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Art

Four Meticulously Hand-Carved Woodblocks Bloom Together in Tugboat Printshop’s “Clover Blossoms”

June 5, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Intertwining stems and leaves crowned with bright pink blossoms comprise the newest print from Tugboat Printshop (previously). Clover Blossoms is a four-color woodblock print, which means that Tugboat owner and artist Valerie Lueth drew, hand-carved, inked, aligned, and printed four separate panels to comprise the finished piece. Lueth prolifically dreams up and creates new work, and frequently exhibits her prints across the country. Tugboat prints are currently on view at the Staten Island Museum in New York City as part of the Field Notes exhibition, through February 23, 2020. Leuth also has a solo show at Bloom in West Virginia in November, 2019. Clover Blossoms and other prints are available on the Tugboat website and Etsy shop. Follow along with Lueth’s meticulously documented studio process on Instagram.

 

 



Design

A 3D-Printed Press Brings Printmaking to the People

April 10, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Last year, Martin Schneider rolled out the Open Press Project, which provided printing plans for the world’s first fully functional 3D-printed printmaking press, and was downloaded by more than 12,000 people. As a follow-up to that successful open-source endeavor, Schneider is offerings folks who don’t have their own 3-D-printing abilities the option to get a press through a new Kickstarter campaign. Traditionally, printing presses are prohibitively expensive and extremely heavy. Schneider has managed costs in part by shrinking the press down to a 5.7 by 2.95 inch printing area, but includes the usual steel roller and woven blanket found on a full-sized press. The cost of each petite press available through Open Press Project’s Kickstarter comes out to around $60. You can follow the project on Instagram, and download plans to use with your own 3D-printer on the Open Press Project website. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 

 

 



Colossal

Chain Reaction: An International Print and Illustration Show of Bicycle-Inspired Art

October 18, 2018

Colossal

As part of a unique collaboration with the Design Museum of Chicago, Colossal asked some of our favorite poster makers, illustrators, designers, and artists from around the world to make prints featuring bicycles. The international exhibition is in conjunction with the museum’s upcoming exhibition, Keep Moving: Designing Chicago’s Bicycle Culture.

Participating artists include Arna Miller (previously), Janice ChangAlex Senna (previously), Ovadia Benishu, Lisa Congdon, Fran Labuschagne, Jay Ryan, Eleni Debo, Mara PiccioneBrent Couchman, Mart Aire (previously), Daniel Jamie Williams, Vance Lump, Lydia Fu, JW and Melissa Buchanan, and Rafael Esquer (previously).

Prints will be available for purchase online in the Colossal Shop and at Design Museum Chicago’s Block 37 location, starting November 16, 2018. A portion of all proceeds will benefit Blackstone Bicycle Works, a local community bike shop and youth education program. If you’re in Chicago, join us for a free, all-ages opening party from 6 to 8pm on Friday, November 16th! Keep an eye on our event page and RSVP via Facebook for details.

 

 



Design Illustration

Hilarious Matchboxes Depict Cats Making Questionable Decisions

June 8, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Colorado-based artist Arna Miller uses vintage style packaging, advertising, and illustrations as inspiration for her goofy creations. The serious historical aesthetic and matter-of-fact text subtly ridiculous, finding humor in imagining animals experiencing human emotions, ambitions, and failures.

In a statement on her website, Miller describes her guiding principles as an artist: “My aim is to create narrative illustrations that depict magical moments…I often use text to tell part of the story, but like to leave most of the narrative up to the viewer. My guiding rule—which I sometimes break—is Possible, but Not Likely. For example, it’s possible for a vole to sit on a cigarette box and float down a river, but it is not likely. On the other hand, dinosaurs didn’t have laptops and headphones, so I would not draw that.”

The matchbox series “Strike Your Fancy,” which Miller made in collaboration with her husband Ravi Zupa, shows cats staying out late and making dicey decisions. The series is on view at Abstract in Denver through June 30, 2018. Matchboxes are also for sale in Miller and Zupa’s online stores. You can see more of Miller’s clever artwork on her website and Instagram.

 

 



Art Design

A Project to Immortalize David Bowie in Traditional Woodblock Prints

June 7, 2018

Johnny Waldman

David Bowie, who passed away in 2016, had a very special connection – some may even call it a “love affair” – with Japan. He originally developed his affinity after taking an interest in Kabuki and was heavily influenced by the exaggerated gestures, costumes and make-up. He later went on to work with fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto on many iconic costumes, as well as with musicians like Tomoyasu Hotei and the filmmaker Nagisa Oshima. In a sense, the love affair has come full circle and now a project has been announced to immortalize David Bowie in the form of ukiyo-e woodblock prints that depict Bowie in elements of kabuki.

Two unique prints were announced last month from Ukiyo-e Project, an organization that creates contemporary Ukiyo-e based on elements of pop culture. Each of the prints are inspired by iconic photo shoots of Bowie, which have been translated to woodblock print by ukiyo-e artist Masumi Ishikawa.

One of these is inspired by Brian Duffy’s photograph of a bare-chested Bowie with a red lightning bolt scrawled across his face the cover of “Aladdin Sane” (1973). For the ukiyo-e print, the artist imagines Bowie as Kidomaru, a fictitious snake charmer from the Kamakura period.

The second print was inspired by Terry O’Neill’s “Diamond Dogs” promotional photograph (1974) in which Bowie is posing with a large barking dog. For this ukiyo-e print the artist imagines Bowie as Takezawa Toji, a magician and entertainer who was often depicted by Utagawa Kuniyoshi.

The prints will be on display, and available for sale (priced at 100,000 yen) at the Marc Jacobs-owned BOOKMARC in Omotesando from June 23 – July 1, 2018. The final prints will be displayed alongside photos of David Bowie, as well as other materials that show the process of creating the woodblock prints. (Syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)

left: David Bowie, Aladdin Sane, Eyes Open, 1973© Courtesy of the Duffy Archive | right: Terry O’Neill – David Bowie Diamond Dogs, 1974 © Courtesy Mouche Gallery

 

 



Art

A Tall Leafy Tree Grows in Tugboat Printshop’s New 4-Color Wood Block Print

April 4, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

In her newest artwork, Valerie Lueth has grown intricately intertwined roots and branches to form a 4-color woodblock print titled ‘BRANCHING.’ Lueth, who owns and operates Tugboat Printshop (previously) in Pittsburgh, hand-illustrated one key block and three additional color blocks to combine black, yellow, blue, and grey in the formation of the tree. To create the tree’s subtle shifts in tone and shape, Lueth first drew and carved the key block on 3/4 inch birch plywood. Next, she transferred the image via press onto the three color blocks, and hand-drew and carved each of the three color blocks. Finally, using very precise alignment, Lueth printed all four blocks sequentially on one sheet of paper to create the complete artwork.

The artist describes BRANCHING as “an image of generation and growth,” and it scales thirty inches tall and twelve inches wide. The print is currently available for pre-order on the Tugboat Printshop website. Lueth also shares her works in progress on Instagram.

 

 



Design

The Smallest Printing Company: Miniature Printing Presses For a Mobile Printing Studio

December 2, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Forget the latest desktop printer from HP or Epson, what you need is a new miniature printing press designed by the traveling open source design studio Letterproeftuin out of the Netherlands. Created for the International Poster and Graphic Design Festival Chaumont earlier this year, the miniature screen and letter printing presses were created so that Letterproeftuin could create smaller prints while on location at printing shows. While it doesn’t look like they have any plans to mass produce the presses I imagine such a thing could be extremely popular these days. See much more here. (via Quipsologies, Printeresting)