Archive for the ‘Letterpress’ Category

Alright, back to work

August 20, 2010

Fran Shea’s résumé

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1988-1988 (Nov. 1-Dec 23) Lyndale Garden Center

My first job. Silly me, I heard “making Christmas wreaths” and thought I’d be “making Christmas wreaths.” Pre-made wreaths were heaped onto a lunch table – my job was to choose the sprigs for the wreaths. Sprigs was an industry term for cheap Christmassy crap.

1989-1989 (Sept. 1-Sept 15) Pearson’s Family Restaurant

I bussed tables and was told to clear as much of the table as would fit in the gray bin. It would have been very satisfying if I were training to be a power-lifter. Two weeks was too long.

1989-1990 (Oct. 1-March 1) Leeann Chin, Richfield

As a server, I wore a little white hat and jacket. Like a chef. A disgruntled, panicked, 17-year-old chef.

1990-1990 (June 1-Aug. 15) GJ’s SuperValu

A block walk from my apartment above Ribizza – this job required speed and superhuman strength. Bagging groceries during a “rush” filled me with doubt and indecision – eggs before bread or bread before eggs?? Should I take my smoke break now??

1990-1990 (Sept. 1-Nov. 1) Telemarketing for the Special Olympics

I don’t even know how I found this job – it was in a bland office in a bland office building on University Avenue.  The script we were handed was written in the 1950’s and we were supposed to offer lots of garbage bags in exchange for donating to the Special Olympics. Our boss was, I think, Bob Saget.

1990-1991 (Nov. 15-Jan 15) Meyer’s Bakery

A job that required cash register skills. I’d rather wash old peoples bottoms than use a cash register – I’d try to push customers into buying things that would result in even dollar amounts so I wouldn’t have to make difficult change. Three cookies? Why not four?… Two loaves of bread? Why not two loaves of bread AND a cookie??

Fast Forward—>

1993-1996 : Carney Studio

The interview went something like this:

“So, you want to be a graphic designer?”

“A what?”

“You’re hired.”

1996-1997 : Odney Advertising

This is where I learned about advertising. And stealing office supplies.

1997-present : Stay At Home Mom/Perfect Wife

This is where I learned about cleaning up poop.

2006-present : Owner of Zeichen Press

The culmination of a life-long set of painfully acquired skills.

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Overdue Cat, a new letterpress greeting card and a little bit about the weather

August 12, 2010

Well, Susie hasn’t had her kittens yet – and like every other overdue/expecting mother – she is watching Oprah and eating tubs of Ben & Jerry’s.

Meanwhile, I biked through the Heat™

to bring Fred a card so he could photograph it. It isn’t any ordinary card – it is the card to introduce our new website.

Aren’t you intrigued?? It must say something sweet – just look at that cute little bellhop! I’ve been waiting to use him for a long time – thank’s cute little bellhop!

Yesterday and Today

August 4, 2010

Our transition from the Cape included a stay in Boston.

Boston is best experienced on-foot and with a tour guide dressed as Dorothy Quincy Hancock.

The next picture is for Andrea. (Edmund loved the Westin).

Okay, fun’s over. Back to the muggy wall of heat – we walked out of the Minneapolis airport and I felt like someone wrapped me in 100 electric blankets.

… remember when I told you about this?? I don’t know  a lot but I do know that this belly is full of kittens. They are due in a few days – and I swear to God, if any of you take one home – I will repay you in strange and creative ways.

One more thing: The pile of mail, collected by Jen, contained this:

It might be the best piece of mail I have ever received.

Airplane Safety Card (continued)

July 29, 2010

After a harrowing day at the beach, I had to stop into the Brewster General Store

to check out their card selection – one thing is clear: they might have enough rubber lobsters but they do need some letterpress from Minnesota. I will see what I can do about that.

A day at the beach always includes:

That poor thing has been around for such a long time.

Lord of the Letterpress Flies

July 22, 2010

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.
Oh, by the way: Before the flies, I finished those prints for Room & Board:

Canada: You’re strange and wonderful.

July 18, 2010

So, I (meaning the Zeichen Press intern) pulled one of everything (x3) for our new Canadian reps

while I sat on the cold concrete floor and worried. Andrea is learning so much from me.

Our new reps will be taking our goods to the the CGTA and from there I guess back to their ice palace. Canada is so different than America!

I found a short list of shops in Toronto that I imagine will soon be carrying some letterpress from Minnesota… but that’s for the reps to decide. I’m not some kind of control freak.

Tortured (commercial) Artist

July 13, 2010

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.

Tater Tots, Kings Wine Bar, Letterpress, Deer John,

June 13, 2010

Let’s talk about my first apartment kitchen: a room the size of an airplane galley* with the bonus feature of a countertop hinged to the wall. If that countertop was not in the lift and stow position (just like an airplane tray-table) it wasn’t possible to open the refrigerator or the oven.This was great incentive (for my roommate) to do the dishes.

I preferred moving the dirty dishes to the living room.

*I’ve peeked in an airplane galley – it’s usually hidden behind a curtain (that matches the drapes) – the flight attendant works mechanically, loading up that cumbersome cart to roll down the aisle.

The delicacies that came out of that first apartment kitchen included (and were limited to) chicken pot-pies and tater tots. The crisper drawer in my refrigerator contained a large amount of an herb – but that was none of my business. Oh, but the tater tots! Straight from the freezer and onto my cast-iron skillet: washed down with an Old Milwaukee and a Camel Lights cigarette.

Whew! Did I mention I had 18 by the balls?

ALSO, if I had a hankering for ribs OR pizza I only had to walk down the stairs. That’s right, the one and only Ribizza fulfilled that strange combination requirement for Uptown, Minneapolis.

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Exactly five minutes West of my house is Kings Wine Bar – a newish (rhymes with Jewish) little neighborhood restaurant. They serve tater tots but with sauces far fancier than ketchup.  I was there last night and there didn’t seem to be any Old Milwaukee or Camel cigarettes on the menu but somehow, after we ate our tater tots, our table was magically covered with candy.

This doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the card I wrote/designed last night. Or does it?

Letterpress in Minneapolis

June 9, 2010

Sunday: The Corpus Christi procession brought oodles of the Devout through Loring Park – all busses were rerouted and the Minneapolis Police department was on high alert for any shenanigans. Still, I couldn’t help but feel a little emotional as the church bell solemnly rang out and I watched Barb perform CPR on my husband.

Tuesday: Our new intern (Andrea Sanow) showed up with the enthusiasm of a 22 year old girl. We love her – and we’re not just saying that because she reads the blog and is, like, the strangest mix of a Type A Personality and totally laid back. What?! It’s true. Thanks to her, I got so much done: Here are the Room & Board prints in color:


Black ink can be so nice

June 2, 2010

It’s unofficially Summer around here and to celebrate I’m going to make some more prints for Room & Board. People always ask me (no, they don’t) if I feel lonely or maybe a little afraid working out in the studio/shop/time warp at night. But how could I feel lonely or afraid out there when I have all of those cabinets of cold, lead type and Mark Wheat‘s voice coming from the plastic radio?