I really didn’t intend to release these prints along with the thanksgiving holiday. It just happened this way…
But hey! two new prints - and the first in my Folklore series.. YAY! (loud noises)
You can see them and more details on the EDITIONS page. But the gist is that Treehouse is a pretty large print (22X29 inches) .. well it is large to me and I have been pecking away at it since June. I only editioned these to 35. That’s it. Cause they are kinda a pain to print and i wanted to keep it a really small personal series.
The inspiration behind treehouse comes from my own personal love and fascination with tree houses. When you are in a treehouse, there is this magical feeling.. it is quite unlike anything else. Being up in the trees with a slight breeze. The leaves whispering, the calm sway of the trees. It is one of a kind, and without fail it brings simple inexplicable joy. I remember building my treehouse with my dad when I was a child, and then as an adult I built a treehouse with my kids. The memories and feelings of wonder were just as familiar playing in the trees with my kids as when I was a little guy. The magic of being in the trees is only a climb up a ladder away. I have considered these houses in the leaves. And how attractive it must be for the forest sprites. A place for the spirits, the kodama to enjoy. I imagine the countless abandoned tree houses in the woods. Or the ones that are all quiet at night being irresistible for them to occupy and more than likely part of the magic one feels in a treehouse has to do with these guys. It is a little place where the tinkerings of man and the natural way of the woods come together. So I made this edition, and its little companion. To celebrate the magic and wonder. I went with an antiqued white arches paper that compliments the woodland mood of the editions.
Kodama is this little companion print (it’s only 11 X 11 inches) that I made for Treehouse. And anyone who orders a Treehouse edition gets a little matching edition number kodama with it. (I also printed up 15 extra for those who only want the little print)
These are super fun editions that will feel at home in a kids room as well as the most sophisticated living area (maybe not the MOST sophisticated)
Thank you all for supporting AP, that is what I am thankful for. The awesome folks out there who keep me making these crazy copper etchings.. you all are the best.
it has been a while since I posted anything on this here AP blog. It’s funny how things work. I find my mind drifting and contemplating the things I do, don’t do.. want to do.. don’t want to do and the WHY of it all quite a bit.
For example.. I haven’t really been productive as of late. I mean I haven’t been drawing on copper and making prints and posting them or anything like that. Which to folks who follow this blog and or facebook or whatever (sure I am assuming much) appears like i am just probably institutionalized or otherwise intoxicated and fallen off the map. Or whatever. That’s what I think when my pals disappear for a bit. But all that is only half true. I have been busy.. I always seem to be busy.. but just not with the stuff I want to be doing.. namely making prints CREATING ART.
See I recognize i am self sabotaging. I really really get it. It would be hilarious and depressing to give a run down on all the opportunities and amazing doors that have been opened for me artistically that i have just kinda shrugged at and let close with only the slightest consideration and a chaser of fine scotch whiskey. These events just act to remind me of how undependable and inconsistent and at the whims of the cosmos I am when it comes to creative endeavors. It is also why I turn away from any sort of “job” or “commercial” effort or even collaborations (with the exception of those few amazingly patient souls who know me and know what they are getting into.. which is to say an exercise in frustration)
SO yeah. I mentioned at the end of 2013 that I bought another intaglio studio and got a bunch of equipment. YAY. Well here in 2014 I bought another studio. This one being a very old Letterpress Studio from San Diego called Barley Brea. Pretty awesome right? It came with a beautiful Chandler and Price platen press, a wonderful proofing press and over 150 metal and wood type sets in these ancient hamilton type cases. Pretty much christmas. Everything has been sealed up in storage for as long as i have been alive so it was all this amazing time capsule of print history. I have been so busy/lazy not really posting about it. It was a ton of work and here are some photos.
SO you might be asking yourself “what would a rogue intaglio warrior want with all that letterpress relief equipment” annnnd you’d be right. Beyond making a series of prints under the slogan “WHAT THE FUCK?” I really am not at all sure. I can only say that sometimes things happen with unfettered manic psychosis . look forward to a bitchin hand letterpressed christmas card from AP this year I guess.
Elsewhere I have done some neat projects.. like making this shirt for one of my favorite bands.
and making this neat stuff for the International Gallery of contemporary art. I was going to actually participate in one of their events but then I realized that would involve actual “people” and “interaction” so instead IGCA got these flags and books that they could use as giveaways for people who signed up for membership at the event. Everyone wins!
But seriously, the IGCA is a wonderful group and a solitary warrior in the state of Alaska providing a non-coffee shop environment for contemporary artists so YAY IGCA.
Oh and for October I did the INKTOBER thing. I actually made one of those instagram accounts and have tried to post daily ink drawings.. if you want to check it out http://instagram.com/isaboja
So at least I am drawing stuff right??
Well. I have quite a few plates in the works that i hope to actually complete before twenty fifteen (UGHHHH) One thing I will guarantee is that I won’t rush it. haha. It will be JUUUUUST RIIIIIGHT when I finally do complete something.
Oh and I was invited to be in a contributor at the Southern Graphics Council International (SGCI) Conference in 2015. Which if I miraculously meet the deadlines will be pretty rad. wish me luck.
So, I have been “making do” in the aquatint area for a while. I always planned on making an aquatint box to fit into a space in my “Awesome Table” for quite some time. and this weekend I finally got around to doing it. I thought I would take pictures along the way for a few reasons; 1: because pictures are fun 2: because someone out there might also need to build a box and might like some help that such photos could provide 3: for the future AP archives of awesome.
OH! also for those who do not know what an aquatint box is… Basically when etching there is a process called aquatint - which is a really bad name but whatever. The point is to create a consistent (or mottled) dusting of coverage on the plate of a substance (mainly a rosin) which is then melted and creates a dense series of dots millions of dots that protect the plate from the mordant. See you cannot just etch the plate and expect it to hold ink - it needs to have grooves and unetched areas (even infinitely small) to actually hold the ink.. the alternative is called an “open bite” which is a whole other thing. SO say I had a plate i did a hard ground on and etched some linework into it.. if I wanted then to make a section of the illustration absolutely black.. or a mid tone - or even add a mottled texture.. well my best bet is to aquatint it. So in order to get this coverage of rosin on the plate super fine and consistent. you can make a pouch and slap it in your hands over the plate (it does not really work well.. the rosin is the consistency of powdered sugar and makes a huge mess and is really hard to get consistent) or you can make a box like this and install a fan and a method of setting the rosin over the fan - then you can create a STORM OF ROSIN within the box. then you set your plate in through a narrow door and let it sit in there while all the rosin dust settles and VOILA!! you are ready to put it in an aquatint oven or set it on your hotplate to get set.
and that my friends is the worse/most confusing explanation of aquatint EVER.
SO first thing Saturday morning i grabbed a sheet of paper and a tape measure and jotted down all the dimensions and rough plan. I always do this for building. It is not really orderly nor does it make much sense but helps me sort out supplies needed and the like.
I used a single sheet of maple hardwood ply and poplar sticks. but you can use whatever materials you want.
I have no idea why i took this photo
I glued and screwed everything to make sure it was SEALED TIGHT. do not want rogue rosin drifting into my studio (well… want to keep it to a minimum at least)
I had this sweet little fan in my storage for many years just waiting for a reason to be used. I think a small box fan would work as well - just some kind of blowing device.
I made that sliding rack out of dowels and poplar and it works pretty good. removable and adjustable. that is what the plate will rest on - and the fan sits under it. rocket science.
I made a cardboard ridge around the fan then wrapped some spare tarlatan over the top - it works pretty good at diffusing the airflow and giving me a place to dump the powdered rosin. this is an action shot of the fan blowing.
I put half inch weather stripping all around the front access of the box - again trying to keep it sealed up tight. NOTE: see the fan goes IN THE BOX - one would not want to vent a fan that was outside of the box. that would be a bad idea because then it wouldn’t be an enclosed circulating system of air and rosin. also it would need a way for the air to escape since the fan would be pumping fresh air in. does that make sense? Just make sure not to plan on your fan being anywhere but in the box.
I used these sweet buckles to attach the front. this keeps it sealed and makes it easy to remove the front to clean the rosin out. (which needs to be done after every use) you can see my narrow plate access door there.. the front of the box is probably the most spectacular.
here is my completed box sitting on top of Awesome table. it is quite large really… the bigger the better. well actually the more height the better and my box could be taller.. but i am locked into the space I have. you can see the fan in there. I drilled a hole in the bottom and fed the cord through. then sealed up around the hole.
And here is the box in it’s forever home snugly fit into Awesome table. I really should have double checked my measurements because i thought I had a quarter inch to spare and i ended up with a 16th… very close to not fitting… otherwise known as fitting PERFECTLY.
and here is a shot looking through the access door of the rosin on the fan during some tests. this picture is totally useless.
All in all the box took me ten hours to make - all in a saturday. you might say “shit Joe, that’s a long time to build a box?!”… but I was also drinking fireball and petting my dog the whole time so don’t judge me..
So there you go, this concludes the Aquatint Box chapter of Antiquated Press’s studio stuff posts with the mosts.
Today is a beautiful Alaskan Summer day - In fact this summer has been exceptional all around. It is July 5th and I wanted to devote this post to a pal of mine, Adam White.
Adam is a wonderful artist and human being who has been battling early stages of multiple sclerosis and paresthesias.
Being a creative / freelance artist can have it’s downside, for example not having the safety net of health insurance. Unfortunately in addition to the difficult health issues Adam is fighting, he is also battling the tidal wave of costs involved. And that is where the Help Adam White Effort comes in. All sales through the AP shop for the last month have been sent to Adam, to help with his medical costs.
His fellow artists, pals and the like have all gotten together to set up two stores. First with the help of Threadless (the best tshirt company on planet earth) we have set up an entire store of 30 tshirts where all net proceeds go directly to Adam. CHECK IT OUT HERE
My contribution to the store is this Shirt:
So that is pretty cool!
We also established this Store Envy Shop http://helpadamwhite.storenvy.com. It is loaded with original art, prints, crafts and other items. All donated by Adams Pals and again, all proceeds go directly to adam. I have some AP prints in there (plus everything is FREE SHIPPING) everyone is going to keep populating the shop as items sell. So there are all sorts of ways to help!
So, there you go - We may not have the best safety net - or health insurance, or be the most consistent about posting on our blogs.. or even really make sense all the time, refrigerator pterodactyl!, but we watch out for our own. And we have big hearts.
Thanks for your time. I hope things are well for you. I am working on the next AP series RIGHT NOW - so keep an eye out for new Intaglio work in the hopefully not to distant future.
Joe Carr PS: SAN DIMAS HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL RULES.
Last item on my list of spring cleaning is sorting through my flat file. In the process I found some gems to give away on the Antiquated Press Facebook page. like comment or whatever to be entered. I will be drawing winners next week or so.
my use of cooper black proves this is awesome
here is a test print from 08 for “harder they fall” from full metal tee. it is signed and a pretty swell print.
here is one of AP’s first prints, “Migrating Bureaus” from 2009. A screenprint and one of very few out there.
“workshop” another screenprint from ‘09
made for the ap homepage. only a few of these made for complete clockworks edition sets. yeah, the website started in copper.
this is a test print from society 6 - 2010 i think. Ordered several of these to see the quality. “Icarus” i went ahead and signed it as well.
It is so rare that I give away (never sell) original ink work. This is an original pencil and ink drawing of thor i did for a potential licensed by marvel tshirt which never came to be.
this is one of only a couple proofs of the one lost plate in the clockworks series. it is a sad story.
the wolf II edition is not just plain “wolf” because of this print. it did not make the cut into CW 13 and only a few were sent out to pals.
the original concept sketch for “woods” edition in CW 13
original concept sketch for “balloon” edition in CW 13.
so yeah, you can comment here - or swing by the facebook page and shout out which one you’d like. i might be pulling some other sketches and stuff. thanks for supporting antiquated press
So, here it is February something or other. Been a bit since i posted anything. Basically last thing i posted was about getting all my new studio gear (PRESSSSS) and then proceeded to play catch up in a bunch of other real world important stuff. The studio had to take a back seat to a trip to Portland to get my boys ticker fixed. And then I have been promising my daughter an updated room for a couple months. THe last time I did up her room she was 7 and now that she is a teenager.. well the room was a bit dated, so I spent a month tearing out her tree and renovating her oddly shaped tiny tall room. While I was working in there Sally took up residence in my studio.
So I got my studio back, which I celebrated with a fine cigar.
Then promptly got to work on my sink. I know it seems kinda ridiculous to be so excited about a sink. But seriously… look at this sink.
There are few things that can halt production and drive a person MAD the way poor facilities can. And I have been working with a less than adequate sink. This majestic stainless steel beast was fabricated specifically for etching. It is unbelievable. I feel so spoiled. Like a big printmaking princess. My trays fit in the table perfect, it has a nice slope to drain in the sink. it fits against the wall in my studio like it was built for it. It is a dream sink. a dreamy sink.
SINK OF THE GODS
so yeah, I am excited about the sink. I will have it all installed this weekend. Also going to place my press and level the bed out and all that. Hopefully some organizing etc. Then I get back to working on plates. I am not sure if I will be posting progress shots on the upcoming work. Maybe just a few select plates in the series. To you know.. be in touch or some such.
Here it is the last day of 2013. I have been pretty quiet through the holidays. It was a crazy madhouse at the AP studio shipping Christmas orders. Then the holiday break was a nice respite. But I had a certain big thing “THING” as in event/stress/goal planned for the 27th of December. This was the day that will have a huge impact on Antiquated Press moving forward into 2014 and beyond.
2013 year end… what a year. I am glad it is over for many reasons. But when reflecting on Antiquated Press this year and where it was a year ago today, I cannot help but be a bit taken aback. When you are knee deep in the intricacies of the day to day week to week month to month, Personal deadlines, release dates, etc, well it is easy to lose sight of the big picture. A year ago I was just getting my studio all set up and dialed in.. I had only a couple of the clockworks plates being proofed and the whole clockworks series was just this almost unachievable hopeful vision. I had all sorts of ideas on how this phase of my work would be accomplished and received. I imagined crickets and boos, I imagined no one even noticing. It really didn’t matter. I wanted to do it. I wanted to work with my hands and start something lasting and substantial.
And now here a year later it actually exists. I have a stack of copper and drawers of editions and prints. And there are these whimsical robot prints hanging on walls all over the world. That is pretty damn rad. I am quite pleased with the evolution of AP this year.
Right, so how does 2013 end? What happened on the 27th? What is the result of Clockworks and all the efforts and the ultimate success of the series? Well AP has gotten a supercharged upgrade kit. Using the proceeds of the Clockworks series I have purchased new equipment… The main piece being a Beautiful (if not a bit intimidating) Praga Press (looks kinda like the death star). This new press will allow me to make prints BIGGER.. it will allow me to work on giant copper.. GIANT copper. The Field and Ibex prints pretty much maxed out my Griffin press. That was as big as I could go. Instead of being limited to a 16X22 sheet of paper.. I can now print 30X50… Which is no small upgrade. The Praga is a university class press and it is currently sitting in my studio - ready to go to work. (not to worry, my griffin will still be used and loved and taken care of.. now she just gets to sit next to this massive beast.)
Add to that mountains of paper and copper and this incredible stainless steel sink/table designed and fabricated specifically for etching and printmaking, new supplies and gear.. this list goes on and on. Thousands of pounds worth to take AP to the next level. It is HUGE. this retooling has my studio in a complete state of disarray.. which right now is just making me kinda a neurotic stressed out mess. But I will slowly get everything sorted and ready to rock. Rest assured many updates and photos will follow.
Speaking of which, what can be expected in 2014 from Antiquated Press? All these new toys.. Well, the whole collaboration efforts will actually come to fruition and i wish I could say more about that but i’m not gonna.. you’ll just have to wait and see. Also I will be making some single prints here and there releasing them as I edition them. And then in the summer there will be another AP series that is currently in the works. It is a series that will be a lovely follow up to Clockworks, it will be ambitious and I hope will really help define more of what AP is all about. I am stoked. I am looking behind at a year of infancy and growth, AP came a long way in 2013 and 2014 will be full of kick ass intaglio crazypants happenings. So exciting.
I want to thank you all, everyone who has ordered a print, everyone who has shot me a supportive email or clicked the little like button on our facebook page. All of you who have participated in this. You have my eternal gratitude. Making old school ancient prints these days is kinda whacky, unless you are a high brow sophisticate. Which I am the opposite. I like to think maybe AP can bridge the gap between that sophisticated world and the low brow hillbilly art me and my pals make. Our modern culture of homegrown independent artists which moves a hundred miles a second with experimentation and vast pools of amazing talent and work has a lot to offer- and the forgotten antiquated substantial hand crafted methods of old is my favorite place to hang out. It’s all really bitchin.
OH one last thing, My work will be featured in THE HAND magazine next month, so that’s pretty cool. Buy one cause it is a great magazine full of awesome hand made art.
So, there is a bit of backstory here. I will try and do my best to make as brief as possible. I love my dogs, well our dogs. Gizmo and Wallace. Wallace is a 7+ year old great dane with a heart of gold and the personality of a very catered to prince with a slight depressive disorder. Gizmo is Sally’s dog and her constant faithful companion. He is excitable and pretty much a perfect doggy.
Wallace and GIzmo are our family dogs and Studio dogs. They are always on the studio couch keeping things real. I think studio dogs are potentially the most vital component of a print shop. But I also just think dogs in general are the kindest most authentic creatures on the planet and i love them.. they are also prone to mistakes and being dumb and I can really relate to that.
SO yeah, thats my dogs
Now part two of this here post. See I meet all kinds of amazing people doing this weird shit I do. Making tshirts and prints and that sort attracts a unique crowd. The best kinda crowd. Years ago I was lucky enough to connect with the great Nichole Lillian Ryan - an amazing artist that illustrates and sculpts and does all sorts of magic.. if you are really cool and have great taste you might very well be wearing one of her shirts right now.
Well she makes these amazing Pet totems. that’s right.. and like a genius I ordered little totems of my doggies from her awesome shop for christmas presents for my family.
I received this in the mail today - and I wanted to share. These babies are going under the tree (BUT I couldn’t wait to check them out)
here are the ADORABLE custom boxes they came in - the excitement to open was ELECTRIC
lots of super fun goodies, buttons, a custom tiny canvas, and wicked cool cards.
And there they are, PERFECT, it’s like my dogs have been shrunken down to action figure size.
my photos do not do them justice, the craftsmanship and attention to detail is amazing.
Wallace is getting old, and his health is not the best :( :( :( this totem of the best dog that ever was is really important to me. And I cannot thank Nichole enough. He is perfect.
THANKS FOR THE BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT I COULD EVER GET. all caps authentic.. seriously, they are to be treasured in my studio by myself and my family for EVER.
last little note: this is the sort of thing you receive from hand made one of a kind artists (Like Nichole) who put little bits of themselves into their work. You cannot get this sort of thing at a “store” and it has more heart and soul than anything in a plastic clamshell or proprietary packaging or corporate endorsement could ever have. Support your local (or non local) artist / artisan / crazy person.
I packed up a complete set last night and took some photos.
Each print is individually wrapped in newsprint, then packed in a protective dense board taco thing which is carefully taped together and placed in a sealed mylar bag - since there are large and medium sized prints in the series I end up with two sealed bags
this particular set is numbers 8 - the complete sets are made up of the low number editions.
The completed mylar envelopes are stacked on a half inch maple hardwood board. Brass through bolts are placed on the corners to attach aluminum straps. The pouches are protected with a thick high impact lexan sheet. And an exclusive AP clockworks home page edition is placed under the lexan.
The straps are tightened down with brass thumbscrews to make it easy to dismantle when it makes it to it’s forever home.
Then I pack this in a super high density box specifically made to its dimensions with room for plenty of packing paper. The entire thing has been tested with hits, drops and impacts and has survived without a dent or scratch. Also makes for a pretty sharp package to open up.
SO yeah.. there you go - that is what a complete set flat shipped looks like.
I have been promising to post more cool studio stuff. SO here we go. Let me introduce you to the Antiquated Press’s sweet little letterpress man. We call him Mr Bitey - but he is officially a Excelsior Mercury 5X8 - These cool presses were made for a hundred years by the Kelsey company starting in the late 1800’s I would give a detailed history but thats all kinda boring. If you want to get into these sorts of machines there are some really great resources and old timers with insight into the production and distribution etc.
I wanna talk about RESTORATION!
so Mr Bitey was discovered in a sad corner of a thrift shop - he had been out in the weather for years and suffered from ages of build up rust and deterioration.
the shop owner (I didn’t catch his name so let’s just call him snaggletooth mcgee) well he was eager to sell me what appeared to him to be some sort of hamburger patty maker. And he offered it to me for a hundred bucks. I didn’t hesitate and he obviously was disappointed he did not ask for more. I am not much of a haggler… the opposite actually, its hard not to be all “are you kidding me! this is an original Kelsey! "
SO I took poor rusty Mr Bitey home and took some details of his condition.
really besides having some serious rust issues in on the platen, the chase and the inside of the base.. and the rollers being completely rotten. It was in pretty decent condition. Nothing was missing except a few of the retaining clips.
it would not function obviously as it was rusted solid. But slowly I dismantled it piece by piece. Sometimes having to chisel away the barnacle like accumulation of rust.
you can see in this picture the chase is really bad. but once I got it all taken apart I deliberated on how to clean it up. Knowing it was cast iron which is pretty much indestructible (pretty much) and since i grew up with southern roots I have cleaned my fair share of cast iron jambalaya pots. SO i figured oil and steel wool would be a good start.
Oil and steel wool is really non toxic and awesome but didn’t even come close to getting this poor guy straight. So I whipped out the rubber gloves and got my Naval Jelly (the only thing for the job) and one of these guys
its a multipurpose stripper that attaches to your drill. It worked like a CHAMP and really took the elbow out of it all. So after about 30 applications and dwell times with the naval jelly followed up with scrubbing and stripping with this.. well my kelsey was looking pretty damn good.
I protected the platen and chase and the areas that the rollers ride on the chase with some masking tape before priming all the parts.
I ordered replacement ink rollers from ebay - they were pretty affordable. And then painted it up real nice in a two tone black and blue.
look at those shiny parts
everything fit together like butter… BUTTERRR. and check out that smooth platen.
more saucy photos
Mr Bitey gained his name right after this photo was taken, as he is prone to chomp at fingers. But he does function perfectly - smooth operation all around. Lil Joe even sorted out how to print type high blocks with his solidoodle 3d printer to make custom letterpress images. pretty sweet.
And here he is at home with our studio etching press.
If you too are restoring an old rusty letterpress - feel free to give me a shout. If you ever run across one of these in a thrift shop.. and it is complete BUY IT - they are wonderful machines.
So I was going to not post these but I can’t help it, they came out so cool I want to share. Finishing them up this weekend and getting them in the mail to all the special people who helped make Antiquated Press happen this year.
2013 was a hell of a year, I for one am glad it is wrapping up. With the exception of shopping for awesome stuff for my kids, I am not really a big fan of the holidays. But this year is different, cause I have things like wicked cool 3 color screenprint hand made AP christmas cards to sort out.
Registration has it’s quaint offset all over. it’s not easy to register 3 screens on kraft paper - but I think they came out pretty swell. Even with just making up cards for AP friends, customers and supporters, it ends up being hundreds of cards… I see hand cramps in my near future writing in all of these. I have never been a card person so this is all new, but that’s cool. I like the idea of sending something special to the incredible AP fans out there. You guys are the best.
I like to really consider it less of a fail than probably having too high of goal set before thanksgiving. I wanted to put out holiday card sets - you know, some sweet AP card with some drawings on them. But alas with some other projects I have going on and with filling orders and (excuses excuses) I cannot really finish them. I have them all drawn and let me tell you what, they are some really cool holiday cards. But no go for actually hand printing them up and getting them available. Besides it really is late to be ordering Christmas cards.
So basically there will only be one Holiday card made, a very special card that is going to all the incredible people who have supported AP this year in so many ways. I am pretty excited about this card, and due to the fact that i have all your addresses (bwahaha) I can mail you guys stuff without rhyme, reason or a heads up (I may go crazy and start sending dirty laundry.. WHO KNOWS.. LOOSE CANNON). So yeah, that’s rad.
We are now less than a month from BIG NEWS day. I would start a countdown but countdowns are cheesy. So instead I will just mention here in the depths of this post that probably one 1-2 people will read.. (don’t tell anyone else) Next week the Antiquated Press editions shop will be free shipping (both domestic and international) it will stay that way for a couple weeks. Kinda a holiday shopping thingy of sorts. So yeah, boom! Christmas card (singular and not for sale but still cool) free shipping and maybe just maybe some other neat surprises before December hits.
Not bad for the worlds tiniest low brow print shop.
I am going to try and write more, not with much anticipation that anyone is really reading it.. but more to keep track of things myself and be able to look back at notes and timelines and such. I tend to lose track a bit.
This week has been pretty busy, mainly with packing and shipping. The big wave of orders from release 4 has been a challenge to keep ahead of. Shipping is still stressful but not near as much as release one. After doing it and getting positive feedback from people who have ordered, and not really having any big blunders - well.. it does get easier I suppose. And we have been pretty good about not delaying more than 5-6 days from order to shipment.
The only damaged tube we’ve had has been this poor guy in Dublin. I botched the label and his prints ended up in the LA hub for a month and a half (I imagine it in a dusty corner getting kicked around while other properly marked mail was getting handled…poor robot) I sent him a replacement with proper addressing, and sure enough his first order finally made it to him as well.. but the tube was beat up pretty bad. Remarkably though the prints inside were fine. But if anyone ever gets a damaged print (or even worse, no print at all), basically what I am going to do is mark the damaged edition accordingly in the archives and send out a replacement. If it is a situation where the edition is sold out and there are no replacements. I will send a nice proof, and contact the customer to select a different edition as well. Rather than reprint the damaged edition number which is not very good form in my opinion.
I don’t know why I said all that, just kinda got sidetracked.
I received some really amazing emails this last week, my favorite is from a customer who ordered a Stars edition. It was ordered as a birthday gift for her father who was a pioneer in artificial intelligence. After getting her print she took the time to let me know how wonderful it was and excited she was to give it to her dad. It made me feel like a million bucks. I know it might sound silly, but it totally made my day. It is nice to pull my head out of the printing and packing and working on plates to check my email and get personal messages from folks who have not only appreciated my work enough to buy it but also to contact me after holding it in person. It is pretty wonderful.
I am currently working on a couple different fronts.
First I have been delaying in getting my press kit done. I really do not like to present myself or market or anything like that. It is awkward and difficult and very far from my comfort zone I would much rather just make stuff. But unfortunately just telling people I am reclusive and want to make a spire does not cut it. So I have to wrap up the press kit, get photos taken and put that “to do” behind me.
Christmas is coming, and I am going to be putting out a small set of prints, and cards (yay) they will be tasteful and It will give me an opportunity to use my Astronaut Santa plate. I am also making a very special card for all the incredible people who have supported AP the last several months. So that’s pretty neat.
AP’s official newsletter is up and running, should have the first one out next week. Using mailchimp, which is a very easy to use and powerful email database system with all the bells and whistles. I plan on using the newsletter to put out solid info on AP, illustration, print making and featuring some of the incredible artists and makers I have come to know over the years.
This whole experiment has made me understand the mindset of independent artists so much better. There is such a huge commitment to hand making products to sell to the public. I thought I was savvy before with my shirts and prints and other merch that was produced and sold through different (great) companies. But there was a disconnect that I truly only understand now. And heading into the holiday season with my new outlook makes me want to spend every single shopping dollar on independent artists, artisans, makers and crafters. And that is exactly the plan. When you purchase from a small online store, you are basically santa claus.. giving both to the maker and the giftee. So consider doing the same thing this holiday. If you need a gift for someone, look first at the independent shops, stores and websites. For the most part you will find people and product that has more quality and love invested than anything corporately produced could ever achieve. The world is at your fingertips and there are thousands of brilliant people making one of a kind items. Just something to think about. And to you magical people out there who put your heart into making stuff, and take the huge risk of putting it out into the world. I give you all high fives. Well done.
I was up late again last night trying to find supplies for my riso gocco. I swear JAPAN!! get your act together. You cannot make the coolest easiest screenprinter in history and then just shudder your doors. I found a case of 400 bulbs in Australia for like $800 which I almost considered but seriously… 400 bulbs. a little excessive. And the screens are pretty much all gone. unless you want to spend a fortune for 2 on ebay. So gonna try making my own - lots of folks do it. Shouldn’t be too hard (famous last words)
This post is ridiculous. Is it obvious I am avoiding working on press kit copy? ha!
This is a little delayed, this post about release 4 and stuff. Only excuse I have is that things have been crazy busy packing and shipping orders for R4. Which is a good thing.. to say I am pleased with the reaction and support from the world about my prints is an understatement. Thanks World. I am not very good with people, and I do not really have a lot of interactions or communications with folks. So I really had no clue how my prints would be received or how people would even find out about them (I don’t work well with galleries or wholesalers or anything, so it’s just all on my little website). Luckily / providentially / remarkably, there has been a handful of people with excellent taste who have connected with my work and told their friends.
To have my prints be related to and understood and appreciated enough to purchase is pretty incredible. I do not spend a lot of time explaining each piece or the whole point of Clockworks with a bunch of confusing artists statements. Instead I endeavored to make something immensely accessible and personal. Something that maybe would connect with people. The fact that my subject matter is robots is not at all the key facet to the series. The robots are just a useful tool in expression. To me the key is the viewer, participating in the work through identifying with it. Hopefully Identifying with universal experiences in the human condition. The juxtaposition with the natural environments and the clockwork robots highlights this. But at the same making something whimsical and pleasant to experience, whether you are young or old - fancy or not. Plus robots are pretty great.
It’s fantastic to have all restraints on my work removed, not having to answer to a design firm, apparel company, production group or even audience. Nothing derivative or culturally savvy. To just do something without a target demographic without expectations or limitations is truly rewarding in itself - I had no idea.
I am happy with the series, very happy. I am also so FREAKING EXCITED for what’s coming next. Sure I am going to be putting out some individual stuff in the near future - and some collaborations with amazing artists that are going to be rad. But also 2014 will bring another AP series that I am super stoked about. I promise to revisit clockworks years down the road - but for the time being the robots are going to be just hanging out.. doing their thing. And It will be nice to draw something different. Show folks out there AP is not just sprockets, gimbals and glass domes.
After printing and packing and shipping hundreds of prints, I feel like a veteran. It is pretty much all I do. I have a normal job, and after work and on the weekends I am just in the AP studio proofing, etching, printing, packing, working to the wee hours of the morning every night doing this. It brings me joy and works well with my reclusive obsessive personality.. really well. Add in the understanding and support of my wife and kids who have been really amazingly patient and helpful. It would have been impossible otherwise. At my best I am difficult, at my worse I am a total mess.
I finally got the swag all sorted, buttons, stickers, printed cards, swag bags, mugs, shirts, all sorts of cool stuff. When I get something in the mail, I really appreciate the little cool stuff - I like getting something that has added touches of magic. And I aimed for that with each release. My goal is for people who drop their hard earned cash on my work to get a little celebration in the mail. something that will make them smile.
I am rambling, I can’t help it. there are all these little kinda specific things I want to mention. Like the fact that the successes of the clockworks series, and every dime it has earned is being re-invested into Antiquated Press. How you ask? (I am now rambling and talking with imaginary readers) well I do not want to get into details yet.. but in the next couple months the impact of Clockworks and its success will be revealed. And everyone out there who bought a print will see what they helped make happen. Its all very exciting I promise.
About the lost print. it is used as the banner on the editions page. It shows the CW robots meandering off into the distance, traveling. This print was intended to be the last of the series. And in a terribly sad series of events the original plate was destroyed. It was replaced with Climb, the print that pretty much represents frustrating struggle.But I am probably going to be offering the lost print up as a digital Print available through the AP society 6 shop. I will post about that when I do.
Some cool stuff about the release: Orders were the highest EVER for release four. Orders were 2-1 international. And we shipped to some crazy remote countries and addresses I would be hard pressed to pronounce. We have done our best to keep international shipping as affordable as possible - and it has made a big difference I think. Some super fancy customers too, so that’s neat.
we are also doing a huge giveaway for our supporters, fans, and broke artists who want prints. Giving away prints, mugs, shirts, all sorts of cool. All you have to do is sign up for our all new newsletter. by following this link: http://eepurl.com/ImNQP or going to the official facebook page I promise NO SPAM. And I will be sending out free crap to my newsletter people. Lord knows anyone who would sign up for my newsletter is kinda weird, more than likely awkward. AKA my favorite type of people (all 14 of you)
The stop motion animation for stars was a huge success. it has gotten a bunch of great feedback and featured on printmaking news sites and blogs. if you haven’t watched it - check it out http://vimeo.com/user22185711/apstars
Um, I guess that is all for now (or rather ENOUGH.. I tend to ramble and could really go on and on)… except to say that if you are a customer. Please be in touch. I have only had ONE order get a damaged tube in the mail which I promptly sent replacements. So please keep in touch and let me know if there are any questions, concerns, shipping delays or damages. Also send me a photo of your print if you want. We have gotten all sorts of great photos and seeing my work in the wild is so damn cool.
This is a process film for the edition Stars, part of the Clockworks 13 series of etchings released by Antiquated Press. The video was shot over the course of August, Sept and October 2013. The audio track on the video is “Sea of Air” by Portugal the Man from their album Evil Friends - used with permission. to learn more about Antiquated Press - visit our website antiquatedpress.com
The final release of Clockworks 13 is posted. Which means that the whole of the series is now available. Thirteen editioned etchings. It was a pretty incredibly journey and although I am a bit sad to see it finish, I am very excited about what is coming now that Clockworks is over.
Well over is not quite right, there are a bunch of things that will be showing up on the site over the next week or so. For example the process film for the Stars plate, which I was lucky enough to score the skills of my incredibly talented son to direct the project. I will also be posting a ton of photos, behind the scenes action capturing the intense excitement that is intaglio print making. (I am not sure if “intense” is the right word.. but you get the idea)
Additionally we have some pretty crazy swag relating to Clockworks 13: Buttons (actually just calling them buttons is an understatement.. more like little pinback robot parties), Shirts (yes the shirts are coming back), Totes, Pillows, Stickers, Cards… and action figures (no not really action figures, but that would be really cool)
Also on our facebook page I will be giving away a bunch of prints over the next couple weeks - so if you would like an original etching, but cannot afford it… keep an eye on our FB.
Finally, everyone who has supported and encouraged this endeavor has my eternal gratitude. I thank you all, working on this project is just the start - Clockworks 13 is a complete series.. but it is also just the first chapter in the Antiquated Press story.