Interview with Philip Sachs of Sheepshead Design

•March 7, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Philip Sachs portrait

I first met Philip when I was walking down Prince Street in Manhattan last summer, a narrow avenue where vendors sell jewelry, artwork and clothing. His screen-printed canvases of cityscapes had an understated, modern appeal that stood out from the rest. Later that year, I ran into him again, when I was working for Etsy Labs, where he teaches a popular class on screen-printing. I discovered that he had set up a successful business, Sheepshead Design, in the comfort of his own home. He stretched canvases and burned screens with a lamp clamped to a dresser drawer and created designs made with flowers and plants from a local garden. DIY to the core! Philip was kind enough to invite me over to his Brooklyn apartment for a look at how you can build a self-sustaining business on a small budget, creating things you love.


How many years have you been screen-printing?

– I taught myself to screen-print four years ago. I have always had
a thing for browsing art stores, and there was a little one within
walking distance from my apartment in New Orleans where I lived at the
time. They had a few of those Speedball kits for sale and every time
I saw them I thought it would be fun to teach myself to start
printing my own shirts instead of buying them. Seeing as how I wear a
t-shirt just about every day, I figured that even if I ended up only
making a few, I could at least make back what I invested in the kit. I
passed the kit up a few times, but one day they had reduced its price,
so I splurged. And so it began. Continue reading ‘Interview with Philip Sachs of Sheepshead Design’


Demon Pick #4

•March 5, 2008 • 1 Comment


Maps, maps, maps… who needs ’em in a city where you can hop on a train and whisk yourself back to the civilization of the LES? As I’ve been walking around the streets of Manhattan, I realize… I do. Luckily, Narchi provides handy-dandy little notebooks screen-printed with the neighborhoods of Manhattan. Now I can keep track of how many times I get lost when I’m wandering around Tribeca or Inwood. Makes me wish she made maps of Brooklyn. …Narci?

Visit her blog at

Meshing with Your Head

•February 28, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Mesh Count magazine low res

I was just lamenting the loss of some record stores along a stretch of Brooklyn with some friends of mine… Holy Cow on 9th Street, Sound Track on 7th Ave…. Somethin’ Else on 5th, which closed last year to the sound of a thousand chirping internet connections. The scenery is always changing in the city, but the loss of a music store always seems to hit me in the gut because they are the underdogs and champions of the music community. Hanging out in one was guaranteed to expose you to something new and make you seem, well… cooler. Even if you didn’t know enough to hide your affection for Bell & Sebastian in public.

Something Else also had a nice display of alternative mags. One that caught my eye was Mesh Count, published by Peter J. McGouran. It’s a slim volume full of interviews with screen-printers and full-color reproductions of their work. I’m not sure when the next one comes out, but I’m hoping it’s soon.

Get ze info at

Flatstock is coming… Flatstock is coming!

•February 22, 2008 • 1 Comment

Remember when you collected those posters in grade school with kittens hanging from trees and sad-eyed cocker spaniel puppies rolling out of a basket?

You do? Of course you do! You love collecting posters! In fact, you wish you could find cool posters to oogle and horde forever… if you could find some…

People. You might want to sit down for this.

Flatstock 16, the largest, cutest and most enthralling poster convention ever hits Austin next month at the SXSW festival.

cricket press

Flatstock is a poster convention presented by the American Poster Institute (API) and held in tandem with musical festivals across the country. When I say posters, I’m not taking about those plastic looking things that you got at the mall when you were a teenager. These are real-deal rock n’ roll posters buddy! Most of them are printed by hand by the artists themselves, who are usually on the other side of the table as you peruse their work. Here’s an article for you about how the festival got started and some of the people involved.

And here are some posters from Flatstocks past (like the one above by Cricket Press):


Artists from left to right are: Jay Ryan of The Bird Machine, Iskra Print Collective, and Spike Press.

Monome printing

•February 13, 2008 • Leave a Comment


Just got an email from my friends Brian Crabtree and Kelli Cain, the duo behind the marvelous musical instrument the monome. Check out this time-lapse of their work, screen-printing boxes by hand to ship out their newest addition to the monome family- the 128.
Vodpod videos no longer available. from posted with vodpod


If you don’t know what the monome is or what it can do, check out to watch more videos and this short doc I made when I visited Brian and Kelli this summer.

You can catch more electronic instruments and the people behind them at Create Digital Music Night at Etsy Labs.

Interview with Albert and Piccolo’s Cecilia Grimm

•February 7, 2008 • 6 Comments

What does it take to become a successful screen-printer? I decided to start asking experienced printers to find out. Each month I’ll be interviewing a new artist to find out how they got started and what they’ve learned along the way.

If you haven’t checked out Cecilia’s line of ferociously humorous clothing, Albert & Piccolo, your life knows no joy. Her highly successful shirts feature a menagerie of hand-drawn animals masquerading as vampires, pirates and… whatever the hell they want to! Not only does Cecilia screen-print, but she also performs as a trapeze artist and is probably experimenting with cold fusion in her basement. I caught up with Cecilia at Home Ec to ask her where she gets her inspiration and how she learned to screen-print.

intro photo albert and piccolo

Continue reading ‘Interview with Albert and Piccolo’s Cecilia Grimm’

Demon Pick #3

•February 5, 2008 • 5 Comments

Umsteigen! German for “movement” or “change,” it also happens to be the name of one of my favorite screen-printed clothing companies.

umsteigen 1

Susanne Schubert, the designer and owner, screens and stitches each one of her creations by hand, turning out fabulous hoodies and tops that are cozy and chic. I love the images, like wandering camels and windblown leaves, that drift across their backs and fronts. You can catch her wares in Manhattan at the The Market 11 to 7pm on weekends. You can also shop and discover more of her designs on her website: I wish I could buy them all!