Homegrown in the Heartland
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are SO excited to formally introduce you to the first four prints in our new series that we call “The People in Your Neighborhood”. These have been a work in progress for quite some time, and you can expect two more to be added to the series sometime in the near future. We think they are quite charming.
The idea for this series has an interesting origin. Last school year I was lucky enough to get to host a student teacher for a semester. It was great. An extra set of hands in an elementary art room is like striking gold. My pre-service teacher (that’s the official title) did a fantastic job developing projects for our kids to dive into. One of the projects that he taught was relief portraits. Any time we use clay it is always a big hit, but these were just the best. The kids did a super awesome job and they had so much fun doing it. *
* Here is where I need to tell you that I did take photos of all of their awesome and hilarious relief portraits, but somehow they all got deleted from my camera before I uploaded them to the computer. I’m sorry, my fault. Trust me, they were great.
The best part about having a student teacher is that by the end of the semester, they are fully in charge of the classroom. What did that mean for me? Well, it meant that I got to play with clay too, right along with the kids. Let me tell you, it is really rare in an elementary art classroom to get the chance to actually sit down. But to sit down AND get to use my own creative juices to make something awesome? Unheard of.
So here’s what I made. Well, these are the two that survived the kiln. I had another, but he fell victim in the great kiln disaster of 2011. Let’s just say, I probably fired one batch a little early, before the clay had fully dried out. Most of those came out cracked and broken into lots of pieces. That was fun news to break to the kids. ”Boys and girls, today we are going to have a lesson on dealing with disappointment…” They actually took it REALLY well, I was worried. I guess we both learned something through that experience.
When I showed them to Beth she immediately said, “You have to draw those so we can print them!”
So I did. And I came up with a few other characters while I was at it.
Here we have Beehive Betty the Librarian. She has a very high-maintenance hairdo.
This handsome man is The Professor, a kind and scholarly gentleman.
The Sailor sports a righteous mustache…as all self-respecting seamen must.
And finally, please say hello to The Mermaid…the siren of the sea.
Each of these prints is 8×10 and was printed in our studio on our Chandler & Price letterpress. They are all available in our shop, so get them while they’re hot!
It’s in the shop! Our latest print, Outlaws of the Wild West. We’re pretty excited about it, and we think you’ll like it too. Sixteen of the biggest and baddest outlaws the wild west ever saw.
This is Butch Cassidy and his gang. Don’t let their fancy suits and neatly groomed mustaches fool you, they have guns, and they’re not afraid to use them.
This is Black Jack Ketchum.
He was a big time train robber. I mean big time. He was caught and sentenced to death by hanging. Ouch. His last words were “Let ‘er rip!”
And this, my friends, is the legendary Jesse James.
Born in Clay County, Missouri, but known around the world. He was the leader of a gang. Altogether they robbed 12 banks, 7 trains, and 6 stagecoaches for a total of over a quarter million dollars. Jesse’s father was a Baptist minister. I bet he didn’t approve.
And, here’s some shots of my sketchbook, where our design started taking shape.
Gotta get those mustaches juuuuuust right.
From the portraits to the lettering, everything about this print is hand drawn before putting it all together, and printing it on our Chandler & Price Letterpress.
Outlaws of the Wild West, 11×14 inches. Printed on bright white Cranes Lettra Letterpress paper with brown and light blue ink.
One of these is Carrie’s and one is Beth’s. Totally un-seen before by either party. Scary.
I’ve always thought that our drawing styles are so incredibly different, but it’s weird and wonderful the way they work together. This may be an example of us growing too close. Anyone want to venture a guess as to whose is whose?
A little Friday night doodling.