Arts and Entertainment

Shirts will be for sale at the Strawberry Festival

Cowbelle Industries will sell Vashon T-shirts at the Strawberry Festival.  - Ellen Parker Photo
Cowbelle Industries will sell Vashon T-shirts at the Strawberry Festival.
— image credit: Ellen Parker Photo

Responding to a call for making a “cool” island T-shirt and with the aim of visually capturing what they call the quirks of Vashon, two island artists — Ellen Parker and Megan Minier of Cowbelle Industries — launched a series of Vashon T-shirts last year at Strawberry Festival. The duo plan to return to a vendor booth this weekend to sell the distinctly Vashon T-shirts at Strawberry Festival.

Cowbelle Industries initially farmed out the screening of their T-shirts. This year Parker and Minier took the printmaking reins back into their own hands by using a new textile block-printing ink to give the shirts a more hand-rendered look. They say each piece is unique, that the ink is soft to the touch and that they are pleased to be printing on shirts made in the USA.

Minier grew up on the island wanting to be an artist, cowgirl or rock star. As a printmaker who wears cowboy boots with a trove of karaoke jams at her disposal, Minier says she’s living her dream.

Parker grew up using potato cuts and tempera paint during printmaking class at summer camp in New England. After college and a couple of decades overseeing enormous print runs for corporate clients, Parker and her family moved to Vashon, where she joined forces with Minier. Parker also teaches driving, and as she says, sarcasm-as-a-second language to Pacific Northwesterners.

Cowbelle Industries will sell their shirts at the Vashon Farmer’s Market through October and will be part of Waterworks Studio collective during the Holiday Artist Studio Tour in December.

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