Saturday, November 14, 2009

A New Store, “All By Hand,” in the Liberty Place shops, Philadelphia, PA

All By Hand, a new store supporting Philly's local artists and craftspeople, is opening
at the Shops at Liberty Place at 17th & Market Streets
(enter on 17th Street side, first floor) in downtown Philadelphia.
The Grand Opening is on Sunday, November 15, 2009, from noon to 6pm.
Store Hours are Monday-Saturday, 9:30am--7pm, and Sundays, noon--6pm,
until December 31st, 2009.
My T-shirts will be for sale in this excellent venue.
If you are in Philly, come check it out--and show some local love!
Thanks and kudos to Julianna Lose (one of my former students, I might add!), and
her business partner, Abby Flanigan, for making this awesome retail opportunity happen!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

“Estampia” ---an older T-shirt image

These images are from a shirt design I did a number of years ago when I
was still relatively new to T-shirt printing. The Hungarian stamp image of the male face
that looked to me like a monk went on the front, the
French stamp with the smaller icons went on the back.

I collected stamps as a kid.
My late father-in-law also had a collection, which impressed me
greatly once I found out about it. I revisited subscribing to
a mail-order stamp program about 25 years ago, but quickly realized
I didn’t have the time, money or propensity to keep it as organized as it really
should be----oh, and I still wanted to do art, too---so the stamp collecting
finally fell by the wayside, yet I found lots of beautiful images on them
for inspiration. “Estampia” was a way for me to use a few of my favorites,
pay tribute to the lure of my always-fascinating part-Hungarian background,
and also try out some screen monoprinting on the shirt. At the time I was feeling a little constrained by the screen stencil processes. I enjoyed doing these and they sold well,
but it was pretty labor-intensive and time-consuming, as I soon found out---so I
decided to abandon this design.

Discharge Printing Takes Center Stage

Over this summer I started doing water-based Discharge Printing,
which is where you apply a bleaching agent in a controlled manner
to a dyed fabric, achieving an intermediary color shade in those image areas.
Can I just say, “Way Cool?!”
I did 2 new images of Vandercook letterpresses---One of an SP-20 Repro;
the other of a #325G, and its pertinent reminder on the press-bed of the
“Dead Line” ---yes, folks, that is exactly where the term, “Deadline” came from---
our friends in the commercial printing industry.
You know, the place in the universe that comes up on us much too fast, a little
too familiar a feeling. It's nice to have it illustrated so well on the press--- leave it to
those printers!
I am pretty happy with the discharge Vandercook T-shirts, especially since I kind of resisted doing a Vandercook T-shirt in the beginning. They are wonderful presses to print with,
but I felt visually challenged by their numerous no-nonsense straight lines---not many sinuous curves to catch the eye on these, being part of the mammoth 20th-century
industrial printing age.
But a friend who saw my work at the Hybrid Book conference (June 2009) suggested that I come up with a Vandercook shirt, so the intersection of using that request as inspiration, and this new way of printing worked out perfectly.

I also revisited my older images---the Desert Chevy Nomad, the Chrome Car, and
the Food Chain T-shirts---just to see what would happen.
I plan to play with a few other previous incarnations, in
this fun experimenting with positive and negative imagery, and learning about dyed color
possibilities. These photos show examples of all the images I worked on with
discharge paste; some are combined with regular water-based fabric ink also.
I didn't get to do any more woodcuts on shirts as of this writing, but I have a number of
ideas I'd still like to pursue. Yup, I wish I could clone myself----especially with the busy fall
season upon us!

My other new project is to get an Etsy store up and running as soon as I can, so I have a real
online outlet in which to sell my shirts. This is a bit of a process, a little more
than I first realized. Right now I am photographing more of my designs and preparing inventory specifically for the Etsy store.
I'll be announcing on this blog and elsewhere when it is ready, so check back later!
My blog will then be re-edited somewhat and function as a showcase for my designs as I add to my portfolio, and whatever insights about them I feel moved to write about.
Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


The latest in my series of conjuring Good Squirrel
Garden Karma...
inspired by a friend's Ebay handle, this is my first foray into
combining woodcuts with screenprinting on a T-shirt.
The name sounds like it could be for an exterminator, so if you have a love-hate relationship with squirrels, this is the shirt for you! However, it is really more of an homage to my friend and
also alludes to the packrat nature of many artists and others,
myself included.
The saw-blade-like element has become a critical personal energy symbol for me, but without getting too metaphysical about it, this part of the image was also directly inspired by the Philadelphia Hidden Cities project at the Disston Saw Works, kicking off a recent re-kindling of my fascination with old factories.
I hope to further examine this interest through making and printing more woodcuts.

Monday, June 22, 2009

New Press, Fresh Ink!

The Summer Solstice of 2009 is being celebrated by the maiden voyage of
my “new” old Charles Brand etching press, ‘Magda Perylene Blue’ [a.k.a. “The
Big-Girl Press”], vintage 1971!
(Yes, for those of you who are curious, I gave my press a name, as all my really important mechanical items have names, and not “You @#$%!!”---Magda is kind of an all-purpose name inspired by many of my female ancestors and relatives, but sort of based on my Hungarian great-grandmother---plus, I once rode a beautiful horse named Magda {I was big into the horse-riding thing in my youth--apparently printing presses supplanted that interest!}; and, in the family of perylene pigments, there are many colors but I have not yet seen a “Perylene Blue,” and blue is my favorite color...
the “Big Girl” part came from the expression, “Put on your Big-Girl pants, and deal with it”...
So now I finally have the real Big Girl press to help me deal with it!)
These are the first prints of elements with woodcuts, to augment my screenprinted
images on my T-shirts.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Hybrid Book Conference at the University of the Arts

Thanks to all my customers, new ones and old ones, for helping to make my
Hybrid Book Fair a success! (even though I stopped being a “book artist”
a long time ago...)
Now I am going back to the studio to work on some new
ideas--watch for more here!