Laramie Montessori School students got a close-up look Monday morning at the sights and sounds of screen printing: bright buckets of color the whir of machinery and the motions of printing presses carefully applying ink.
The students’ field trip to Laramie Screen Printing & Embroidery was part of a supplementary art lesson, said Laramie Montessori art teacher Kathleen Clymer.
The students have been learning about printing in class, and the shop visit gave them an opportunity to see the process in action, she said.
“They are touring so they can see how a screen printer works,” she said. “We’ve learned about artists that do printing, and we are doing two different techniques of printing in their classroom. And then the older kids that are coming later today are making books and printing papers to make the covers for their books.”
She encouraged the students to pay close attention to the techniques used in the shop and gave them a brief lesson about copyright.
“You draw a picture, then you own it,” she said. “So, they make that design for the soccer shirt we saw — they own that art. And that means that other people can’t copy it, because by law it’s their art.”
While printer Trevor Lampert gave the students a visual demonstration of screen printing, owner Jacob Harrison walked the students through the equipment needed for the process, from the shop’s manual and automatic printing presses to the exposure unit and dryer.
“When (a shirt) needs to dry, it comes through here at 300 degrees,” Harrison explained to the students, gesturing toward the dryer moving belt.
Students were particularly fascinated by the embroidery portion of the tour, where a series of machines rapidly applied embroidery designs to hats. First-grader Madison Toews said she enjoyed visiting the shop with her classmate; the best part was getting to see the machines, she said.
“I learned that they make lots of different (things) and it’s cool,” she said.