Courtenay screenprinter’s T-shirts send science, math message

Adrian Granchelli has always been a maths and science person, but one with an artsy side too.

The local screen-printer has just finished a masters in educational technology but he also teaches screen-printing at the Wachiay Studio. He studied at UBC and received an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering.

Of late, he’s been working on his own printing creations in his spare time, manufacturing his own line of T-shirts. The idea goes back to his interest in maths and sciences, so his brand, Nature Exposed, which comes in a range of colours, incorporating designs he’s created from his background and interests.

“Every single image is inspired by science and math,” he says.

Beyond the mere image, he is using the T-shirts as an educational opportunity — in other words, wearable art with a message.

For example, during the interview he’s wearing a mustard yellow T-shirt with a honeycomb structure. As you look closer you can see a bee doing a ‘bee dance.’ To the side, as you look toward the back of the T-shirt, there is text to explain the bee dance, including how and why bees do it. The reason is to communicate where nectar is, with the length of the pattern and cycle relative to the distance from the source.

“It’s wild … They dance in this figure eight pattern,” he says. “They repeat it over and over.”

The bee shirt originated in a project he was working on while doing his masters.

“For whatever reason, we chose bees,” he adds.

Another shirt shows a polar bar on an ice structure, with a message about the importance of ice in nature.

“Ice is so precious, and it’s disappearing,” he says.

Still, another is a design based around a math concept known as the Voronoi pattern, which refers to patterns of how seeds grow. As Granchelli says, the pattern shows up all over the place: in bacteria, bone growth, bubbles, even urban development.

Granchelli and his partner Natasha, who works with him on Nature Exposed, moved to Courtenay from the Lower Mainland about two-and-a-half years ago. He had always had an interest in the arts as well as science, but he hadn’t done screen-printing until he learned through Wachiay. Since that time, he has passed on what he has learned to others as a way to help them build up their own skills.

At Wachiay Studio, he started teaching screen-printing remotely through the pandemic, and part of this included a component of entrepreneurship.

“Being as good a teacher as I can be, I enrolled myself in the course,” he says.

This helped push him to set up Nature Exposed as a business, coming up with the idea in 2020 and starting to make the goods the following year.

He describes Nature Exposed as a passion project. One of his goals is to have his T-shirts capture people’s eyes, and minds too, so they can start having conversation around science and math and how these connect to our daily lives — or as the website says, show the natural beauty in science , math and the world at large.

“I’d love people to be talking more about science and maths,” he says.

There is more information about the company online at nature.exposed


mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com
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