Modati is a company that started operating early March 2006. The initial spark behind Modati was to take all the skill I knew my friends and I had and turn that into something that we could use to gain new skills, interact with people and make money doing things we cared about. Upset that most of my friends expected to work jobs that didn’t develop them in any way I also wanted an avenue to take the design company (Still Pondering Studios) I started in 12 grade and turn it into a design and print studio.
Starting with that idyllic perspective we grew very rapidly moving from one venue to another 3 times in 3 years. Here’s a short list of things we’ve done:
We created a partnership with 10 bands doing an image trading gig where we’d appear at their shows selling merchandise, while they wore our line on stage.
Working with local artists we put out dozens of designs and attended festivals all over the east coast.
We rented out a storefront on Main St in Ann Arbor with our printing operations in the basement.
Taught summer workshops and classes with the Ann Arbor Art Fair
Through a partnership with the local teen center The Neutral Zone we teach silk screening every Friday during the school year.
We run MATES (Make Awesome Tee Shirts and Enjoy Summer) a summer camp with the Neutral Zone for local kids interested in screen printing.
Ran a Reform an event designed to raise awareness of the possibility of reuse in every day life. First in our studio, and in 2009 in The Gallery Project.
More recently we’ve become interested in developing interactive shirts and objects such as the twittering shirt:
And thermochormatic potholders that tell you when they’re hot:
Modati’s popular live screen printing events are a new means of both revenue and public interaction:
Four years after starting this company it’s still changing and growing. Watching it evolve I realize how important it’s been to my growth and development. Through this company I have been able to affect hundreds of peoples lives. I’ve been able to throw concerts, sponsor events, and be a part of a thriving artistic community. We’re currently directing the company to incorporate more of my sensory and engineering interests and I’m interested to see how far we can push the science of screen printing.
The 27 local, regional and national artists have created their own collection line or individual pieces specifically for the exhibition, and have made work that will be modeled on the catwalk show during the opening reception. Artists explore the myriad influences and contexts of fashion, investigating issues such as identity and values, innovation and retrogression, trends and fads, materialism and consumption, high and low fashion, globalism and regionalism, thrift, reusing, recycling and reclaiming.
We participated in the runway showcasing our new UV fluorescing inks and in Basement6 doing live silkscreening. It was really cool to be able to finally present my own home town with the stuff we’ve been pitching all over the country. If you want to come hang out, we’ll be printing live every Saturday till Jan 11 from 6-9 if you want to get something made, bring by your clothing, we’ll print on it for free!
I’ve finally bought my ticket and a good group has formed around the project. Very rapidly things are coming together and it had to, there’s 9 days. I’ll be printing shirts for this project as a way to raise funds and to have something to offer. I really should make stickers and cards, I wonder if there’s a good place to do that that anyone knows.
Here’s the first prototype shirt for the Two Hands Project:
I think that a bit more formulation and my UV ink will be perfected, I think I want to use an Acetone based dye, but my concern is that the only ones I can get in that formulation that are sunlight stable fluoresce under 385/375 and that’s a bit low for general public UV light sources.
In anycase, expect invisible inks in the future. Tomorrow will be a glowey day.
tEp is where I spend lots of my time and is filled with all sorts of magicians, mathematicians, musicians and makers. Recently during a rooftop lemonade party we set up a hot tub and filled with water at first, later I remembered I had some left over UV dye in the car, the colorful carnage that follows should not be replicated unless you fully understand the hazards:
All these inks combined with fresh talent Ala Sadie Scheffer and what do you have? A whole new series of shirts rolling out, you can check out our new website at Modati.com. I’m really excited about the interactivity of our new inventory. Products like the thermochromatic potholders that change to indicate their states (they catch fire when they get hot) and the mood shirt, which appears to change moods depending on if it’s bright and sunny out, or dark and scary.
It’s interesting to see how important design is to us, if you consider the fact that you are simply an aggregate of sensory inputs through time, every object you encounter becomes a part of you. So let’s keep making beautiful things, so like the girl, we can keep a bright sky above and smiles on our faces.
A gift came in the mail today, I’m the proud parent of two new bags of cocaine looking powders: Guar Gum and Sodium Metabisulfate. These two chemical compounds carry some heavy weight and should be extremely handy for my next project. Burnout Ink Flamethower Tee Shirt! The shirt may or may not throw flames, but the idea takes the combined properties of the two chemicals I bought to selectively eat a shirt to create sheer transparent layering effects.
The Sodium Metabisulfate, which I’ll call the shirt eater, is a chemical commonly used in tree stump removal. You pour some on and it eats the organic fibers that compose the tree and you now have a boring lawn. But what this also means is that the cotton parts of a shirt might be eaten leaving the non-organic parts (the polyester).
Awesome, now we need a carrier. Let’s bring in contestant #2! Gaur Gum!
So now we have the active ingredient in our burnout ink we need something to transport it. Guar Gum is pretty neat stuff, it’s edible… actually it’s used as a binder in some medicines and it’s pretty non-reactive. This derivative of a bean is a perfect thickener, it’s a part of toothpaste and shampoo conditioner. It does not gel on it’s own, so wikipedia suggests borax, I’d like to see what kind of gel it turns into (perhaps this has a use in some casting applications as well?)
Soon we’ll give this a shot and a new design will be up at modati’s hack line of shirts. Home burnt shirts homeboys.