ART BY TECHNIQUE: Screen Printing Feed


In the ten years I've been doing this blog, you've seen me introduce a host of new products. Some sold well. Others didn't. Running a business is always a process. Or, as the trendies say now, a "journey."

Now I'm introducing mugs. I found a wonderful printer in the US that manufactures and drop ships. That's great for me, because the last thing I want is shelves full of inventory and trips to the post office. That was fine when I was younger, but thanks. But with all the advances in print technologies and online servicing, it's now relatively easy to do make a great product AND have it delivered to the customer's home in a pretty package, safe and sound. 

Phew! Here's where to shop



cup, when women rule everyone will be free, 11 oz mug from small equals
When Women rule, everyone will be free. 11 oz mug from Small Equals


When Women rule, everyone will be free. This is a variation on a print I designed, first as a silkscreen and then as a digital collage. Now available in mug form. The girls are a highly altered version of a mid 20th century matchbox label. I just adore them, and use them over and over.


Mug, Lead your own parade,
Lead Your Own Parade. 11 oz mug from


Lead Your Own Parade. This little saying popped into my mind a couple of weeks ago, I thought it would be a cheerful idea to ponder with morning coffee or tea. I went on an image hunt,  I found this illustration at a library digital collection, from a 1902 children's book illustrated by Maud Hunt Squire and Ethel Mars. It suited perfectly. 

Children of our town  carolyn wells  illustrations by E. Mars and MH Squire 1902  copy
The Children Of Our Town. Carolyn Wells. Illustrations by E. Mars and MH Squire. 1902


I went ahead and cleaned it up in Photoshop, designed the template for the cup manufacturer, and then set about researching the artists. I found Ethel Mars and Maud Hunt Squire.

Lo and behold the Misses Squire and Mars were American artists who met in art school in Ohio in the 1890's, then moved to Paris where they became pals with Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas, and of course they worked and exhibited with many of the artists there. 

During world war one they moved back to the US and lived in Provincetown, MA, then back to France, where they lived in Vence. During Ww2 they hid out in Grenoble, then went back to France until they died in 1955 and 1956. 

The Gertrude Stein's word portrait "Miss Furr and Miss Skeene was based on them. .

And now they've landed on my cup. I'm delighted but no longer shocked by these everyday moments of serendipity. 


Love Your Mother Earth. 11 oz mug from


Love Your Mother Earth. Yes, I use this phrase often in my art and products. Because it's so important! This design is based on another print I made as a silkscreen. The silkscreen design was based on a photo I took of a package of Easter Jelly Beans. I'm not a Christian, but Easter packaging always makes me happy. The colors!! 

This digital version, quite different from the original, is now gracing a mug. My goal is to give you something happy and positive to absorb with your hot beverage of choice. I think it's so important to start the day with happy thoughts to set the tone for the rest of the day. 

Here's what it looked like as a silkscreen. I made this and all my silkscreens at Iskra Print Collective in Burlington, VT.


silkscreen, liza cowan, jelly beans
Jelly Beans silkscreen by Liza Cowan 2017 

 Find the cups here

No Water, Don't Waste It!! No Guns.

No water don't waste it
No Water Don't Waste it No Guns!

Artist, William Tasker. Federal Art Project, Silkscreen, circa 1941/3. Source

I found this image on Pinterest. It's one of the things I enjoy about Pinterest - finding great images, even if people don't source them well, grrr. 

This one caught my eye not just for the great graphic but because the message seems so awkward now. It was made to remind/convince people to conserve water for the war effort. That's the "guns." Government wartime propaganda.

But as a viewer in 2012 I read it as, No Water, No Guns....don't waste it. That is, there is no water and no guns....therefor don't waste these recources. Which brings to mind some dystopic sci fi movie, or contemporary news and activism about water as a resource. Big topic. Water. Resource. Or did it mean, War over Water...another dystopic story -in- the making.

It only took me a minute to remember to adjust my time frame to World War 2 to realize that the idea of conserving water for the wartime/militarizaion effort  would be common enough that the poster made sense immediately.

It's also possibly true that it's just not that well written enough to telegraph it's meaning. I can't tell from here.


Bicycle is the most civilized=iskra collective. Photo ©Liza Cowan

Silkscreen Mural by Iskra Collective. Maglianero Cafe, Burlington VT

Once in a while, I come across a place or an event that renews my faith in Burlington Vermont. Today, I ventured into Maglianero Cafe, which has been open for just six weeks, in one of my favorite culs-de-sac in Burlington's post industrial South End. 

Housed inside of the former Burlington Wholesale Grocery building, which fronts on Maple Street, the cafe is owned by the partners at JDK, one of Burlington's most prestigious PR firms. The building also is home to the Iskra Print Collective, who made the gorgeous screenprint murals inside the cafe.

Burlington grocery 1933 McAllister
Burlington Grocery Company, Maple Street, Burlington, VT.1933, photo by L.L. McAllister. 

My regular readers will know what a huge fan I am of Burlington's industrial architectural history. So you can imagine my delight in finding this old warehouse re-imagined as a cafe. The interior is large. Huge, even, with various spaces that flow into each other, yet can be separated for various large or small functions.

Maglieanero cafe
 The bar and a portion of Maglianero Cafe, Burlington Vermont. Photo Liza Cowan.

The iced coffee was delicious and refreshing, served with style and the only kind of warmth I wanted on such a hot day, by Maggie, the barrista.

Maggie, barrista at Maglianero Cafe, burlington Vermont. Photo ©Liza Cowan

Maggie at Maglianero Cafe, Burlington Vermont. Photo by Liza Cowan

The theme of the Malianero cafe is bicycles. They have bike parking and even have showers for cycling commuters - which invokes another old passion of mine, community bath houses. (Another time, dear reader, I might post an essay I did on Bath Houses and community bathing in early 20th Century New York City) 

Jesse, manager at Maglianero cafe, burlington vt
Manager Jesse Bladyka, at Maglianero Cafe. Photo ©Liza Cowan

  The bicycle is a curious vehicle

Silkscreen Mural (detail) by Iskra Print Collective, at Maglianero Cafe, Burlington VT. Photo Liza Cowan

Exterior maglianero:burlington grocery co wholesale. Photo©Liza cowan

Exterior of Maglianero Cafe, Burlington VT. You can still see the faded painted sign for Burlington Grocery Co. Photo ©Liza Cowan

Maglianero Cafe

47 Maple Street

Burlington VT 05401