Where did my blog go? Awesome changes made then suddenly it is gone. Scammed by a small business guy, a friend, when I decided to have my site hosted locally. Now, at the worst time, back to the basics. Already made some drastic, positive tweeks and now it’s better than it was before. I’ll plan a date after the holidays (!!!?) to the add the online store. Thanks for the patience, ya’ll.
Back in 2008 I saw this really great documentary about the Race Across America, a 3000 mile bicycle race from San Diego to Atlantic City.
It is called Bicycle Dreams, and here’s the website for it: http://bicycledreamsmovie.com/
I highly recommend watching it weather you are a bicycle-enthusiast or not. It’s not about the sport so much as a portrayal of human courage amid extreme obstacles. Racers engage in an unthinkable test of physical endurance without sufficient sleep, many to the point of hallucinations.
The person who stood out to me the most from the documentary, even months after, was a man by the name of Bob Breedlove. He was the race’s oldest competitor at 53, an orthopedic surgeon from Iowa, and an inspiration to everyone in the race. Amid the worst weather, road, and internal conditions he always had a smile for the camera, and would say, “It’s a beautiful day in Paradise.”
Just watch the film and you’ll understand his influence.
So he inspired this postcard, but of course there is a double meaning which transcends much discussion: simply, BREED LOVE.
Moved into my new studio space and it is shaping up quite nicely! Here is how it looked at the beginning. Such character. So happy to have so much light. It really does wonders for your head.
Since I am so close to my equipment at the Bloomington Print Collective, I’ve spent several hours there printing T-shirts in the last couple of weeks. I printed 4 of my old designs from the early days at TCP, namely, Bloomington Bike-Inspired shirts, as well as a long-requested NEVER GIVE UP design. So far I have a limited selection of shirts but soon enough I’ll be able to print much more. Yay.
Such fun. So many new ideas. I love being in a big space filled with artists. It’s such a nice incubator for growth. I have grown so much since my days printing shirts in a garage.
So my latest way of getting to Gordo involves catching rides from those heading south for vacation. This time around my friend Ryan was heading to Gulf Shores and he was kind enough to take me to Tuscaloosa to meet Amos. The weather and company was beautiful.
This trip down was very productive! I helped by organizing thousands of dingbats, sorting like with like. It’s amazing how similiar the processes of letterpress reminds me so much of childhood games. Sorting feels lot like Concentration or Memory. Other times the act of setting type and locking the furniture into place feels like Operation or Lincoln Logs. I wonder if other letterpress printers feel this way?
While there I got to work on some Birth Art for a friend and the prints look absolutely amazing. Once again, the process reminded me of childhood games, namely, puzzles… There are only a certain number of possibilities in arranging the text, and it can take hours to complete one that has the right “look.”
In January I had an opportunity to visit the print shop in Gordo again. I was super pleased to know that it lined up perfectly with Kyle Durrie’s visit to Columbus, Mississippi, which is only 30 minutes away from Gordo, Alabama. Kyle’s Moveable Type Truck tour passed through + hosted a workshop at Jessica Peterson’s print shop, The Southern Letterpress and Job Printing. Here she is giving a quick talk about her cross country adventures.
Amos was my date for the evening! Looking good, eh?
Kyle’s Type Truck is beyond awesome! She transformed an old laundry truck into a movable letterpress print shop, equipped with a proof press, a platen press, and of course, type! Everyone was super excited to learn about her travels, cross country, in such an enormous beast! Here’s a view of Jessica’s print-shop from inside Kyle’s:
Recently I acquired a new sign press and a cabinet full of wood and metal type!! The press cleaned up really well and was ready to use right away. The registration mechanism works quite well and the roller is in great shape so I am incredibly satisfied so far.
My first project was to print backgrounds, which I plan on printing a lot of. It is a great way to spend time. I often print backgrounds for projects that have not presented themselves yet, but I know they will come. For the first series, I picked out a ton of blocks that were used as candy and cigarette advertisements in the past. I am printing layers and layers and layers of different arrangements of the same blocks, changing colors randomly.
Originally an effort to not waste ink, I started smearing leftover ink from jobs onto blocks and then printed them, or occasionally smearing ink directly onto the paper itself. For some reason I find myself smearing ink in the same direction more often than not—I love the motion you can create from the unity of marks.
*News! Less than a week away is our Grand Opening of the Trained Eye Arts Center! It is on November 5th from noon until late! We are very excited to be open to the public and want to throw a super fun bash so that everyone gets hyped about getting involved in this artist collective. There are so incredible opportunities we are going to be offering, please visit our blog at http://www.TrainedEyeArts.com to stay updated with our classes and events.
New blog coming soon! Returned home from Gordo, Alabama mid October and it was one of the best trips yet. Stay tuned!