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Hamster Labs custom screen printing: Made in Arizona

By Mark Brodie
Published: Wednesday, March 8, 2023 - 12:57pm
Updated: Tuesday, June 6, 2023 - 12:23pm

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Quinn Murphy at Hamster Labs in Tempe
Mark Brodie/KJZZ
Quinn Murphy at Hamster Labs in Tempe

Quinn Murphy runs and owns a Tempe screen printing shop called Hamster Labs where he does custom design and screen printing — including a lot of concert posters.

Murphy said the process begins with designing the artwork, which can take a lot of time — he estimates it between five and 45 hours. Then he prints out a transparency and burns a screen. The final step is printing, which can take six to eight hours, depending on how many colors he’s using and how many prints he’s making.

And Murphy said each print is its own creation. He lays down one color at a time on the number of sheets he’s making, and then moves on to the next color until he’s done. He said it’s a manual process — he can’t just make one and then copy it to finish off the order.

“That’s part of the draw, is each one is individual, so it’s one of a kind, kind of,” Murphy said. “You try to make them as close to the same as you can and try to be as perfect as you can, but it’s a handmade thing, so you have to celebrate the imperfections in that sense.”

Murphy didn’t start out doing screen printing — it was something he found along the way. But he says he was always interested in art and music.

Screen prints by Hamster Labs
Mark Brodie/KJZZ
Screen prints on display at Hamster Labs in Tempe

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