I keep asking my workers, crafters, artists, this one question and often its just a greeting………. “Khush ho?” (Are you happy???) …….. the man/ woman smiles…….. surprised and shy most of the time, happy by the gesture itself sometimes and at other times back with a story in his/her life – the stories are the best! These guys have much to share and those smiles – content – rather contagious and one of the reasons that I just love to chat up with them creators, the men/women who truly believe in their contributions to whatever big or little they do – they are happy and more than that – proud, something that I always have to remind myself off, strangely!
Ever thought about this – the people and businesses that a creative supports also supports them. It needs to co-exist like a demand and supply chart, its use needs to progress and develop not only in availability but in education and awareness as well and only then can an art form and its representative artistry stay alive. I feel elated that the digital world could never take away from this 2000 year old form of printing – Screen Printing.
#Didyouknow that its screen printing that is used to make the touch active on all our phones and electronics, it is used even in medical devices!! Woah! But thats on some other level – where it concerns us and the few screen printers we work with – mostly print on all kinds of 2d flat and symmetrically concave surfaces using different kinds of papers, paperboard, plastics, glass, metals and fabrics. They also combine the screen print with other printing methods and styles like the foil stamping, UV glaze, raising, embossing, lazer cutting, punching and gilding to name a few. The idea is to give a finished product to the customer and in doing that some of the mentioned styles get outsourced to other vendors under one head. These printers are proud to have retained their work skills and believe that between the art work, the quality of the inks they use, the availability of print sizes and their finishing services – the options a designer has are truly endless……….
So allow me to introduce you guys to MMT’s famous four spotted screen printers located in Mumbai, taking orders from far far away and around.
1. Chepuri Arts – Venkateshwar Chepuri
Venkateshwar is a star and it is from his first floor workshops located in Gandhi Nagar, Lower Parel, Mumbai that some printing brilliance takes place. With Tirupati Balaji welcoming you and just a little effort to squeeze up the staircase to enter his little haven, Venkatesh guides you through techniques and styles to suit your design. It is under his brinkmanship that art works of some of my absolute favourite brands and artists have been transformed to a tangible reality – Kyroorious, KultureShop, NH7 Weekended, Locopopo, Bombay Duck – besides many other corporate and design firms.
What has impressed me most is the use of ombre effects to screen for its truly art and a task to control colour mix manually to its right flow and desired gradation (Image below – screen printed – two colour neon ombre – for the Kala Ghoda Project – art work by Sameer Kulavoor of The Bombay Duck Designs.)
And why we love Chepuri Arts is because they are also the printers for our absolutely gorgeous and shining bright MMT cards – logo designed by Simran Sahi of Impprintz graphic design studio.
2. Excel Arts – Zulfikar Hussain
How much patience Zulfiji had taking me through every detail, style and method of printing, I am obliged. He had no hesitation explaining me the depts of his work and all that goes around it – these are few gestures that strengthens my belief in the fearless art force and its existence in the many corners of the world.
This one doesn’t believe in advertising or social media to gain popularity. “Create what you love and love what you create” he says and adds “my product quality promotes my business and its all been word of mouth“………. All word of mouth, a previous advertising background and now over 7 years of running business, Excel Arts owns and operates machines and mechanisms of printing both manually and semi automatically thereby making prints faster than the others. Bonus here is that Mr. Zulfikar can teach you the art of screen printing – conditions just to either gather a group or pre book a time slot to join a group of enthusiast willing the same 🙂
3. Rudrani Art – Vijay Wadekar
Walking through lanes and by-lanes as narrow as to just accommodate you and your bag is this twenty year old establishment | Rudrani Arts | located on the other side of the town in Chakala, Andheri East. The team of production is just two operating on two tables with Vijay Wadekar as the leading man. Small but swift at their work these guys are experienced and skilled to perfection and in their workplace they can produce thousands of art works per day.
Even though they just print by making screens – that is they only do screen printing unlike others spreading out to other techniques, the people at Rudrani Arts will happily connect you to other vendors according to your specifications.
4. Grace Graphics: Shyam Apte
I have always believed – you are as good as your vendor – and so an artist needs to work together with this one guy who requires to rightly produce his idea. And as much as the medium (paper, texture etc…) is important so is the printing method (screen, indigo, digital, etc…..) used for the intend of the artwork to best be represented.
I met Shyamji for a just a brief moment and spent lots of time in his workshop, the neatest and most organised I have ever seen or imagined a print shop to be. Working all and along with utmost grace, Grace Graphics has many multi national companies like ICICI bank, Shell, NCDX, Basell etc…. in their profile and mostly take up printing work for corporates, wedding cards and other experiments if the designer insists. One must pay a visit to meet the power packed crew that willing lets you observe them work and boast about their skills and years of production.
…..Often designers shy away from screen printing thinking its expensive but mostly because they don’t know who to go to or the minimum orders that the printer will take or restrictions on color usage and inks, requirement of multiple screen making, finishings, timelines etc. I say get out there and try once and you’ll automatically create the art work to use its form to its best. In-fact the advantage of screen printing over other print processes is that the press can print on substrates of any shape, thickness and size – hand-made and hand-pressed is the new thing. If you have not screen printed an art work yet …… what can I say ….. big bummer!!!