Tuckamore Design is a very small handcrafted card and print company based in Buffalo, New York. I'm a Canadian transplant, originally from Newfoundland. I've been a printmaker for 15 years, almost as long as I've been an architect. I never formally studied art, but I've taken classes from a handful of amazing artists at Dundarave Print Workshop in Vancouver, BC, and NSCAD in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

I love paper, especially since I spend a lot of hours every day working on a computer for my other business, Design Synergies Architecture.

I also love to create handcrafted greeting cards for everyday and seasonal occasions. When the inspiration hits (and I have time), I make the occasional original print. Every piece is printed by hand or on an etching press.

In the early days, my prints and cards were featured at the Canadian Craft Museum, the Craft Association of British Columbia shop, and various exhibits in Vancouver and Halifax. My cards have been sold in shops in the Maritime Provinces, Buffalo, NY, and most recently in Martinsburg, West Virginia! Through my Etsy site, my cards have been sent all over the world.

My work is influenced by Celtic and Art Nouveau design, by Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and by the Arts & Crafts movement. I found inspiration for several years in my front porch container garden in the Elmwood Village in Buffalo, and now I'm daydreaming of spring in my new backyard garden.

My favourite medium is linoleum block printing, especially blind embossed prints (deeply impressed and printed without ink). I'm about to embark on a watercolour adventure, and I'm wondering how that will find its way into my printmaking....

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Art Exhibit to support Rochester Contemporary Art Center

I've never entered a design exhibition like this one before, and I thought I would share it.  The Rochester Contemporary Art Center is hosting its annual 6x6 Exhibit & Sale in June, and I'm planning to enter some works.  Artists are being asked to donate work in any media, as long as it measures eactly 6" x 6".  Instructions for how to submit can be found here.

All submissions are due by 5pm on May 2nd, and the Reception and Sale take place on Saturday, June 5th, from 6 to 10 pm at the Center in Rochester, NY.  Artwork will be sold for $20, and artists' identities will be concealed until after the sale.  Proceeds will go to the Center to support their programs.

It sounds really interesting.  I'm going to work on one or two pieces to submit, and I hope to attend.  Rochester is only an hour away from me, sounds like a fun evening.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Good day to organize...

Another gorgeous day outside, and where am I?  Stuck inside with a cold!  So I'm reorganizing my printmaking stuff, getting caught up on paperwork (just paid quarterly state sales tax), and uploading some work to Etsy.  Oh, and spending my time being amused by things like this:  this is the morning sunlight that comes through the leaded glass windows in our living room. 

Having a full-time job makes it tougher to keep up with things like blogs and online shops on a regular basis.  I envy artists who have free time to do things like that.  But hey, that's what weekends are for, right?!

Speaking of artists who blog, I was introduced to a fellow Newfoundland artist this week, Jeannette Jobson, thanks to Ploverwing over at the Printmaking forum on WetCanvas:

Jeannette's work is really great.  I love what she does with Masa paper, creating a batik background for her drawings.  I have a stack of it and had no idea how to use it. 

My favourite is this one:

Even though I'm not feeling great today, I'm taking advantage of having a day at home to cross things off my to-do list. My studio is cluttered right now because it's been used as a storage room all winter.  We are about to embark on a major spring cleaning weekend, so that will clear things out!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Almost Spring...

We had such fabulous weather yesterday that a lot of people were fooled into thinking it really isn't the second week of March!  Knowing Buffalo weather, I'm not putting my shovel or ice scraper away just yet....

But with even a hint of warmer weather around the corner, I ventured back into my uninsulated studio this week to pull together a small order of Celtic cards for Village Artisans in Williamsville, NY.  I've done some new work this winter, small pieces carved onto Speedy-Cut (that white eraser-like material).  It's great for carving curves and Celtic spirals, so much easier than linoleum.  But you have to print it by hand, not on a press - the block will get squished!  I have such a low success rate with printing by hand these days because my press has really spoiled me.  I'm not patient enough, and I ruined more cards this week than not. 

I also printed an old design, carved more than 10 years ago on Speedy-Cut.  I tried to print with water-based ink, but it must have been a combination of an old block, layers of old ink, and not enough pressure with my baren.  Whatever went wrong, the ink just wasn't working. So I had to switch to my Daniel Smith water-soluble ink.  Ahhhh, what a difference. 

I'm reluctant to get rid of my old water-based inks.  I know, I know - once you try good ink, you can't go back.  I only use it when I have procrastinated to the very last minute and absolutely need something that will dry within an hour.  As much as I love my water-soluble ink, it is oil-based and takes days to dry.  Again with the lack of patience....

So my lesson learned this week is that you can't rush anything worth doing, and you have to start with the right tools.  And have patience....