Elizabeth Catlett, while more widely known for her sculptures, made a number of beautiful prints during her lifetime. This linocut, titled, “Sharecropper,” was made in 1952, and is a beautiful example of the detail and gorgeous textures that can be achieved in this medium. I greatly admire Ms. Catlett’s ability to capture subtle, but vital details in this portrait, which help to bring a sort of heroic meaning behind the image. You may want to read more about Elizabeth Catlett on Printeresting, or read more about “Sharecropper” on the LACMA blog.
I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to post these inspirational patterns. I spotted these two textile designs at the California Design show at LACMA a few months ago, and I just love their strange, imperfect repetition. The pattern on the left is called Incantation Textile, and was designed by Alvin Lustig in 1947. The pattern on the right is an Eames pattern, if I’m not mistaken. Did anyone else happen to see the CA Design show? There were so many great pieces featured in the exhibit.
As I chose the colors for the fall/winter line for Cotton & Flax, I looked to my favorite photos from around the world for inspiration. It has always been an ambition of mine to travel widely, but until I can accomplish all my travel goals, I will continue to draw inspiration from travel photographers, and the colors and details they capture from all over the globe. Here’s a little roundup of photos that capture some of the colors you’ll see in the new Cotton & Flax collection. (you’ll find photo credits below)
Pale Paris by Eye Poetry Photography / Iceland by Sylvia Okkerse / Northern Lights in Svalbard, Norway by Sam Hennessy / Blue Lagoon, Iceland by Peter Baker / / Swedish TreeHotel / Pink Flower Field found on iiiinspired / Joshua Tree found on SF Girl By Bay / Seattle by Jenny Vorwaller
After finding some old sheets of Letraset letters at a garage sale a few weeks ago, I was looking for a creative way to use them up. I wasn’t very familiar with Letraset, but knew they were a relic of the graphic design world from before computers were ubiquitous, which made them seem just outdated enough to be fun. I’ve got nothing against computers, but I have an affinity for archaic technology in all it’s forms. I decided it would be appropriate to try out the letters on some envelopes to see what it would look like.
In case you’ve never encountered them before, Letraset are sheets of dry transferrable lettering, which can be transferred one by one onto a piece of artwork by rubbing directly on the transfer sheet over the letter you wish to transfer. It’s a tedious process, but before computers were available, the alternative was to draw out letters by hand. It seems that Letraset was available in many different colors, although I only found black and white.
I even made a little time-lapse video to show how it works:
[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/48405013 w=700&h=393]
It was easy enough to transfer over my friend’s addresses to the front of different colored envelopes, although I did start to get a cramp in my thumb from pressing down on the transfer sheets over and over again. I’m not sure that I would recommend this method for everyday snail mail, since the letters seem like they could potentially flake off a little during transit, and the black letters could easily be replicated using a computer. In fact, with most household printers being able to accommodate different sizes of envelopes, I’d say you’d probably be better off just laying out something cool in Word or Photoshop, and then printing out your designs that way. The only exception to this? The white letters!
The white letters are so unique, since you can’t print something like this out from your standard ink jet printer. You’d be hard pressed to even get these types of results with a stamp and white opaque ink. The white Letraset looks super bold on the black envelopes, and I’ll be using it often to label my darker envelopes.
Remember those stamps I made for the Hand Stamped Gift Wrap DIY? Well, I just got them out again to stamp some patterns on some snail mail that I’ll be sending out this week. I even used a little of the leftover gift wrap to write the letter! I printed the envelopes using a standard stamp pad, grouping the stamps in new ways to create variation. Just make sure to let the ink dry before handling the envelopes (to avoid inky fingerprints).
If you take good care of your linoleum stamps, they can last for years. Just keep them out of the sun and away from dry, dusty areas, and they should keep their shape quite nicely. You can reuse them over and over for all sorts of projects, on both paper and fabric. That’s right, you can stamp on fabric, too! I’ll be posting a DIY on that topic soon, so stay tuned.
I love the bold black and red forms of this print by Sir Terry Frost, entitled, “Red and Black Solid.”