Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Inspiration (Midwest)

I was downloading and erasing extra photo's left on my digital camera and found this one from my trip to Minneapolis. It's the backside of a building one block from Open Book. I walked an extra block so that I could park in this parking lot and take this picture.

Monday, May 28, 2007

My New Baby (Midwest)

I did it. I held my breath, plugged my nose, and jumped in. I bought some turn of the century piece of technology which will sit on my desk in contrast to my iMac. I bought something I have only about 7 total production hours using. A thing that I have no friends to advise me on. A piece of machinery that most people will see and say "what is that?" and the following discussion/explanation will take in excess of 15 minutes and they will still not understand...

...I bought a letterpress, and I am so happy.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Impressed (Midwest)

I'm back from my fabulous weekend in Minneapolis. I took a two-day crash course on letterpress printing at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. The MCBA resides in the Open Book Building in the Warehouse district. The Open Book spaces, the MCBA classrooms, shop and galleries were all visually spectacular. I would kill to work in a space like this. Check out this shot from the bathrooms looking out at the Open Book commons area through to an exhibit on the exterior wall of MCBA classrooms. Nice.

Anyway, I really, really enjoyed the class. I was able to handset type and then run prints on a multitude of papers provided. I tried some larger, old, woodblock type, then metal type, and even carved a linoleum block to run on a press. Here you see some of my efforts. The type is 9 point Univers all caps spaced with 3 em blocks. The lower case type is 8 point Times New Roman Italic. I only dropped my type once. Yes, I swore. And, after printing discovered that some of the type characters were bolder than the rest, so I had to tweezer out and replace them with the correct type. This was somewhat tedious and time consuming. If and when I buy my own letterpress (!!!!) I will probably run photopolymer plates along with block prints on press. Hand setting type is not my cup of tea. The shadowy twig image is my lino block (also in the shot) run with transparent white ink. I think I would print this way over and over and never get sick of it. The ink adds such a soft wash of gloss on the stock. It is beautiful.

After a weekend of much needed time away and working creatively. I am realizing it is time for me to start working again. I'm not sure how much or exactly on what, whether it's graphic design, greeting cards or fine art. Come this fall I think changes will happen. Right now I am now back at home reorganizing my office, making lists, and thinking about how to prepare for my first arts and crafts fair on June 9. The bigger plan will emerge this summer I am sure.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mother's Day (Midwest)

Yesterday Joey took the kids for a few hours so that I could have some time to myself. I was able to finish printing my print for the Periodic Table Print Project. I ran prints for a Gocco print swap. And, I started a run of new note cards to sell on Etsy. I was so productive. I'm feeling a little guilty about asking for time away from my family as my Mother's Day present. Oh well, maybe next year I will want to be with them. :)

Here's my print. You can read about it here.

Friday, May 04, 2007

More Cards (Midwest)

I stayed up late last night to print up some "generic" business cards to sell (I hope) at the craft fair or on Etsy. These are another variation of the fill in the blank type stuff I've been playing around with as of late. I'm slightly discouraged because I'm not selling much in my Etsy shop. I read up on the forums about how to sell more and basically they want me to list more (go figure). I'm hesitant to list more and pay more listing fees to not sell even more product. Hmmm. Do I jump in head first or wade in with my tippy toes?