Tag Archives: Tallahassee

Southern Makers: Paper Works Press

I recently spent a rainy Saturday morning with Alicia and Sheri, the two gals behind Paper Works Press.  I arrived at the studio they share with their mentor, photographer and letterpress guru Mika Fowler, around 10:30 a.m. where I was immediately handed a delicious chocolate-sea salt cookie for Mika’s birthday.  After some quick introductions, we got started, and I knew right away that I liked these ladies.

Paper Works Press, Tallahassee, Florida | Oysters & Pearls

A little more on the folks behind the cards:

Sheri and Alicia, the Ladies Behind Paper Works Press in Tallahassee, Florida | Oysters & Pearls

Alicia, one half of Paper Works Press, is a Tallahassee native and a photographer by trade.  You can find her beautiful work over at Alicia Osborne Photography.

Alicia Osborne Photographer, Tallahassee, Florida | Oysters & Pearls

Sheri came to Tallahassee to study art, education, and printmaking at FSU.  Now she makes up the other half of Paper Works Press while also teaching high school art.

Paper Works Press Letterpress Coaster | Oysters & Pearls

Mika Fowler, who isn’t officially a part of Paper Works Press, plays a very important role in the business nonetheless.  He is Sheri and Alicia’s mentor and shares his studio with the duo.  He is always there offering quiet advice and recommendations and is a constant source of information.  He also offers letterpress printing, photography, and letterpress workshops.  The studio is full of his work and inspiration.

Mika Fowler Letterpress, Tallahassee, Florida | Oysters & Pearls Mika Fowler's Studio, Shared with Paper Works Press | Oysters & PearlsMika Fowler Letterpress Workshops | Oysters & Pearls

All three operate on a letterpress belonging to Mika, which hails from the year 1949.

Paper Works Press | Oysters & Pearls

Letterpress, a form of relief printing, began around the early 1800s, and is still just as popular today as it was back then.  Traditional printing back then used hand set wood and metal type.

Vintage Letterpress Letters in Mika Fowler's Studio | Oysters & Pearls

These days, thanks to computers, technology, and polymers, a photo polymer plate is used for printing instead.  Designs have become much more involved and embellished, but printing is still done one piece of paper and one color of ink at a time.  Sheri and Alicia can have a polymer made of an image you send them, but  they also draw many of their designs by hand.  My logo is one that I drew, which my friend Nikki Rich (of Rich Designs in Bainbridge) turned into my logo, and Sheri and Alicia turned into a polymer printing plate.

Modern Day Letterpress Printing | Oysters & Pearls

The most time consuming part of letterpress printing, as Sheri and Alicia tell me, is the set up.  Figuring out where you want the press to print on the paper, then translating that location to the plate, and then making sure the polymer is inked correctly makes up the majority of the work.Paper Works Press | Oysters & PearlsInk is smeared across the press.  If too much ink is used, the print will be sloppy.  Too little ink will result in a faint print.Letterpress | Oysters & Pearls Mika Fowler and Sheri of Paper Works Press | Oysters & Pearls Sheri of Paper Works Press  | Oysters & PearlsOnce everything is set, printing starts.  The press can be hand cranked by turning that large wheel (I’m sure I’m using all the proper technical terms) or if the motor is turned on, printing goes much more quickly.

The Ladies of Paper Works Press, Letterpress in Tallahassee, Florida | Oysters & Pearls

Printing can be paused by pushing that lever that Alicia has hold of forward.  There’s even a foot brake to slow things down a little, but the person running the press has to stay pretty nimble.  Paper Works Press Ladies, Tallahassee, Florida | Oysters & Pearls

We started out with black ink for the notecards that Sheri and Alicia printed for me.  I emailed them my logo ahead of time which they had turned into a polymer plate.  Now that it’s on file, they’ll keep it for future orders, which reduces the future cost and time involved.Letterpress Note Cards by Paper Works Press | Oysters & Pearls

Sheri & Alicia, Paper Works Press | Oysters & Pearls

After the black ink, we took a cookie break and they cleaned the press.  They had just gotten in some gold ink that they wanted to experiment with, and I was a more-than-willing guinea pig.

Gold Ink for Letterpress | Oysters & PearlsLetterpress by Paper Works Press | Oysters & Pearls

Oysters & Pearls Logo in Letterpress by Paper Works Press | Oysters & PearlsLetterpress Note Cards by Paper Works Press | Oysters & Pearls

The gold looks amazing on the kraft paper, and I’m so glad they experimented with my note cards.  I am thrilled with how they turned out!  And so grateful they allowed me in their studio to watch them be printed.  I learned so much from these ladies, and I’m always excited to support some creative lady entrepreneurs.

Sheri and Alicia, the Ladies Behind Paper Works Press in Tallahassee, Florida | Oysters & Pearls

The sweet, awesome gals of Paper Works Press can create custom letterpress wedding invitations and stationery sets, coasters, business cards, note cards, thank you notes, or just about anything you can dream up!  Visit their website for more information and examples of their work, and expect to see more of it at Maiden South in the Fall.

Paper Works Press on Facebook
Paper Works Press on Instagram
www.paperworkspress.com

Shop this post:
custom letterpress printing (Paper Works Press)
letterpress printing and photography (Mika Fowler)
photography (Alicia Osborne Photography)
Paper Works Press letterpress cards (Maiden South)

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Southern Makers Series
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Anhaica Bag Works

Until Next Time

Letterpress, Crawfish Boil & Stained Glass

Wheat once told me that people would get bored if I kept calling my weekend recap posts “Weekend Recap.”  So please excuse the randomness of the title.

However, that is precisely the three main things that my weekend consisted of: a trip to visit the badass gals at Paperworks Press in Tallahassee, a Crawfish Boil at Ventry Farm with Marc and Anna Jo, hitting the stained glass jackpot on Craigslist, and then spending all day Sunday in the shed working on a stained glass project.

I shared this video on Instagram Saturday morning, but it’s worth sharing again.  Letterpress is so fascinating! I think because it is such an old technique – you know me: the older the better!  Sheri and Alicia created some custom letterpress notecards for me with the oyster and pearls I hand drew for my logo.

So cute!  Much more to come on these two ladies very soon!

Saturday afternoon, Wheat, my parents, and I went to a crawfish boil with Marc and Anna Jo at Marc’s family farm. His parents go to Louisiana a few times a year and always bring back an insane amount of mudbugs.  We were SO excited to be invited to the 75-pound feast!

Live Crawfish | Oysters & Pearls Crawfish Close Up | Oysters & Pearls Boiling Crawfish | Oysters & Pearls Crawfish Boil | Oysters & Pearls Crawfish Boil at Ventry Farm | Oysters & Pearls

Believe me, it was as awesome as it looks.

Back to Saturday so I can tell you about Sunday.  After an impromptu lunch date on Saturday with a friend at Whole Foods, I hit the stained glass Craigslist jackpot.  I am a firm believer that if you put good vibes out into the universe, what you want will come to you.  I wanted a glass grinder, and I found one in no time flat.  Along with a tupperware full of glass, extra grinding bits, soldering iron and stand, lots of tools, patinas, and other supples – even a pair of gloves that somehow fit my tiny hands!  It was meant to be.

Craigslist Stained Glass Jackpot | Oysters & Pearls

I took a stained glass course my last semester of undergrad, and I’ve wanted to get back into it ever since.  Now that I have a shed/workspace – never mind that I most likely have no business taking up another hobby at this point in my life – I’m back at it.

I had some scrap glass leftover from that college class (I finally made it worth toting it around in all my moves in the last 4 years) that I had made some random pieces with a couple weekends ago, including a couple of sun catchers, a wall vase, and a couple of necklaces.  Nothing mind-blowing, of course, but good for practice and getting reacquainted.

Stained Glass Mini Projects | Oysters & Pearls Stained Glass Necklace | Oysters & Pearls

Also in the Craigslist box, was a tiny, unfinished project from the person it all once belonged to.  I felt compelled to finish it for her before I got started on my own project on Sunday.

Found Stained Glass - Unfinished Suncatcher | Oysters & Pearls Tiny Stained Glass Suncatcher, Finished | Oysters & Pearls

I don’t know if the original owner intended for this to be a sun catcher or part of a larger piece of work, but it’s a sun catcher now and I’ll think of the original owner when I see it. :)

Once I got all my new-to-me supplies and tools organized and that little sun catcher finished up, and set about starting my first bigger project utilizing my new grinder.  You can do so much more with a grinder.  It makes tiny pieces and curves possible, so I found a hummingbird stained glass pattern I loved (along with a few more I plan to make for a certain mom who loves hummingbirds) and got to work.

Cut Glass for Stained Glass Hummingbird Suncatcher | Oysters & Pearls

Again, I’m a complete amateur, and my pieces aren’t pattern perfect, but it will be okay.  And just to give you an idea of how time-consuming a hobby this is, I started this project around 1:00 p.m.  I took a quick break for lunch and another for supper, and got to the point where I took this next picture around 10:00 p.m.

Copper Foiled Stained Glass Hummingbird Suncatcher | Oysters & Pearls

First you have to pick a pattern, use pattern scissors to cut out each piece from a copy of it, label each piece, pick out glass for each piece, trace the pattern pieces on to the glass and label them, rough cut each piece of glass, grind each piece of glass, wash the glass, copper foil each piece, then you finally solder them all together.  Whew!  It’s a long process, but it’s really meditative for me.  I’m so glad I jumped back in after all this time.  And thankful for a husband who cooked me a steak dinner while I was doing it.  (In my defense, he did get to play golf all day…  And then eat a steak dinner.  ;)

At lunch yesterday I soldered everything together, added hooks, painted on the black patina, waxed it, and added chain.  It’s hard to tell how pretty it is, but here are some iPhone pics of the finished product.  I’ve still got lots of practicing to do, but I was pretty excited about how this turned out!

Handmade Hummingbird Stained Glass Sun Catcher | Oysters & Pearls Handmade Hummingbird Stained Glass Sun Catcher | Oysters & Pearls Handmade Hummingbird Stained Glass Sun Catcher | Oysters & Pearls

If anyone has any great stained glass resources they recommend (either online or IRL), I would love to hear about them in the comments!  Or feel free to shoot me an email.

Now back to that steak dinner. ;)

Jones Meats Ribeye, Hopkins Farms Squash and Onions, and Whole Foods Truffled Mac n Cheese | Oysters & Pearls

While at Whole Foods, I picked up a couple of these truffled mac n cheeses from the deli counter.  They were so good alongside a hand-cut ribeye from Jones Meats and some fresh Hopkins Farms squash and onions.  This meal was a little ridiculously indulgent, but I think we earned it.

We have some exciting things going on this week that I’ll share when the time comes… but until then, I hope everyone has a great week!

Shop this post:
custom letterpress goods (Paperworks Press)
waxed canvas koozie (Anhaica Bag Works)
stained glass supplies (Glassworks by Susan)
stained glass necklace (unintentionally similar by Canadian artisan Here and Now)
stained glass wall vase (inspired by Athens artisan Copper & Torch)

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Until Next Time

Southern Maker: Julie Guyot

Today’s post is a long time coming.  I met Julie Guyot back when I wrote a little story on her for the Thomasville Townie.  That day, I fell hard for her work.

 Julie Guyot, TCA Artist in Residence | Oysters & Pearls

Plus, it helps that she is so adorable and sweet!

Since then, I’ve visited her in her studio at Thomasville Center for the Arts  multiple times, and I’ve been fortunate enough to start calling her a friend while adding a couple of her pieces to my collection.

Thomasville Studio Space,  Julie Guyot, TCA Artist in Residence | Oysters & PearlsCeramics by Julie Guyot, TCA Artist in Residence | Oysters & Pearls Ceramic Heart Cake Stand by Julie Guyot, TCA Artist in Residence | Oysters & Pearls Ceramic Coffee Mugs by Julie Guyot, TCA Artist in Residence | Oysters & Pearls

THE ARTIST

Julie, a resident of nearby Tallahassee, Florida, grew up in rural Illinois and graduated with her BFA in ceramics from Southern Illinois University in 1994. She earned her MFA in studio art from Florida State University in 2008 and has been here, with her husband, Clayton and their two dogs, Lucy and Rudy, ever since. This past October, Julie was selected as TCA’s very first artist in residence. In January, she moved her kiln into the studio space at 209 Remington Avenue (aka Studio 209), where she began hand forming and firing her work, as well as teaching classes and entertaining folks who stop by (aka me).

Julie has walked me through each step of her process on our visits, and I’m constantly in awe that a pile of clay that (really) looks more akin to mud can turn into the creative, bright, colorful creations you see.

Clay, Julie Guyot, TCA Artist in Residence | Oysters & Pearls Hand Formed Vase by Julie Guyot, TCA Artist in Residence | Oysters & Pearls Hand Formed Vase in its Earliest State, by Julie Guyot, TCA Artist in Residence | Oysters & Pearls Hand Formed Vase by Julie Guyot, TCA Artist in Residence | Oysters & Pearls Hand Formed Vase by Julie Guyot, TCA Artist in Residence | Oysters & Pearls Hand Formed Vases by Julie Guyot, TCA Artist in Residence | Oysters & PearlsJulie forms her pieces from slabs of clay, sometimes using various tools besides her two hands.  Each indentation she makes by pinching here or pulling there, and she either stamps or signs each one.

Ceramic Stamp by Julie Guyot, TCA Artist in Residence | Oysters & Pearls

She uses molds for some bowls and plates, for consistency’s sake, but each mold can be modified with a simple addition or subtraction.

 Ceramic Molds, by Julie Guyot, TCA Artist in Residence | Oysters & Pearls Bowl and its Mold, by Julie Guyot, TCA Artist in Residence | Oysters & Pearls

When it comes to the colors and hand drawn decals that she fires onto each piece, she draws inspiration from stories and pictures of her grandparents, as well as the neons and patterns of her own life experiences in the 80s. It’s clear she is inspired by the natural world as well –honey bees, birds, and colorful florals are an oft recurring theme. Ceramic Plates by Julie Guyot, TCA Artist in Residence | Oysters & Pearls Bee Vase by Julie Guyot, TCA Artist in Residence | Oysters & Pearls Bee Vase by Julie Guyot, TCA Artist in Residence | Oysters & Pearls Dinner Plates by Julie Guyot, TCA Artist in Residence | Oysters & Pearls

THE PROCESS

Julie creates her layered look not only by having multiple layers of clay, pigments and glazes (and often incorporating fabric into the final design), but also by having her own drawings, vintage photographs, and other prints transferred onto special decals. The process basically goes like this: each ceramic piece is fired once, called a bisque firing, which removes the water from the clay. Then, Julie layers varying stains and glazes in another round of firings for each one. Finally, she applies her decals and the piece goes through a final round of firing. The end result is quirky yet delicate, retro and modern at the same time.

Hand Drawn Decals on Ceramics, Before Final Firings,  Julie Guyot, TCA Artist in Residence | Oysters & Pearls

Coffee Mug Detail, by  Julie Guyot, TCA Artist in Residence | Oysters & Pearls

Julie tests pigments and colors out on these little bits of scrap clay.  I’m currently lobbying for them to be turned into business card holders.

Glaze Testing, Julie Guyot, TCA Artist in Residence | Oysters & Pearls

It’s pretty amazing how the same pigment can look so different with a glaze and without one.

Same Color, Different Glaze Julie Guyot, TCA Artist in Residence | Oysters & Pearls

Once the piece is formed, has had its bisque firing, and has had its colors and glazes fired on, it’s ready for decals.  Julie hand draws them, and then applies them much like a temporary tattoo.

Wet. Slide on. Press the air out.  Repeat.

Applying Hand Drawn Decals to Ceramics, Julie Guyot, TCA Artist in Residence | Oysters & Pearls Applying Hand Drawn Decals to Ceramics, Julie Guyot, TCA Artist in Residence | Oysters & Pearls Applying Hand Drawn Decals to Ceramics, Julie Guyot, TCA Artist in Residence | Oysters & Pearls Applying Hand Drawn Decals to Ceramic Pieces,  Julie Guyot, TCA Artist in Residence | Oysters & Pearls Ceramics by  Julie Guyot, TCA Artist in Residence | Oysters & Pearls

Then each piece gets fired yet again.  These dark decals you see above will turn lighter after their high heat firing.  See those little hearts sticking out?  They will receive a color decal, which requires a final, lower temperature firing.  Each firing takes a day or two from start to finish and involves preheating the kiln to cooling and removing everything in it.  And she does it five to six times for each piece.  Exhausted yet?  Because after all that, she usually does a Borax wash to age the ceramics, or as Julie says “make them not look so clean.”

Note to Self,  Julie Guyot, TCA Artist in Residence | Oysters & Pearls

Applying Hand Drawn Rose Decals to her Ceramics,  Julie Guyot, TCA Artist in Residence | Oysters & Pearls Applying Hand Drawn Decals to Ceramic Bowl,  Julie Guyot, TCA Artist in Residence | Oysters & Pearls Applying Her Hand Drawn Rose Decals to Her Ceramic Bowl,  Julie Guyot, TCA Artist in Residence | Oysters & Pearls Rose Bowl, by  Julie Guyot, TCA Artist in Residence | Oysters & Pearls

Julie tells me she is loving the residency at TCA in Studio 209 (which is the old Coca-Cola bottling plant). “I’m enjoying the energy it provides and the building that I work in, with its exposed brick, has started influencing my work.” Julie even drew the rose motif especially for the Thomasville and the Rose Show, which now adorns a series of coffee mugs, cake stands, and cheese boards, (designed with local Sweet Grass Dairy in mind, of course).

THE SHOP

You can find Julie and her work at TCA in Thomasville, but in case you’re not close, Julie also has an Etsy shop, Six Milch Cows.

Julie Guyot, TCA Artist in Residence | Oysters & Pearls Photographing Pieces for her Etsy Shop, Six Milch Cows, Julie Guyot, TCA Artist in Residence | Oysters & Pearls

 Julie Guyot, TCA Artist in Residence | Oysters & Pearls  Julie Guyot, TCA Artist in Residence | Oysters & Pearls

I consider myself so fortunate to have met and gotten to know Julie over the past few weeks.
My hope is that you feel like you have, too.
Drop by her studio on Tuesdays, shop in her Etsy Shop, read her Journal, or follow her on Instagram!

Thomasville Center for the Arts, Artist in Residence Program

Six Milch Cows on Etsy

www.julieguyot.com

Julie Guyot on Instagram

Until Next Time