Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Hot Off the Press

I have, oh so slowly, been working on this image for a several years. I've used it for a demonstration piece, and carved a few lines, but had never gotten it far enough to proof. The wedding of a close friend was the motivation I needed to finish cutting and print.

The Ladder-Builder's House

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

It's been a while

It has been way too long since I last posted an update. Of course, a lot of things change over more than two years. Some of the missing time has been filled with printmaking, but much of it has been occupied with a recently acquired 1907 Queen Ann house, and the maintenance that it takes to keep it livable. We have added some amenities to make it more comfortable as well including central air, a sprinkler system, grass, and more than a hundred feet of sidewalk and curb. A two car garage is in progress.

With all this work, there has been no shortage of fun and adventure. We make it to the mountains when we can. Occasionally that means a two hour drive for a picnic supper then two hours back home, but it is always worth it.

There has also been plenty of artwork being made. More often than not, it is for fun or family. In the last few months, I've been getting back into the habit of creating professional work. Some of this is driven by a thriving t-shirt business at school, and I was missing making new artwork as a professional. I hope to post a few more examples of these images in the coming weeks. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

VW Thing Print

The past two weeks have included some work on a Volkswagen Thing image I was commissioned to create. The customer saw my VW work on Etsy, and asked if I would create a print of a VW Type 181. The customer also provided an image of the vehicle she wanted to commemorate in print. Work has proceeded very smoothly. I finished the key block Monday night while watching Ghost Busters on Netflix. Then, I set the register for the color block by printing the key block onto a piece of paper and printing from that paper to a new block. So far, this technique has yielded very predicable and accurate results. The color block should be finished by the end of the day.
If you would like me to create a custom print for you or someone you love, I would be delighted to hear from you. Stop by my Etsy shop and click on the Contact the Shop Owner button.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

New VW Split Window Bus Prints

Happiness comes in color, and so does the new Volkswagen Bus print from Bound Staff Press. Like a new box of crayons this split window comes in the colors of the rainbow. If you cannot wait to have one of these for yourself they are available in my Etsy shop. Here are a few examples.

My grandparents picked out their 1963 Kombi in Germany, then had it shipped to the States. They paid less than $3000, and could hardly get rid of it when it was time to head back to Africa. Now a split window bus demands a pretty penny. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Making Things Fit

Most of the print images at Bound Staff Press are made in standard sizes; 4x6, 5x7, etc. This way many other processes can be streamlined as well. I usually cut paper to 9x11 or 9x12; and frame sizes and packaging also are standardized.

For some time, I have wanted to easily center my print block on the paper while printing on my big letterpress. In an attempt to make this happen, I have cut some specialized lockup furniture that will accommodate my most common print block sizes. Now when I lock up my print, it will be centered in the chase opening. This will allow me to more easily and more quickly center my image on the paper. None of this was a problem when I printed primarily on an etching press. At that time, I could place my paper and block anywhere I wanted. With a floor model letterpress, all of this must be setup and locked in place before printing can begin.

This is what I came up with. It is made of MDF and color coded for easy use. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

New VW print

The day has finally arrived. A new VW linocut has been cut and proofed.  It still has a little fine tuning before it is complete, but it is almost ready to hang on your wall. Here are a few sneak peaks.

I've been getting neck deep in Volkswagen busses lately researching and pricing and scouting for deals.  This only further fueled my desire to create some more VW prints and possibly publish another calendar. I still have 6 months to get that plan off the ground. This is the first two color Volksy print, but it won't be the last. Soon I hope to be able to print all kinds of VWs in any color you can imagine. Let me know what you'd like to see next.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Good News in the Mail

After a very relaxing long weekend in Estes Park, I received word that my entry in this year's National Small Prints Show was accepted, and was added to the traveling exhibit. This is an image I started to draw shortly before my sister died more than two years ago. I did nothing with it until July of this past year. I was finally ready to get back to work on some printmaking.

 Impossible Ladder

 The ladder in the image is an exploration of how the ascension to God and his mysteries often seems impossible. I cannot yet untangle the suffering and growth in my spiritual journey over the past two years. I am learning that comfort comes during suffering, and sometimes richness is found in wanting. What seems impossible to you?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

You Are Invited

Bound Staff Press is located in a Jr/Sr high school. I am always looking for ways to get students in to use the equipment and become more familiar with printing processes. Earlier in the year, I asked if any students would be willing to print their graduation invitations on the small letterpress in the shop. Three students thought it was a good idea, so I started to put together the things we would need to make a quality invite fairly similar to the ones they could purchase from Jostens. With some trial and error, we managed to produce our shop's first reliable photopolymer plates. I set the type for the text inside the invite, and the students learned how to set up make-ready.

Our project will cost somewhere around 14¢ per invite. This is quite a bit less than the options available through Jostens. We don't have an engraving or foil this year, but we might next year. Stay tuned.

Taylor printing the front of the card

Taylor examining her work

Monday, October 1, 2012


If you haven't heard, Etchpop is a laser etching company that can turn an image into a relief printing plate. The company started off as a Kickstarter project, and has really taken off. They put out a call for artists, and I jumped in with both feet. Not long ago, I got a sample block of the image that I let them use. It is available as a 4.25x5 up to an 11x17. I think it is a super cool way to mix old and  new technology to create hand made goods.

Print swap with Nick Morley (Linocutboy)

Print swap with Nick Morley (Linocutboy)

 I have been admiring the work of Nick Morley (Linocutboy) on Flickr for a number of years. He has made some very nice linocuts, and has started teaching workshops incorporating letterpress and linocut printmaking. Earlier in the month I set up a swap with Nick, and this is the prize I got in the mail over the weekend.
I try to swap work with a few artists every year. It has been a great way for me to fill my studio with wonderful art for a small price of shipping and a little of my own elbow grease and inventory.
Be sure to check out Nick's work in his Etsy shop, and Blog.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

New Equipment

Glamour Shots There's new iron on the floor of Bound Staff Press. This beautiful paper cutter is a 30 inch Chandler and Price unit from 1908. It was part of the same news paper as the 10x15 Craftsmen press that I restored a few years ago.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Things I'm Afraid to Tell You

After reading a posting on Penelope's Press, I decided to participate in a little sharing experiment. At the end of each school year, I tend to be very introspective, and a little uptight over how the year turned out. This often leads to some frank discoveries. So, here is a little insight into the less obvious part of me.

- I waste a lot of time. Internet, TV/netflix, etc. If I was a little more focused, I  know I could be more productive as an artist and a teacher.
- I often feel un-original. I don't know how to access the inspiration for new ideas.
- I have been teaching 13 years, and still cannot consistently figure out classroom discipline.
- I am a Christian. My goal is to bring glory to God, but often, I only find ways to glorify myself. I am afraid that sharing this will either bring rejection of my work, or judgment because I don't measure up.
- I get distracted from making art by hoarding and repairing equipment related to making art.
- I wish I was as successful as some of the people I went to college with.
- I doubt my abilities to motivate students to create and enjoy artwork.
- I still miss my sister all the time.
- How people speak about cancer influences my opinion of them.
- I don't give in and play with my kids as much as I wish I did.

What are you afraid to tell the world.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Good News

Good news came in the mail. I received word that two of my linocuts were selected for this year's National Small Print Show

Red Head with Berries and Breakfast at Tiffany's will both be part of the exhibit in Creede, CO.

Another printmaker I know, Sherrie York had posted that their work had won 1st place. When I went to check on the show, I found that my printmaking instructor from FHSU Gordon Sherman won 2nd place. Congratulations to both of them. Stop by the Creede Arts Coucil if you have a chance. The show opens May 26.

Boxcar Base and Photopolymer Plates

First project with my new boxcar base

New toys are so much fun.

Today was the trial run for my first attempt at exposing photopolymer plates.  It was a smashing success. My homemade vacuum exposure unit worked like a dream. Of course it may need a little tweaking to be easy to use, but it was wonderful to see the plates wash out just like they were supposed to.

Because photopolymer plates require much more precise inking, I made new delrin trucks for both my C&P Crafsman, and my little CMC Superior. I cannot believe how much easier it is to print with the right diameter of trucks on the rollers. I had always attributed my trouble printing  to poor packing and make-ready, but now I realize it was my equipment that needed to be updated. I'm sure my packing could still use improvement.

 I am working on creating some nice business card, price tags, envelopes, and other branding. I figure I'll start small and work my way up. It is so strange to have the ability to make a plate out of anything on my computer.

I have a wedding suite design in the works. I am planning to print the whole set from poly plates. Because of the importance of a job like this, I will probably have the plates made instead of trying to expose and process them myself.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tuscan Ornate Figures Specimen

Since I had finished carving and proofing my new Tuscan Ornate numbers, I thought I should go ahead and print up a type specimen to hang on the wall. While I'm sure this could be done at any time, life has a way of pushing fun little projects like this to the background. I locked up a less than traditional form that filled the chase of my 10x15 C&P Craftsman, and printed away.

My current plan is to complete the rest of the font with a very small 3A scheme. I had originally thought I would continue with the 20 line (~3.25 inch) size, but having barely locked up only 10 figures in my chase, I think 10 line (1.625 inch) would be a better size. Should only be a few hours. (& Smiles)