So there I was one day scrolling through instagram when I happened to notice a post by The Print Shop in Holyoke and I thought to myself "Hmmmmm - now, that's an interesting concept. I can make my own prints and not have to carry a huge inventory or wait weeks to get them from someone else." I went down to check out the shop within the next week and found SO much more. The possibilities were very exciting and included printing on fabric through two different methods, large oversize printing on a variety of materials including stickers as well as the fine art printing capability that had first attracted me. Oh, and there is a 3D printer too! I got some expert help and guidance after signing up for classes led by Orlando and have had help every step of the way from Jeff and Heather who are seemingly always there and always ready to help solve problems. I'm a forgetful 60-something year old :) and Jeff is incredibly patient explaining the same thing to me over and over, and reminding me what the print settings should be - Sorry Jeff ! This is your public apology.
The Print Shop Space and Equipment
I've been a member of the Print Shop for one full year now and here is what I have to show for it: a full line of prints on paper - any size I want up to 17x22. I buy my own archival hot press natural paper and just pay an ink charge for the printing. I've got a line of high quality stickers that they print for me, cause I've never gotten comfortable with Adobe Illustrator or the really big Roland machine - but if I had the time and inclination I could most likely learn to do both. I've also printed my brains on canvas bags, cloth for necklaces and oh so much more....
The very biggest change in my process has come from my new capability of instantly creating a design on my iPad using Procreate or Adobe Sketch apps and then transferring that design to canvas and using it as a stitch guide using sublimation printing. It takes the guess work out of transferring the image and it has allowed me to be much more consistent in my art production. I think knowing that I can transfer any image at any time has increased my creativity ten-fold AND I feel like I'm just getting started. Below are pics of the last two pieces completed from iPad image to completed embroidered piece: Think Spring and Lines and Dots.
PS - Sometimes I make mistakes (see below for a good one) and it costs me, but the learning curve has not been too steep and it has literally changed the way I make art. Stay tuned to see what else comes out of this place and my studio. I'm about ready to sign up for my second year of membership. Come and join me! Click on the membership info below to get to their Facebook page or give them a call at (413) 532-0465 to arrange a tour. PS: there is a big but friendly dog on premises most of the time :) and his name is Casper - He has his own instagram account too @printshopdog.
Back in 2014, I was invited to participate in a fiber art invitational called 'Common Threads' at the Foe Store and Gallery, then located on Main Street in Northampton, MA. I had been going to their gallery openings for a long time and was delighted to be invited to the show. So excited that I wanted to make some new work with a new focus. After lamenting to my partner, improv aficionado Izzy Gesell, that I didn’t know what to do, he suggested that I think about doing brains. WELL….that was a brilliant idea….and, I immediately started researching.
The first two pieces came to life as Neurofiberosis 1 & 2. I imagined what you would call it when someone always has fiber on the brain. #1 is built from crazy quilt techniques, while #2 is all hand embroidery and beadwork.
Below is the source photo for the information I used to map the different parts of the brain.
And then... something kind of magical happened. A colleague at my office saw those first two pieces and commissioned this third piece. Her daughter had a hemispherectomy at the age of 11 and she wanted a right facing brain piece, and so I created 'Starry Night' shown below. You can meet Monica in my blog post here.
I wasn't really planning on doing more brains but I became so intrigued with the subject matter I just kept going and now, in my 4th year, I am thoroughly entranced. I was further encouraged by friends who saw the work and also by the neuroscience faculty that I support in the day job (which you can read about here .)
Chronicling my adventures as a Neuro Artist. I love to make work centered on our magnificent brains and learn about how it all works in the process..