Tonight was my final session of letterpress class (for now). I spent three hours cranking out total awesomeness, and by the end of it I was a sweat-soaked mess.
No air conditioning + massive treadle-operated press = puddle of Kathleen.
Tonight’s main objective was making personalized coasters for a wedding gift (see above); I think I’m obsessed with them now. Coasters for everybody! Really, is there any cooler something-extra than custom letterpress coasters? You can’t beat it for the cost when you print them yourself, that’s for sure.
Since I’ve rented time at the studio in the past, I don’t have to go back through the orientation process and can just jump into working in the studio on my own. I’ve got one or two more projects in the works at the moment, and then I’ll need to think up some more! This time I intend to make use of what I’ve learned beyond just a set of invitations or business cards. Or that’s the plan, at least.
Anyone in the Atlanta area interested in doing artsy awesome things should check out Atlanta Printmakers Studio for all sorts of classes. They’re great!
Two weeks ago I had the first session of my second round of letterpress class at Atlanta Printmakers Studio. (You can read all about my initial adventures in letterpress printing here.) It’s the same idea as the first — letterpress basics — but I’ve got a different teacher and the studio has made some upgrades in the meantime. This is the kind of press I did most (all?) of my work on last time:
Our first printing assignment was to set our names in metal type and make some stationery. Easy peasy, right? I found a cool typeface to use (Twentieth Century Medium, 12 pt) and set it in the composing stick,
then I mixed a lovely grey,
inked up one of the Vandercook presses and locked up the form,
futzed with the registration and cranked out about 75 notecards.
I started running short on ink (somebody else had cleaned it up before I was finished), so I have a few duds in the pack, but on the whole it was a successful run. I feel way more comfortable with the Vandercook already. I’m not sure what my future projects will be, but I’m planning to try printing in multiple colors and/or with tight registration — and I definitely want to make some coasters. More on this to come!
In the space of the past two weeks, I’ve purchased not one, not two, but three new pieces of printed art for our apartment. Fortunately, we have plenty of wall space; unfortunately, what we have on the walls doesn’t necessarily play well together with all this. Not that we’re tastefully coordinated by any means… which is why I feel free to buy awesome stuff now and plan to make it work later on.
The first thing I picked up on impulse was a print you’ve already seen here by German illustrator Katrin Wiehle. I stopped by Young Blood to pick up some cards a week and a half ago, and a lone copy of this print was set out right next to some t-shirts that caught my eye, as if it were waiting for me. I took it as a sign and spent the rest of my Christmas Visa gift card to get this for my kitchen:
The next print was a mutual pick — an excellent tour poster for a kickass band by Syracuse-schooled illustrator Nate Duval. (Fun fact: we’ve already got one of his posters on our wall, from the concert at which we got engaged.) Punch Brothers haven’t come through Atlanta yet on their tour, but we will be there when they do! Nate had a free shipping offer on his website, and I figured we might as well get the limited edition artist’s print now so we don’t have to worry about a) missing the poster (because it’s cool) or b) crushing it at the concert in April.
Last but certainly not least is the most-repinned item I’ve ever shared, a print from a letterpress outfit of displaced Southerners by the name of Old Try. It’s called General Manners No. 1. These colors happen to match the vague color scheme I have going on in my kitchen, but, really, I just think it’s great, and that’s the only justification I need right now. I’ll find a spot for it.
Someday our eventual house is gonna be full of REALLY DAMN COOL stuff. We’ll be the hippest, most stylish folks on the block. All in good time…
Montreal, Quebec, May 2010
One of my Facebook friends posted photos from Montreal this week, which is what made me think of these pics. We were on the second leg of our honeymoon — the first being Quebec City — and as we drove into Montreal in our rental car, both of these tags grabbed my attention. I noted the street names at the fromage-loving intersection so we could pass by later while we explored the city on foot. Clearly these were photo opportunities not to be missed!
Smaller versions of these could be found all over that part of town, as it turned out. Who knew I had kindred spirits in the graffiti artists of Montreal?
A couple weeks of ago as I was perusing the new inventory at Young Blood, a print I hadn’t seen before caught my eye:
(Illustration by Katrin Wiehle)
A kinds-of-German-sausage print? Is there anything my kitchen needs more? I couldn’t find the artist’s info and Googling led me nowhere when I got home, so the next time I was in the shop I asked the proprietor who had made the print. She said she’d look it up and pointed me to another of the artist’s prints hanging on the wall as she did. That one had a name on the back: Katrin Wiehle.
I looked up her website and was completely enchanted by all of her work. Originally from outside Hanover, Germany, Katrin Wiehle came to Atlanta in 2008 to study illustration at SCAD-Atlanta on a Fulbright scholarship.
Translation potion — the original. Speak and understand in record time
While she was at SCAD, her thesis project was a children’s book called “Professor Pfeffers tierisches Abenteuer” (Professor Pepper’s Animal Adventures). It has since been published, translated into French (“Les 99 animaux du professeur peperino”) and won a couple of awards. Here are some of the illustrations:
She has since returned to Germany, and her second book, “Was macht die Katze in der Nacht? (what does the cat do at night?) just came out. I think I need both of these, although I don’t know any German-speaking kids; Maybe my future progeny will learn German animal names. Totally normal, right? (Amandalein, you might need to take a delivery for me…) Here’s the cover of her latest:
If you want to know and see more, check out these interviews with Katrin and her website and blog. I’ll leave you with two more awesome things and let y’all seek out the rest for yourselves. I want to wallpaper my room with the last one!
(All images by Katrin Wiehle and used with permission)
Look what those clever Germans have come up with now:
Edible spray paint! Hamburg’s Deli Garage Food Cooperative will hook you up for € 24,80 per 100-ml can of gold, silver, red or blue. Here’s the product description from the English-language side of the Deli Garage website:
Fine silver cutlery, gold-plated cups – there are some things in life you just can’t see enough of. As of now, the same applies to a good steak. With Food Finish, the most stylish way to refine your culinary creations. Food Finish is as easy to use as the result is beautiful: off with the lid and on with the spray. Ready! Food Finish chrome-plates and gold-coats everything and anything in the kitchen that fits under its spray nozzle. It is completely harmless and tasteless to eat.
(photos from www.the-deli-garage.com)
The blog post that led me to this discovery (sent to me by Abby) shows more photos of everyday foods that have been Esslack-ed. Apples look pretty; a muffin looks terrifying; tomatoes look freaky; and a half-chromed pretzel just makes me sad. It also makes me wonder… does this stuff come off on your hands and lips when you eat it? What would the aftermath of an Esslack dinner party look like?
This morning, a friend’s facebook and twitter feeds led me to a blog of paper-cut silhouettes by U.K.-based artist Olly Moss. (I keep wanting to type Olli Kahn, but he’s German and a terrifying former footballer, so… yeah. No.) Check this out:
Zang! Right? This is but one of hundreds of pop culture paper-cuts posted on a blog created by L.A.’s Gallery 1988, which hosted a show of these pieces by Olly Moss last month. On his personal blog, Moss shared some photos of the exhibit hanging at the gallery as well as some pictures of the process. He says he spent about six months making silhouettes of his favorite pop culture characters. Lots of good stuff for us children of the ’80s and ’90s. Recognize these?
According to this interview with the website /Film, Moss got his start designing t-shirts for Threadless. Pretty sweet! Check out the Paper Cuts blog to see how many of these you can identify, and visit the artist’s blog and website to see more creative badassery. (Photos by Gallery 1988)
Two years ago today, Jon and I got engaged. That’s pretty well-trod territory, so I’ll spare you another recap here. Then last year about this time (March 30, to be precise), Jon and I got together with our brilliant wedding photographers for an engagement photo shoot. The timing was pure serendipity: spring came late last year and as a result the cherry trees lining the park up the block from us were in the most beautiful part of their blooming in the last days of the month. We spent a large portion of the shoot hanging out in and around those trees.
photos by Our Labor of Love
I watched those trees — which I sometimes think of as our trees, I’ll admit — this year to see when that sweet spot would fall on the calendar, and it arrived almost three weeks earlier than last year. Not terribly surprising, because Atlanta had an early spring — all of our February weekends were up in the 70s (not normal), but things cooled off a bit as March brought more seasonable weather.
Spring in Atlanta has always been one of my favorite parts of living here. I love that we waited to take these photos in the spring and still feel so lucky that we happened to have our shoot on one of the few fleeting days when the cherry blossoms were at their fluffiest.
Of course, we took a lot of photos that day in other locations around our neighborhood (another aspect of the pictures that I love). You can even see our house in one or two of the photos that we took on the hill of the dog park we live next to, if you know what you’re looking for. Here’s another spot that will always make me think of our day in the cherry trees with Jesse and Whitney:
photos by Our Labor of Love
I just ordered a few prints of these, finally. (The only place they live in hard copy at the moment is in our wedding guest book, which is super awesome.) Time to put some of those wall frames we got for our wedding to use! I’ll have happy cherry blossoms and Coca-Cola jumps all year round.
Public art! I know, that’s way better than what it could have been, right?
(this snapshot is now my phone’s background photo and it is AWESOME)
This installation has been underway at Lenox Square Mall since the start of the month, will be completed this weekend and is on display until the end of March. You can’t really tell from the photo, but the stripes are made up of what amounts to silk-flower confetti. I saw someone working on the installation using tweezers to meticulously place the flower bits, making sure the different colors stayed within their respective stripes. The work occupies a large swath of mall-floor in front of Macy’s, central real estate taken up by Santa during the holidays and other promotional campaigns in all other seasons.
Here’s a brief summary from the website of flux projects, which is funding the work:
[Gyun] Hur’s work explores elements of the ephemeral nature of beauty and life through installations of re-appropriated silk flowers carefully arranged into immaculate, streamlined patterns. The project at Lenox will continue her series of intricate rainbow installations, in which deconstructed silk flowers inspire recollections of her past and ties to Korea and her family.
Flux projects has been sponsoring public art displays and performances all over Atlanta for a little more than a year now — I think it’s great that they’re finding such visible homes and venues for these projects.
Another flux project that just kicked off is called Secrets of Atlanta (not unlike the well-known PostSecret community art project). Through May they’ll be collecting secrets at drop boxes throughout the city, and later in the year all these confessions will be printed on paper towels for use in public restrooms. Keep your eyes peeled, y’all — art is everywhere!