Saturday, September 27, 2014

Unexpected Treats in Kissamos Crete

End of summer getaway before getting back to work and having a baby! Crete has turned out to be a perfect island retreat with the unexpected unfussy treats absent of hipsters along the way. We are in the northwest part of Crete at Kissamos, our base. It’s an off the beaten track location where prices are really fair, tavern owners hustle for your business, and just minutes from bus stops to go to nearby crystalline beaches like Elafonisi, Falasarna or port city Chania for the day.
WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET: TELEPHONE BOOTH IN KISSAMOS
REVEALS WHAT MOST OF THE VILLAGE LOOKS LIKE TODAY
After the second day, we noticed an almost complete absence of top 40 commercial music everywhere. We, however, became acquainted with the type of music usually accompanying Sirtaki, the traditional dance and liked it.

Kissamos is a place that teeters in time. It’s an alluring non-chic place for many of nationalities, modern families and couples to come and spend ones summer break. As you walk in the village centre it’s easy to find electronic goods stores dress their windows with piled up boxed radios, microwaves and TVs. Older LG air conditioner units butt halfway outside windows of many homes and businesses to keep them cool when the strong westerly winds aren’t enough.

FULLY FUNCTIONING LG RETRO AIRCONDITIONER UNITS
KISSAMOS-STORE FRONT
PILED-UP BOXED ELECTRONIC GOODS
A lot of cars are smashed up, old rusted motor bikes to get you where you need to go, helmetless locals and boys who travel in tandem popping wheelies are the scenes my husband says existed in Sicily thirty years ago, and still go on here today. There are abandoned buildings, dogs roam the streets undisturbingly, and dress shops whose mannequins sport hair just a little off center. And then there’s the dominant and enchanting blue of the sea and the persistent sound of waves that coalesce neverendingly and perfectly just as it is.

TOP-ELAFONISI  BEACH,
LEFT TO RIGHT-VESPA IN KISSAMOS, BOY SELLING SEA SPONGES AT CHANIA PORT
We weren't there as bonafide foodies, however, there are plenty of locally owned taverns to choose from. We found ourselves at Aretousa a few times and would recommend it in Kissamos. It has an abundant menu, good food, honest prices and a treat at the end of dinner.

We roomed at family owned Galini Beach Hotel. If we ever find ourselves in Kissamos again, we wouldn’t hesitate to go back. The hotel is economical, very clean, helpful and full of smiles.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Letterpress Studio Visit: Resurgence of Letterpress in Italy

I was contacted for an interview by thesis graphic design student at the Polytech of Turin University, Alessandra, about letterpress. She and her boyfriend, Lorenzo, popped in Friday for a studio visit. We first chatted about her thesis paper; her topic explores the resurgence of manual printing in Italy. I then introduced her to some of my metal and wood type and presses. I had some time to put together a wooden composition on the proof press which she got to ink and print! Good luck to her her and her studies.

LORENZO LOVES ALESSANDRA - ONE COLOR PROOF PRINT TO TAKE AWAY

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Buon Auspicio Letterpress Notecards

Buon Auspicio! Good Luck! This is the first of a series of notecards dedicated to arrows. They symbolized many things for the American Indians and they are still used today to show us direction. 
Small format letterpress notecard - hand pressed - kraft envelope - printed on cotton paper - pms black  

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Weekend Letterpress Workshop in Italy

Wonderful letterpress workshop over the weekend with the lovely designer and instructor Katarina Czikorovà. She came all the way from Slovakia to Italy to learn a new printing technique and walked away with some business cards too!

We covered a lot of ground in two days... learning the basics, doing practice compositions with the proof press, closing the chase up nice and tight, measuring twice for perfect alignment, mixing color and finally prints on the table top press. She got the last train out of town, but we were able to finish her two sided cards in two colors printed on a variety of cotton and card stock paper (and eat a bowl of pasta)!



If you are interested in a private or tandem letterpress workshop please contact me for details. More details and pictures of other workshops conducted on my website.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Weekend DIY Screen Printing Workshop

Lately I’ve enjoyed printing on textile, so over the weekend we took a trip to the verdant mountainous Fort di Vinadio to learn something more about screen printing.

Switch on Futurebased in Bra (headquarters of Slow Food), is a portal which connects artists with artists, events and organizers of events. Over the weekend they showcased west coast style screen printer  Christian Peirano. He did a diy screen printing workshop with handy tips as making your own printing plates by economical means--ingredients included cooking oil! Can’t wait to put these techniques to the test. Check out Christian’s instagram account!
CHRISTIAN EXPLAINING PRODUCTS FOR PAPER OR TEXTILE AND HOW TO MIX COLORS 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Strong Arm Vandercook

All the way from America to western Europe this Vandercook has traveled, and it’s the latest big acquisition for the studio. She (I prefer to use the pronoun SHE as she’s got a strong arm) made it from Holland and was in the possession of a printer who passed on and whose wife decided the press should do the same. Now, she’s with me in Italy.