The Boston Paper Collective was nice enough to let me take over their print shop for seventeen days in April. The BPC is on the second floor of an beautiful building that used to be a stove factory, and is now the home of, well, The Stove Factory. It is blocks away from Sullivan Station (an area that previously seemed like a navigational nightmare, but isn’t actually all that bad once you figure it out).
To get to the Print side of the Collective, you go up to the second floor and take a left through an awesome gray metal door. When you get in, you encounter a super sweet building with old wood floors. Look up and find the first sign that says, “Quality Control Branch Seattle Division”. You have discovered the Boston Paper Collective Print Shop.
Inside the shop, you will find a Vandercook SP-20, with an impressive bed size, and a Vandercook 2. They are equipped with all the necessary basics, including two boxcar bases, and are frequently acquiring more goodies.
I had two projects I wanted to finish during my residency. One was a diptych featuring some of the lyrics from You Are My Sunshine and the other was a series of 8 color-coded posters featuring different song lyrics.
The first of the two Sunshine posters took 4 runs through the press, a white undercoat, a pressure print, a linoleum cut and some wood type that I brought from my studio.
The second also took 4 runs, the same linoleum cut, more wood type in two different colors of blue and a pressure print over the top in a very light blue.
These two prints are in honor and celebration of my cousin Jessica who passed away from Colon Cancer last November. You can read more about her here and purchase the posters here. A portion of the proceeds from each poster goes to the Colon Cancer Alliance in Jessica’s honor.
The second project is one I have wanted to do for a few years now, and I’m very excited that I was finally able to do it. The project itself is a total of 8 different prints, each in editions of approximately 20. Each print has 8 colors (and a lot of transparency) to create 12 colors, a light gray, and a black. Each color represents one of the most frequently used letters in the English language: ETAOIN SHRDLU, while the gray represents the rest of the alphabet. Each print has a portion of song lyrics presented in these 12 color blocks. I will not divulge what songs the lyrics are from (they are kind of like a word game with colors) but as my mother has proven, you can break the color code and figure it out. These posters will be available on my etsy site shortly.
Printing these required a very tight and accurate registration system, which is something my proof press wasn’t able to give me, but a Vandercook could. Thanks to the Boston Paper Collective, I was able to get these printed, the way I wanted, and they came out exactly how I had envisioned.
The Boston Paper Collective is a great resource for anyone living in the greater Boston area. Seriously. If you need to print or make paper, or both, getting in contact with Melinda and/or Regina is a really smart plan.
Until Next Time,
Megan L. King a.k.a. MLK&toast