Thursday, September 30, 2010

What Time Is It Mr. Fox?

Fall is for foxes! So let's pay a little homage to our furry forest friend Mr. Fox today with some foxy Etsy finds. Clockwise from top left: absolutely gorgeous desperately calling out my name Rose print, delicate fox necklace in 14k gold; perfect for that quirky subtle statement piece, to be the coolest trick-or-treater in town slap on this hand carved leather red fox mask, a bit of fun on your hand to make you smile, while typing perhaps, white fox fixed finger ring, is it possible to not be obsessed with this illustration - my cup of tea print, love the idea of dressing up your entryway with this groovy fox on a bike door mat, I'm sure many of us are familiar with the adorable plushes from Sleepy King, but I can't help raving about them some more. This sleepy forest fox is my favorite handmade plush in town, A fox in a tie with a pipe blowing geometric triangle shapes in assorted colors? Come on what's not to like about The Duke of NY print?

A few more noteworthy finds:
- Chunky Red Fox Cowl
- letterpressed Foxy Fiddler Pickin Critter Calendar
- solo fox button
- The Hopeless Romantics print

p.s.- I've got a little foxy screenprint of my own workin' its way to the shop. Here's a little sneak peek:

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Studio Snapshot

It's been a crazy week for me. Filled with a plethora of family and friend outings and get-togethers. So it felt great to spend the day today locked up in my sunporch workshop diving in to some Fall projects. Today I handcut over 1000 of these cute Autumn Harvest Confetti pieces. I even got to play with table settings for some fun product pictures. And while I'm especially loving this Autumn Harvest Confetti for Fall weddings, I gotta say these are definitely going on my Thanksgiving tabletop this year!

Tomorrow morning I'll be adding these to my shop with all the other new items that have been trickling in, but for now its off to bed. I'm aching for some sweet dreams.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Methods of Printmaking

Lately I've been asked just what does "hand printed" mean? So I thought I'd take a second today and try to share a basic understanding of a few popular types of printmaking. There are 4 types of printing, stencil, relief, intaglio, and planographic. Each of these categories has a plethora of different techniques, a few of which I'll delve into below.

1.Screen Printing: From the Stencil category of printmaking. Also know as silk-screening this type of printing is praised for its relative ease of production with very high quality results. The basic process involves stretching mesh across a rectangular frame and using a light sensitive photo emulsion to create a “stencil”. The ink is then pushed through the unblocked areas of mesh to create an image.

2.Block Printing: This form of relief printing dates back to 5th century China in the form of hand carved wooden blocks which were used to print text and images on to paper and fabric. Today many block prints are the result of hand carved linoleum commonly referred to an linocuts. The image is transferred on to paper by rolling an inked brayer over the raised areas of the carving and then applying some pressure and elbow grease through the use of a press, a baren, or a spoon.

3.Engraving: From the intaglio family of printmaking. Metal plates are carved using a steel burin. Ink is then applied to the entire metal plate only to be wiped off, leaving only the grooves or carved areas full of ink. Once put in a press the paper picks up the ink from the carved lines making a print. The earliest engravings date back the the 15th century and, today, our paper money is printed from metal engraving plates.

4.Lithography:From the planographic family. An image is drawn on to stone (typically limestone) with a greasy crayon. Acid is used to burn the image into the surface. Ink is then applied to the whole surface, but sticks only to the greasy marks of the drawing. A sheet of paper is placed on top of the stone and the image is transferred on to the paper through the use of a printing press. This is truly an exceptional method of printmaking that, though rarely used today, was extremely popular during the late 1800's until the 1920's. All those bright and colorful circus posters, WWI propaganda posters, and product advertisements were lithographs.
5.Digital Printing: Images are printed using a digital printer rather than a traditional press or by hand. It has a near immediate turn-around as the creation of printing plates is not needed. The tricky thing about digital printing is getting an accurate color reproduction. The difference between high quality prints and low quality prints is in the type of ink used. Today's Giclée prints are basically fine art prints produced on an ink-jet printer.

These techniques represent just a fraction of the many different types of printmaking. While the chemicals and inks available to print makers today vary greatly from centuries, and even decades, ago you will often find that the basic methods of printing remain carefully preserved by today's printers. After all, printmaking is an important part of our cultural history. I hoped you've enjoyed learning a little bit more and if an interest has been sparked please nurture it and head over to your local library or community workshop to learn more!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I Want Wednesday: Danish Treats

While perusing through my October issue of House Beautiful my eyes stumbled upon this delicious Hans Wegner swivel chair and I had to make my new found obsession known. I love the mix of leather, wood, and chrome. There is so much going on with this chair, but it comes off so simplistic and chic. And while yes, I am in the market for a new desk chair, sadly this $10,000+ is a tad out of reach. But hey, what's a girl without a dream?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

It's the Little Things...

When your afternoon snack suddenly takes the shape of a heart you know things are lookin' up. Here's wishing you all a love-ly day!