Click here to see my full list of goals for 2010

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hello, Pencils! Hello, Books!

I'm not sure if it's the rapid approach of September or the fact that T is sharpening his pencils for his own first day of teaching, but I've definitely had education on the brain lately.

I've been pretty content with my own little experimental operation to this point, but as I fill more and more pages of my notebook with design ideas that won't quite work with linoblock, I've started taking a closer look at affordable opportunities to expand my range of skills.

Last year, before this whole stamping adventure started, I had a similar educational urge and took a drawing class with Wren (best friend, upstairs neighbour, camera lender, phenomenal artist) at George Brown College. The class was interesting, but also a bit pricey (especially considering the highlight of the thirteen weeks was simply having a motionless, real-life model to draw from).

This time, I'm looking for a classroom experience that's a little different (and also one that doesn't require a 13 week commitment - not always easy when my job gets crazy).

Naturally, I was delighted when Toronto-based designer Tanya from Snap & Tumble decided to begin offering workshops on her Craftsman Machinery Press. I've been following Tanya's blog since I came across her stunning letterpress cards at City of Craft a few years ago and now that I have a coveted spot in one of her weekend Letterpress Curiosity Workshops, I will actually get a chance to see the press in action.

Of course, much to my husband's relief, I'm not actually planning to go the letterpress route myself. The old fashion presses produce such beautiful imprints and images, but I can barely keep my little hutch closed with the carving supplies I already have (and the biggest piece of printing machinery I own is my little carving tool). I'm more interested in the Letterpress Workshop for my own artistic curiosity.

In terms of expanding the range of products and styles I can create for Sonnet & Mayhem, I've been looking at a set of classes available through Open Studio. Open Studio offers a 4-week Power Printmaking Course (kind of sounds like a cardio class, right?) that provides a basic demonstration of four different types of printmaking: relief, etching, lithography and screenprinting. I know a little bit about each of these types of print media, but not enough to decide which style might be best suited to the types of prints and cards I would like to make. These courses seem like the perfect way to figure out what method I want to learn in more detail, especially if I invest in more courses in the future.

With all of these learning opportunities on the horizon, I must admit that I'm feeling a little back-to-school excitement. Although, I might just be looking for an excuse to go back-to-school shopping...


  1. The classes sound amazing! It is so easy to get caught up in the back-to-school bit. The last few years, I would go to Target around this time of year and wander through the school supply section for hours! This year though, I actually have a reason to get back-to-school stuff!

  2. Yes, you're so lucky to have a legit reason to stock up on school supplies. I'm still fighting the urge to buy a brand new Hillary binder and set of pencil crayons!