived (as we traveled with the creators, we did not need to hit every check point, so we skipped the first one, which was visiting the Gates of Hell, aka, where a lot of the Walking Dead was shot). The photo broke all the rules of the sign.

Following there, we went off to visit an abandoned all girls camp to disastrous results.

The trespassing was frowned upon by someone who was either a caretaker or just cranky neighbor who noticed our flashlights. Whoops. It was also the dead of night, so there wasn’t a chance of taking any long exposure photos while running from a shotgun waving old man.


For sunrise, we went to the ghost town of Pleasure Beach, Connecticut.


I’m on a beach!

IMG_4680 IMG_4681

Being on the beach at sunrise is kind of my favourite thing ever. It reminds me of an old expedition I went on years ago, where I dragged two friends with me to see the sun rise over Montauk in the middle of February. It was a blisteringly cold walk from the train station to the lighthouse, but when the sun broke the horizon, everything is just perfect.


Then began everyone’s most hated leg of the journey. Walking across a mile of seashell boneyard to get to the check point.


There were a lot of fucking dead things.

IMG_4694 IMG_4706

But the whole point was to reach this decaying theatre. It was almost fitting to walk across the corpses of a thousand sea creatures to get here. It was beautiful and so worth the journey.

IMG_4702 IMG_4704

Also while walk through, I found some cactuses randomly growing. I never even knew you could grow cactuses in the Northeast. Also, there were these berry/radishes that I thought looked neat but wasn’t allowed to eat. We were getting pretty hungry after all that walking.

So much walking.

When we all got back to our cars, they were entirely encrusted in egg, flour, peanut butter and shaving cream. We couldn’t see through any of the windows. I ended up sacrificing a pair of octopus socks to the cause so we could scrub the windshield clean. After googling up a nearby car wash, we crossed our fingers to not get a (second) ticket from the cops before we reached it. The man at the car wash exclaimed that “this is the worst case of egg I’ve ever seen.” Fantastic.

We had a quick breakfast & went to a lake where I could ride in a paddle boat and splash around in my bikini.

Also to creep everyone the fuck out with the Dead Ex Presidents team.


The delirium was really beginning to settle in, so we skipped to the last checkpoint (that we felt like going to), Madison Boulder. Madison Boulder is a big fucking rock. It’s the largest glacial erratic in the world.



Oh wait, let me give you some context.


It is a big. fucking. rock.

At this point, we were rather delirious. It was about 4pm, we had been driving since 12am and had not slept at that point. We had one guy doing all the driving and if we pushed ourselves, we could catch the tail end of the hot air ballooning festival.



Yes! It was the annual hot air balloon festival! There were so many gorgeous and brightly coloured balloons floating through the sky when we drove through Paris. It was one of the most beautiful things I’d seen in a while – and additionally, I’ve been crushing pretty hard on hot air balloons lately.


We got to the hotel and waited for everyone else to show up and check in for the final results. Since this was Official Business, I decided to wander off to the hot tub and relax. Hell yea. There was a party afterwards to award the winners of the rally.

We all filled up on delicious beers and regaled each other with tales of what happened along the way, comparing experiences and seeing who ran into the cops (everyone it seemed) and who got lost (many) and just how fucked their cars got (very). The winners received a golden gas pump. There was also a drinking contest where all three shots + the beer were consumed as quickly as possible. Fuck yea.


The next morning we walked through the sleepy town to try to catch the festival. It was… less exciting than we thought.


The carnival itself was pretty generic and dead. All the balloon rides required paying several hundreds of dollars and the only times were either starting at 7am or 5pm. Looks like we caught the return of the late balloons on our way in. Deciding that we had enough and that we still needed to get the fuck back home, we turned tail, grabbed some lobster rolls on our way out and hit the road.

After which, we slept forever. The End.

Rental Car Rally happens on both the East and West coasts of the US in the summertime. If you have a license (or know someone who does) and have a weekend to spare, I highly recommend it. And who knows, maybe next year I’ll see you on the road. Load up a van with sugary snacks and all the energy drinks you can carry and sign up! It is an amazing experience packed into a brutally (in every way) short amount of time.


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