Category Archives: letterpress

Two Documentary Films for Bookish Folks

Here are two documentary films that I’m excited about and I am guessing, if you’re reading this blog, you’ll probably be interested too.

The first film is called The Bookmakers and runs about an hour. It features all kinds of folks that are working to keep books viable in this day and age. There are interviews with type setters and old world book artists as well as digital librarians and font folks. The trailer hooks me early! I hear that The Bookmakers documentary has been delayed due to all of the “stay home” stuff going on these days. I’m excited for this one to be out – eventually. Here’s the trailer:

A co-worker mentioned The Booksellers documentary to me the other day and I just love the visuals in the trailer. It was released back on April 17th via special streaming screenings online. Which is all very cool and handy these days. You can scroll through the film’s twitter feed and find a place to watch it. It looks like it’s running about $10 to stream it. This film has to be good. There are some pretty big names from both the bookstore and book trade worlds in The Booksellers. I’m hoping to find some time this weekend to watch.

It doesn’t hurt to mix in a little screen time with reading, does it? I hope you all are tucked away, feeling well and have plenty of books surrounding you. And I hope you get a chance to see these two films too!

Local Letterpress and Southern Prints

I have been on a paper and ink kick lately. I can’t get enough of some of the letterpress and screen printing stuff out there. I think the local Kempis Press, with a storefront studio down in Five Points, is great. Lots of high-end papers, inks and designs. When I stopped they had lots of interesting pieces to show. Since this is a working shop much of what they do fall into the marketing and invitation categories. But the posters I saw showed a very different and creative side. It’s worth checking out.

On the other side of the artistic spectrum Old Try is a Boston-based outfit comprised of two Southern expats. Their work leans more to the iconic and bold. Some of their current pieces are wonderful and take tattered Southern symbols an treat them as stand alone pieces of art. Almost elevating some to the arena of pop art. I do hope they keep it up.

Here in Birmingham we have a pretty cool Birmingham Printmaker’s group on Facebook (of course you’ll have to be on Facebook) that is worth keeping up with, even if you’re just a fan, like I am.

Printing at 2011 Bluff Park Art Show

The weather was GORGEOUS here in Birmingham this past weekend. I’m not sure there was a better way to spend it than cruising the stalls at this year’s Bluff Park Art Show. They had some new folks there, so that was neat, but I really enjoyed the handful of print-artists that were there.

Katherine Linn was there and had some great prints. Many are local landmarks with a subset sporting vibrant colors.

Justin Banger was also there. This was my first time seeing Justin’s prints. They were very well-done and the subject matter will keep you staring for quite a while. Lots to think about, besides technique.

Debra Riffe was also there this weekend. She had a new print of Amos Kennedy, that was fantastic! When I asked about it she said it will never be for sale. The Amos Kennedy Print is pulled from a small 50 print run she did as a birthday gift for Kennedy. She says she got to keep one and Kennedy got the rest. I would have loved to have this one to hang by my Kennedy posters. Oh well.

I also found out, at the show, that Georgia-based artist Sarah Rishel is retiring. She’s been churning out intaglio prints for 30+ years and says she’s ready to explore something else. Tip: I’ve emailed her to see if I can get the etching that a print I bought was pulled from. I hear she is in the habit of selling plates. So if you’re lucky enough to have one of hers on your wall, it may be worth seeing if you can buy the etching. How neat would that be to display them side-by-side?



There were a couple of other paper-artists and printers that I didn’t get to visit. I hope they all come back next year.


Typographic Wallpaper

Fantastic does not begin to describe how cool these wallpapers are. These would make great screen savers, t-shirts, tattoos. Well, maybe tattoo is a bit much…. We’re looking to gussy up some walls around the house and I ran across these awesome wallpapers. Some are screen-printed, some letterpress-looking, but all are 100% cool. And Italian. I haven’t found anything local that even comes close. Take a look:

Here’s the site where you can check out all the wall coverings. Just click on the ‘Life’ drop down. There is also a drop down to select the language. Setting it to English is helpful. It’s doubtful that we’ll get any of these exact typographic wallpaper designs, but I certainly have some cool ideas now.