Although I do have great access to a letterpress in town, I wanted to have the ability to print a little bit at home, too. I decided to start a Printshop in my kitchen. I shared some pics of my Kitchen Printshop Project at the end of last month.
I then asked some friends to share pics of their home shops. My friends Hope Amico in Oakland, California and Ann Flowers in Dekalb, Illinois got back to me with some pics of their great spaces! I’ll share Hope’s here with you first. She also made a post about her shop on her blog, here: http://gutwrenchpress.blogspot.com/2013/03/shop-tour.html.
I met Hope when we were both studying Printmaking at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. I was always impressed by how much she got done! She runs a great monthly Postcard mailing list, and she always seemed busy printing up a storm on the letterpress, sewing, and working in her sketchbooks.
You can sign up for her “Keep Writing” Postcard subscription here: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr. For just $2.50 a month, you get a postcard custom made by Hope mailed directly to your home!
You can see more of Hope’s wares in her Etsy shop, Gutwrench: https://www.etsy.com/shop/gutwrench
Type cabinet and ipod docking station. Gotta have the tunes!
Hope’s Printshop Story:
A year ago, most of my studio was in storage boxes in a suburb of New Orleans and I was in an apartment in Milan with 3 other students, printing on a Gocco press while they slept. I knew I was moving to the Bay Area when I returned to the US but the other details were unclear.
A friend of a friend was also making the cross country move, with a Vandercook Universal One. I was a printmaker with a press and they were looking for housing to share. That September, our moving trucks met in Oakland and we signed the lease on a corner of land that included 3 buildings, notably a beautiful refinished garage with skylights.
Prints in Progress
It took us a few months to unpack and test the press and to accept that our shop would be a work-in-progress. The shop doubles as a music practice space too and motorscycle-parts-storage. Slowly we arrange, work, arrange.
Future silkscreen and papermaking area
Overall, we are pretty lucky. We have a large wooden workbench for inking and spreading our assortment of unorganized furniture. We have lots of room to grow and beautiful type to use. On sunny days, and most days are sunny, we can open the garage door a little for a sliver of light. Ben is in school and I work 2 or 3 jobs so we print about one day a week on average. This summer I suspect there will be some more thoughtful organizing. I have papermaking supplies and some silkscreen materials too. I have been focusing on making monthly postcards and occasional custom jobs, so we arrange things as needs arise.
Hope’s studio, expanding desk space
When I’m not printing, I work in here. This is where I keep projects-in-process, materials, ideas, and books. Even in here, the music equipment shares space. I could probably line my walls with shelves and fill them with hoarded paper, finished journals, postcards. Once a week I clean it up but it naturally returns to chaos.We’ve only been here six months, but I can usually find what I am looking for. This is also the bedroom I share with the ever-patient Andy, whose guitar sneaks into the photos. My work has been creeping across the room threatening to swallow his desk for years. Even with so much space, supplies expand infinitely. Flat spaces become workspaces. The kitchen table is another place for cutting paper, folding while watching movies. Sinks have dishsoap and lava soap. Working at home.
I’ll post again soon with pics from Ann Flower’s lovely shop! I’d love to see more of y’all’s home work spaces if you’re willing to share!