Besides being a bookbinder, printmaker and general maker of paper arts, I also like to grow a vegetable garden. And, every year, I watch in wonder as my seeds sprout and grow into seedlings and eventually make the journey outside.
I won’t go into the story of why I chose to name my artistic practice after the mighty sprout and its incredible journey. Instead, I’d like to tell how it has re-united me with an old friend. (If you like, take a look at my About section to learn why I chose the name Sprouts Press).
I should probably clarify a few things. When I say that I was re-united with an old friend, I’m not talking about a person, but an old love. A former romance, let’s say, with printmaking. But not just any printmaking, I’m talking about printing on a Vandercook press, in a studio, with oil-based inks. Sigh. So, when the annual Grimsby Wayzgoose Book Arts Fair call for vendors arrived in January I agreed, as usual, to submit an original print in an edition of 115 for their anthology. I thought it was time to honour my namesake in print format and decided to dedicate my print to the mighty sprout. Normally, I plan several weeks in advance and use the back of a wooden spoon to produce my 115 prints. Not this time. I’ve been teaching bookbinding workshops lately and my favourite is at a wonderful space here in Toronto, Graven Feather, where there is a Challenge Proof Press!!
After mentioning to them that I used to print on Vandercook press, and how much I loved it and how great it would be to print my 115 prints with something different than the back of a wooden spoon, it was decided that I could print on their press! So, this is how it happened, how I was re-united with printing on a press, with oil based inks, in someone else’s studio, by the mighty sprout. I drew my image, cut the lino block and printed it in a lovely leaf-green on light grey stock.
In total there are 130 prints in the edition, 115 for the Wayzgoose anthology and 15 for me! What a great day!!