Calling Card: Thomas-Printers

There's nothing like being up close and personal with a letterpress card; they're such beautiful, tactile objects. Kseniya Thomas is the founder of Thomas-Printers and also a co-founder of Ladies of Letterpress.

Kseniya writes on her side, "Letterpress and love are often said in the same breath. It’s easy to understand why: there are few things in life where we can be involved, from start to finish, in making a beautiful, useful product; meet committed, interesting people with each new project; and use triumphantly antique tools every day as well."

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If you have some holiday card designs, you're planning a wedding or need some business stationery, Kseniya would be happy to hear from you! She has generously extended a 25% discount to UPPERCASE readers who place orders before December 31.

My thanks to Thomas-Printers for supporting UPPERCASE and its fine content by being a Calling Card advertiser. If you'd like to have your Calling Card appear on the blog, sidebar, social media and in print, they cost just $400 Canadian ($352 USD depending on the exchange rate). Select an image that best represents you, your product or service (squarish image 3 inches wide at 300dpi ), then click here to upload it and get your Calling Card ad designed by me and shared with the UPPERCASE community. You'll be supporting UPPERCASE content creation, boosting your profile, be immortalized in print and be serving the community with your creative offerings. Deadline for the winter issue is November 15.

Calling Card: Tempest Studios

Artist Erika Schulz believes in keeping busy. "I have a few series of artworks ongoing at the moment. I don't believe in tackling one subject at a time, so I switch between spaceships and robots, medieval gargoyles, birds, nature, and fantasy/macabre illustration. I try to challenge myself to grow as an artist."

"My inspirations are as diverse as my subjects, although if you knew me well, nothing I do would seem such a stretch. I grew up in a house surrounded by Asian artwork, collected by both my mother and grandmother. Summers were spent near the ocean or a mountain lake. My father introduced me to The Lord of the Rings, and Dune at an early age, which lead me to Star Trek. Fantasy novels were always my prefered escape, and throughout my life I have been fascinated by ancient history. What a strange melting pot, but perhaps not that uncommon. Nature, fantasy, fiction, and history, what a wonderful world for creativity and imagination."

She has a busy month ahead: Her Alberta Aviary series will be on display from November 15 to December 4 at the Bluerock Gallery in Black Diamond, Alberta. (Bluerock Gallery is also a fine stockist of UPPERCASE magazine.)

Then, she'll be showcasing her work at Red Deer's "All Things Pretty Market" on November 22 and 23rd. 

Prints, cards and zines are available on her Etsy shop.

Thank you to Erika Schulz for supporting the content in UPPERCASE issue 23 by purchasing a Calling Card ad. If you'd like to have your Calling Card appear on the blog, sidebar, social media and in print, please visit our advertising for the details.

The making of a Japanese Kokeshi doll

Discovered thanks to a tweet from Brent Wilson.

Naftali Beder: I am Obsidian

By illustrator Naftali Beder.

Calling Card: Paper and Ink Arts

After reading the current issue, you're probably inspired to pick up a calligraphy pen! I'd like to suggest a visit to Paper and Ink Arts, one of the advertisers who supported the content creation of this issue by purchasing a Calling Card ad.

Even if you're a seasoned calligrapher, you'll always be in need of new ink, nibs and paper and it is great to have a reliable source for your favourite things.

In addition to calligraphy supplies, you'll also find general creative supplies like markers, paints, papers.. even adjustable craft tables! Thanks again to Jennifer of Paper and Ink Arts for her support of UPPERCASE magazine.

If you'd like to have your Calling Card appear on the blog, sidebar, social media and in print, they cost just $400. Select an image that best represents you, your product or service (squarish image 3 inches wide at 300dpi ), then click here to upload it and get your Calling Card ad designed by me and shared with the UPPERCASE community. You'll be supporting UPPERCASE content creation, boosting your profile, be immortalized in print and be serving the community with your creative offerings

What's your favourite scrap?

Thanks for your responses! The survey is now closed. You can see the results in issue 24 of UPPERCASE, out in January.

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Learn from calligraphers featured in issue 23

If issue 23 inspires you to pick up a calligraphy pen, there are lots of classes on Skillshare to get you started (or take you to the next level). When I was compiling the content for this issue, it happened quite organically... so it is a coincidence that three of the calligraphers profiled in this issue are also Skillshare teachers.

Molly Jacques' "Introduction to the Art of Modern Calligraphy" has had over 11,000 students!

Neil Tasker "The Art of Lettering: Intro to Hand-Drawn Script"

Molly Suber-Thorpe's class "Digitizing Calligraphy: From Sketch to Vector".

Head over to Skillshare for more learning about lettering.

Samantha Bryan's Fairies

Samantha Bryan, designer and maker of fairies. { discovered on Mary & Patch }

Featured Stockist: Paramour Bungalow

Here's a nice video about Paramour Bungalow, our stockist in Evanston, Illinois.ts

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Vintage feedsack squares... times 10,000?

The theme of the winter issue (out in January) is "the creation and modification of surface". In this issue, there will be profiles of modern weavers and tapestry artists, how graphic design informs quilt design, using scraps/scavenging materials, flea market treasures, the history of vintage feedsacks and their contemporary reuse, plus 'tattooed artists’ profiles with illustrators, crafters, artists who have tattoos. 

I'm excited to share that Andrea D’Aquino will be creating the illustration for the cover. My vision is that each copy will have a swatch of authentic patterned vintage feedsack fabric adhered to the front cover. It will be a random square, applied by hand, enhancing Andrea’s collage artwork and providing both a nod to the content within and also the theme of modification of surface. I love the element of chance in the design as well, since the colour and pattern of the feedsack is an unknown variable. It’ll be gorgeous, exciting, random and unique!

I’ve scored some feedsacks on eBay (photos above), but I’d love your help. We will need thousands of squares (roughly 1.25” square) to ensure that each cover has this special feature. In the spirit of old-fashioned quilting bees, let’s make this into an UPPERCASE community project. If you have some feedsacks scraps that you’re willing to spare, please cut them into 1.25” squares and mail them to me by November 30.

I’m also going to save at least one square from each reader-submitted package, which will be incorporated into a quilt!

Send your squares by November 30 to:
UPPERCASE publishing inc
Suite 201b - 908 17 AVE SW
CALGARY AB CANADA T2T 0A3 

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Inspired by Little Golden Books

UPPERCASE magazines on display at this past weekend's New Craft Coalition.

UPPERCASE magazines on display at this past weekend's New Craft Coalition.

Did you know that UPPERCASE's spines were originally inspired by Little Golden Books? I've always loved their eye-catching golden spines and wanted my magazine to have a similar recognizable shelf presence, even when displayed spine out. Using a silver foil for issue 23's spine brings that idea full circle. It's nice when childhood inspirations still apply to your adult life!

UPPERCASE Etsy Pages

UPPERCASE on Etsy
made by our readers curated by UPPERCASE on Etsy
illustration curated by UPPERCASE on Etsy
home curated by UPPERCASE on Etsy

Do you have an Etsy store that you'd like me to include on my Etsy pages? Tweet your shop name and url to @uppercasemag or leave it in the comments below.

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New Craft Coalition: Meet the founders

New Craft Coalition was founded by three enterprising women crafters, Kari Woo, Laura Sharp and Natalie Gerber. "We are makers, moms, entrepreneurs and firm believers in the power of art, craft and design to change not only our communities, but the world. Our current mission is to bring a carefully curated collection of independently produced, Canadian art, craft and design to the people of Calgary twice annually, with other plans unfolding all the time!" 

Laura Sharp, above, creates her wares under the name White Owl Ceramic Studio. Her work is distinct with her graphic black and white, hints of turquoise and love of birch motifs. "I mostly attend art and fine craft shows and sell my work to an audience already won over by the greatness of handmade objects. I enjoy meeting all the people who have invested in my work, their feedback, encouragement, and support has been absolutely priceless.  I look forward to many more years of growing, developing and dreaming." 

Kari Woo's jewellery is a study in simplicity and quality. Kari used to co-own INFLUX Jewellery, one of my neighbours in the former Art Central. She has since moved to Canmore with her family and makes things from her home-based studio.

"In 1993 the I found the art of jewellery making, literally by accident," says Kari. "While recovering from a serious snowboarding injury I enrolled in my first jewellery class on a whim. It was love at first make! Now, two decades later, I am still at it and I still love it. My aim is to create substance and meaning through design. Patrons know my work through two distinct collections of sterling silver jewellery that offer the wearer versatility, comfort and simplicity."

Natalie Gerber designs home wares and hand bags using her own surface pattern designs. You might recognize her from the UPPERCASE Surface Pattern Design Guide (issue 21) and I also photographed her and her studio back in issue 13.

"As an artist, designer and maker I am inspired to create functional design for everyday living. While craftsmanship is important to my creative process, so too is function. I combine my love for illustration, surface design, clean lines and hand-printed fabrics with conscious material choices and in-studio practices.

My South African background influences my aesthetic, while inspiration is drawn from styles that include Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Mid-Century Modern design. From detailed sketches to mark making and loose line drawings, I explore the above within my work and transfer the imagery onto textiles through silkscreen printing."

 

The show opens today at 4pm at the Festival Hall in Inglewood. I'll be there with the latest issue of UPPERCASE plus some good deals on back issues and other print products. See you there!

New Craft Coalition: Sarah Pike Pottery

As you can see from my previous posts, there are some pretty talented ceramicists showing at New Craft Coalition this weekend. Sarah Pike will be visiting us from Fernie—you have to admire artisans who travel to shows with vehicles full of breakables!

Sarah writes:

I am interested in pottery with personality, beauty, and attitude. The marks of process, the slight distortion or off-round from a gentle hand, or the fingerprints on glaze and slip are all a part of the language with which my pots exclaim, "I was not machine-made, I was not mass-produced, I was made by fingers and hands, in a small studio, by an artist listening to music, dreaming and making." Because in a time of mass-production, consumer culture and waste, the handmade object brings us back to the intimacy of human nature.

New Craft Coalition: Kalika Bowlby

Kalika Bowlby is a ceramicist living in Nelson, British Columbia who will be bringing her wares to Calgary for the New Craft show. (How perfect is her name, for a potter?)

"I love living in a small mountain town but visiting big, bustling cities. I wish I could ride my bike every day, make every meal feel like a celebration and that each thing I make would be better than the last.I feel blessed to be both a mother and maker, to use my hands to make and share objects that become part of others lives. Hopefully, these objects will survive the ebb and flow of life because I think that things get better with age, use and understanding."

New Craft Coalition: Juliana Rempel

Juliana Rempel is another ceramicist showing and selling at New Craft Coalition this Friday and Saturday. About her work, Juliana writes:

Recognizing ceramics undeniable connection to life, the home and to the mundane activities of our everyday, I look for potential in these objects as registers of information and as the archetypes of our lives. We are comfortable with ceramics as both a material and as an object, allowing permission for it to become part of our personal space. This established relationship we have developed, holds the potential to be taken out of a comfortable home context and disjointed, dislocated and to be re-introduced as something other then utilitarian.

In a gallery, ceramics becomes a representation of the objects that are the silent bystanders of our lives, the symbols of our day. By dislocating our expectations of them, questioning our understanding of them and utilizing them for their symbolic value I introduce these objects in a gallery context, ultimately questioning our understanding of ceramics and bridging the gap between art and life.

New Craft Coalition: Cathy Terepocki

These gorgeous ceramics are by Cathy Terepocki, a regular exhibitor at New Craft.

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Cathy writes:

From a young age, I developed an appreciation for materials and an awareness of how things were put together. I grew up around handmade objects, in a culture where things were used and re-used. Materials were recycled to create something new. Fences were mended, sweaters darned, old shirts and dressed made into quilts. When I travelled through third world countries I was always struck by the innovative ways things were repaired and everyday materials were re-purposed to extend the life of something that would otherwise be discarded. 


One of the constants throughout my practice has been combining print-making techniques with ceramic processes, primarily pattern and imagery. Recently I have been bringing mixed materials into my pieces, particularly re-used materials. In both cases I am particularly interested in components that have had a past-life or for the narrative quality they construe. In addition they add texture and richness to the pieces. Re-contextualizing these elements also gives them new meaning and elicits new appreciation from the user. 


The forms I use are usually wheel-thrown. The surfaces are developed by building up layers of print including basic mono-printing techniques when the clay in wet, in-glaze or laser decals after the pieces are glazed and repurposed commercial decals to finish off the piece and provide one more layer of complexity, beauty and nostalgia.

I have a 'thing' for following ceramicists on Instagram. I love seeing all the works lined up pre and post-firing. Follow Cathy here.

New Craft Coalition: Rabbet

My friends Louisa and James Jensen will be at NCC this Friday and Saturday. Check out this great "about" page to get to know them and their company, Rabbet. They make "happy art for happy homes" with illustrated cards and art poster prints. Their art is cute and quirky, but always genuine—just like James and Louisa!

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