Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Happy Print Table Day!

Check one more thing off my list of things I'd have in my dream studio: Last week, Elisabeth helped my build my very own print table! So much yay!! Pray tell, how did we accomplish such a feat? Well I'll tell you.

Lucy and I had already prepared a table-like structure using a plank of wood measuring 2' x 5' and the build-them-yourself saw horses. A proper print table is slightly higher than a normal desk or eating table so that you don't have to ruin your back bending over while you print. Ours is about 36" high. Because the legs of the sawhorse are at a completely indeterminate angle (shhh) there was some complicated/fuzzy math that happened in Home Depot that completely baffled both ourselves and every single employee we tried to ask for help. (Why is it that everyone who works there seems to be dumb as posts? Maybe it's having to sell posts.) But we succeeded in the long run and scampered home with our wood.

I ordered enough carpet felt to cover the wood table top twice and when it finally arrived in the mail... we got to work!

Step one: trim corners of felt and stretch it around the wood. Secure with staple gun.

The lovely, talented and tireless Ms. Elisabeth Roskos!

Step two: repeat with second layer of felt!

An actual conversation I had with the woman who sold me the felt:
me: "do you know if the felt is made entirely of wool?"
her: "well... it's felt."
me: "right, but I was wondering what the felt was made of."
her: "felt. It's made of felt. Reconstituted, factory leftover felt."
me: "riiiight. Nevermind.

Step Three: Repeat with canvas! In this process, I learned a few things about canvas. Those canvas drop cloths they sell at Home Depot? NOT 100% canvas. We were about to start stretching it onto the table when I noticed a tag that read "warning: FLAMMABLE. Keep away from heat." And I was like hm... on of my favorite things to do on a print table is iron... which seems a bit dangerous if the table is covered in 43% polyester and coated in a flammable coating. Blast! Thank goodness I'd already ordered a bunch of natural 100% canvas for bags! On with the stretching!

Wonky corners. Don't worry, you can't really see them.

Then we placed the newly padded top onto the sawhorse legs! I am now the official owner of a fully functional print table!

That looks a little like an imperial walker.


These cocktails were called "the bee's knees!" They tasted just like summer. It was uncanny.

Out for a quick celebratory dinner at Lula... and then back to the studio, batman! We have printing to do!

I love pinning...

The first print:

Ok, so clearly I get a little nervous and carried away there what with the million passes... but yay! Happy First Print in the Burrow! Huzzah!

Now back to business...

Some seriously Nora-style printing. At least one of those Elisabeth took off her body to print.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Burrow Studio Productions

Before I start this announcement-filled entry, I just want to take a moment to celebrate the fact that this is my 100th entry! Yay! Happy Birthday, blog! And it only took me 2+ years. Ok, onto the news.


I never thought I would be the kind of person who moves around a lot, but I can't seem to help it. Last week I listed my 10th address on Netflix. It's a little unsettling (unsettled? Pun intended) to repack the same boxes every June and spend the summer months traveling only to find myself homeless every August.

This summer, the only difference was one of scale: instead of moving across town, I moved half-way across the country. And now I'm a resident of Chicago, IL. So why did I move away from all my lovely friends in Philadelphia? Love, Life, Friends and Itchy Feet. And while it was sad to leave Philly and scary to land in Chicago I keep having to remind myself that every move I've ever made has been worth it. Change can be terrifying but with it comes new possibilities. And I want to be the kind of person who gambles big.

So at the end of my summer frivolities I loaded my truck and headed west!

Yeah, I packed it pretty tight.

A very angry Ripley was my road-buddy!

I share my new apartment with Lucy Knisely, the brilliant comic artist and author of the graphic novel French Milk (and other autobiographic comic collections!) It's a beautiful and sunny space on the third floor. We have windows that look out in all 4 directions and because we live on a tree lined steet it's a little like living in a tree-house. One of it's other perks is the ample studio space! (Swooon!)

One of the scariest things about moving to a new city is the prospect of finding a job. Although a few of the teaching jobs I had hoped for look like they will pull through, after a TON of deep contemplation I've made the decision to try to eke out a living by my craft. Eeeeeeeeek! Right? I mean, really scary: there's NO guarantee of income and the studio start-up costs alone are pretty unthinkable! But that's the plan: I'm going to produce a new line of products and sell them via Etsy and local craft stores.

I announced this terrifying prospect to my new studio-mate and, somewhat to my surprise, she immediate exclaimed: "That's great! Let's start a home studio!"

And so, I'm proud to introduce the new collaborative home studio of
Nora Renick Rinehart and Lucy Knisely:


The Mascot: Ripley and Linney locked in an eternal tussle.

Like I said: the space is amazing! I've never had so much space to organize my studio supplies (that wasn't also my bedroom. Actually, with a studio space for most of my stuff my bedroom is pretty sparse.)

Lucy working in her studio nook.

The room is built with two sizable nooks, each with windows and lights, with enough floor space for a work table and a large closet for supply storage.

Thread! Beautiful beautiful thread...

Swoooon.... I had a blast organizing all of my supplies!

Unpacking all my familiar desk stuff...

...decorating the studio with Lucy...

I'm a little addicted to collecting paint samples. I may have spread the addiction to Lucy.

...and integrating our two felines into the space!

This photo is IN NO WAY indicative of how they get along: there's usually quite a bit more hissing involved.

They certainly do look good in the space, though!

I'd call it more of a brownish gold.

And to top off all of this wonderfulness? The west-facing window by my desk has an amazing view of the sunset. So much swoon!

This week has been a lot of unpacking, cleaning and getting organized; but there's no time to dawdle! If I'm gonna make a living at this, I've gotta get to making stuff. The first wave of supplies is ordered so next week: print tables, prototypes and photography. Stick around!