Posts in Custom Work

That is, like, so letterpress.

published by Fran Shea

Silhouettes. Perfect for a holiday card:

Step One: Get profile snapshot(s) of a person(s):

Step Two: Use the lasso tool in Photoshop to select the profile and delete all other information. Feel free to edit out any bed-head or bad-hair-day hair.

Step three: Using the magic wand tool in Photoshop, select the white background. Select “Inverse” and under Edit->Fill, choose “fill with black.”

Now just use Adobe Illustrator to live trace that thing. If you want to get all fancy, you could stick the heads on some sort of bodies. I felt like these boys should wear stocking caps and go sledding:

That IS cute! NOW just have the file turned into a plate and print it

on your printing press.

Wait, what? You don’t have one? 

$*#-ing Cold OR A Step-By-Step Letterpress Project

published by Fran Shea

Proposals were requested by a public entity (m-m-mysterious!) and WHO ARE WE not to respond?? We felt it our duty (doodie) – as citizens – of this great state, to answer the call.

What follows is a step-by-step account of the creation of the proposal. Zeichen Press style.

°°°

1) Do I look bitter? I’m getting into character. 

2) Brrr! This type is as cold as my heart. Here is the part where lead type is put into something called a stick. Sometimes reading backwards makes me so angry.

3) Now that cold, lead type is locked up into a (cold, metal) frame using fancy (cold, metal) things called quoins. This whole thing is very heavy and sits flat on a proof press. Ready to do my bidding.

4) I load up my brayer with black ink so I can roll it across the type.

5) When I’m sure that my type is evenly inky, I roll this over it. *Notice the vice-grips. I don’t remember why I put them on there and am now afraid to take them off.

6) Isn’t this magical? Ink + paper = awesome.

7) (I would show Jen printing the pages for the guts of the proposal but I felt too fragile to withstand another one of her icy stares.)

8) Printing done.

9) This is where Andrea is shackled to the table and sews the pages into little books while I throw olives at her head.

10) And this is where the little books are finished.

I suppose other people will email their proposals. That’s cool, too.

How about some new cards?

published by Fran Shea

It’s important to name things. My middle toes, my water bottle and all of my hypothetical tumors have names. I got to use my naming skills this week to name a real product for a real company. I’ll pose (nude) next to the product when it hits the Apple Store shelves. I think that’s what PR people mean by “changing the conversation.” We’ll find out.

Meanwhile, Fred was busy photographing our latest letterpress cards. If you like unicorns, (who doesn’t?) I have just the card for you. Also, if you like men carrying baby elephants or know someone that is grieving the loss of a cat, you will be satisfied.

ETC.

Snap, snap!! Take me to the shop!! 

*A Woman of Letters/Serious Letterpress/Room and Board/Minnesota Monthly*

published by Fran Shea

Speaking of letters! The new prints arrived at all of the Room and Board stores across this great land. The photographs on their website are gorgeous and make me feel like I live in a crack house.

Room & Board red

I have nothing against crack houses, I’m sure the people that live in them are perfectly lovely and are just misunderstood.

The legendary, Katie Dohman (Minnesota Monthly) already wrote a little something about them. I’m feeling pretty fancy.

Lord of the Letterpress Flies

published by Fran Shea

I remember some sort of Mexican-standoff In an early apartment that involved my roommate, dirty dishes and refried beans. Neither of us wanted to do the dishes and so they were stacked, teetering on the counter – pots and plates on top of other pots and plates – the bottom of the pile forgotten like a lost tribe. My roommate, a vegetarian, had a particular pot that she favored for heating her refried beans – she used this day after day until one day it was forgotten – and the pot joined the pile. But not before she filled it with water, she believed in the pre-soak method. I’m not sure how much time passed – a forensic scientist would be able to determine that based on the evidence in the kitchen.

One morning (or was it afternoon?) I discovered something disturbing: the kitchen windows alive with hundreds of flies. I don’t remember either of us being overly surprised. I do remember having to do the dishes in the bathtub.
There are no dirty dishes in the shop and certainly no vegetarians – and yet, I awoke to the same disturbing scene: windows alive with flies. The only conclusion that makes any sense has something to do with the devil. I’d like to believe that our printing projects aren’t evil but I guess I can’t be the judge of that.flies
Oh, by the way: Before the flies, I finished those prints for Room & Board:new room and board

Tortured (commercial) Artist

published by Fran Shea

I need to get into character for the big Room and Board project… “WHAT’S MY MOTIVATION??!”

Backstory:

In a post-apocalyptic world, one breathtakingly beautiful woman finds herself wandering through the residential remains of South Minneapolis. She stumbles upon a letterpress print shop – it is impossibly intact. She drags her shopping cart of possessions inside and studies her surroundings. Type, ink, paper, a giant wrench and an autographed photograph of Kelly Clarkson. This is exactly like her dream – except without Abraham Lincoln. There isn’t much time before the feral cats find her…  But she finally has a method to preserve the dying language – at last! At long last… 

Whew! That was intense! Okay, enough screwing around – the clock is ticking and the cats are coming.

Seriously??!

published by Fran Shea

I’ve heard that some people use their kitchen table FOR EATING.

The squirrel came back again – this time looking for Fig Newtons.

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Maybe if people (me) remember to shut the back door she wouldn’t think I was inviting her in for lunch. After I waved goodbye (screamed hysterically and jumped up on a chair) I had time to use the table for other things. : Project photographs for the new website!

M. Palm Card

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I am tempted to leave my door open to see what other wildlife will enter my kitchen.

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More letterpress for Room & Board??!

published by Fran Shea

I hit my head on the asphalt yesterday and when I snapped out of that familiar concussive daze, I thought to myself: Again? And: That wasn’t as bad as running into the tree. Or the windshield. Or the Christmas tree-stand. Or the windshield. 

Walking my bicycle and openly weeping, I made it home just in time to work on the new Room & Board project:

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Thanks MADGE for introducing me to the Polaroid app for my iPhone!!