How it's made

Seen here is a 10 x 15 Original Heidelberg platen press in operation printing City of Craft ephemera. This impression is being printed in Process Blue & Opaque White mix from plastic photoengraved plates. The display type in Pantone Red 032 was printed from metal type in a separate press run the day previous. An alliance of traditional and contemporary letter press printing: lead type hand set from the case & digital type set on the Mac.

In case you are wondering, the sudden stop of the machine at the end of the clip is a result of an automatic trip mechanism. If the feeder cannot pick up a sheet in time for the gripper to snag it, the press will cease. An appropriate end to the clip. The voices heard are that of CBC radio which can always be found blabbing at the Trip Print Press printing office in the Junction Triangle neighborhood of Toronto.

Trimmed to final size on the guillotine and ready for work.


Pin Wheel Fever Spreads.

Photo by Pin Pals

I just spotted this lovely hair barrette made in delicate cross stitch by our pal Sam at The Pin Pals. At first, I was shocked that blue and red pin wheels might be occupying some very specific territory in the zeitgeist. As it turns out, that is not the case. Sam was directly inspired from Nicholas' promotional designs. Way to set trends, Nicholas!

The obvious inherent geometries of letterpress and cross stitch make this such a harmonious sharing of design.

Now I want to see these motifs popping up in even more places. Quilts? Pendants?

My head is already spinning (get it?) as I think of how great the 2010 pinback buttons are going to be. Nicholas' designs might even call for some 3" staff buttons with ribbons hanging out of them. I know he has some decor schemes brewing for the big show, too.

More ephemera for our edification.

I went by the Trip Print Press this evening to pick up another piece of flotsam to float around in the sea of City of Craft promotion. As we enter the summer months (you know, wishfully thinking), it becomes time to let the world know about our open call for applications.

First, I should say that Nicholas told me on the phone that these were in some way disappointing. I knew sight-unseen that he was being crazy. Maybe there is some printman's minutia that is bugging him, but I think they are stupendous. They mark a step up from our historically photocopied (albeit lovingly illustrated) calls for submission of the past. Colour!

What's more? These were printed on some long-ago printed postcard backs that Nicholas had made from off-cuts and never used. I love a multi-use flyer. Really. I miss the days when City of Craft required less information and got to have a usable postcard for a show flyer.

If anyone feels motivated to circulate them (bringing them to summer craft fairs you are tabling at is the best), there should be a stack at the workroom by the end of the week to pick from. And hey, they are postcards! Send them worldwide. We might not be the right show to travel across an ocean to table at, but we can certainly accommodate installation artists from overseas.

Nicholas has offered some photo and video updates on the blog, but until then, here are some shots I took around the studio (I love taking pictures of that place)...

trip print 14b

trip print 16b

trip print 17b

I didn't notice at the time, but I like how in the blurry background of this picture of his buttons lurks some very important City of Craft design notes. We will burgle all of your thoughts, Mr. Kennedy.



Craft Toronto: Doilie Rock Garden by Woolly Fabulous

A damp and dirty garden corner transformed into an epic intervention of lace and stitching. This project boggles the mind! For even more lacescapes of the natural world, take a browse through Woolly Fabulous' photostream. She has covered her fair share of things. Trees, even!

The Craft Toronto photo pool is a rolling stream of craft projects being made in the city (and thereabouts). It is an initiative hosted by City of Craft and reflects more makers than any of our real-world events ever could. What's more? You can join!


Shannon Gerard wants to draw your face.

Attention, Citizens:

Stellar City of Craft staffer, Shannon Gerard (who has designed posters for us, stuffed swag bags, screen printed, crocheted...), has just completed the illustration for Jim Munroe's new graphic novel, Sword of My Mouth. The book is set to release on May 6 at 7pm at Tequila Bookworm (here in Toronto).

To celebrate/promote the book's release, Shannon is offering up free facebook profile images to everyone in the world. All you have to do is link back to the book launch in your photo caption. All the details can be found on her blog here. The chance to get a free portrait from Shannon is pretty exceptional, to say the least. We suggest taking advantage of the offer before her hands break.

Update 04.26.2010: The promo closes on May 4, 2010.


2010 Applications now open!

2009 photo by paste sniffer

Yes, the dew of spring is settling in and December seems very far away, but applications are now open for City of Craft 2010. Don't fret, you have all summer to apply (applications close August 31). But why not do it now and strike one thing off your to-do list? Or even better, help us spread the word by telling your friends.

Our trusty designer, Nicholas, will have some swank graphics to share with us soon, but I wanted to share the news with you, our trusty friends, before doing the big media push.

Feel like you might put this off and then forget to apply forever? Then let me suggest signing up for our participant email list or joining our facebook group. Say, why not do both? They are two of the ten best ways to stay informed of City of Craft happenings.




Spring Trunk Show

The time is nearing! bring your totes on down for another lovely afternoon of craft shopping, rummaging and snack eating at the workroom. That's right, the Spring Trunk Show is just around the corner. Check out the web page and/or facebook event for up-to-the-minute vendor lists and links and we'll see you there!