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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....

Friday, April 23, 2010

Seeking inspiration in the garden

I happen to live in a garden-crazy city.  Yes, Buffalo.  Great gardens and gardeners thrive here, something we've known for a while but now the word is starting to get out.  And for someone who has a whole slew of plant-inspired embossings and prints in her portfolio, gardening season is the best time of the year for me to wander around with a camera and sketchbook tucked into my bag, seeking inspiration. 

Buffalo hosts an annual weekend of gardening bliss, Garden Walk Buffalo, every July.  It's gotten great press recently, to the point where people actually plan vacations around it!  This year, that weekend will be preceded by 5 whole weeks of garden events with the first ever National Buffalo Garden Festival kicking off on June 18th.  It's going to be a great time for gardeners and wannabees like me.

I have to state up-front that I am not a gardening expert.  My husband and I own clay pots, lots of 'em, because we live in an apartment.  We don't have any actual solid ground of our own to plant.  So everything we do has to survive in a pot.  We've had great luck with tomatoes, basil, and Boston ferns, not so much with flowering hanging baskets.  But who cares?  It's all a learning experience, right? We start over every spring, and by the time we finally do have land of our own, we should have learned something.

This year, we're embarking on a new adventure:  roses.  I've always admired roses from a distance but never had the nerve to try growing them because, well, I only have pots.  I thought that you couldn't grow roses in pots.  To be honest, roses scared me - from a growing point of view.  I guess I was misinformed. 

My husband's aunt and uncle have been growing roses for more than 50 years, and are judges in the local Rose Society.  They know a thing or two about roses.  And last weekend, we had an impromptu lesson in selecting and planting roses.  We are now the proud owners of two red Double Knockouts.  I don't really know what that means, but the picture on the package looked nice and the experts gave their full approval. 

I was excited because roses make great subjects for prints, especially embossings and monoprints.  The two plants seem to have survived a couple of frosty nights this week, and now it's just a matter of waiting, watering, and watching the neighbourhood cats.  And the wacky squirrels.  But that's a whole other post....

At the risk of turning into a gardening blogger, I'll get back to printmaking in my next post and leave the gardening commentary to the experts like my friend Jim Charlier who writes Art of Gardening.

2 comments:

  1. I take pride in my simple clay pot home garden too. A simple setup of happy and healthy plants is enough for me.

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  2. I actually got attracted to the pots first! I hope you could grow your garden bigger. It is nice to have at least a small garden at home so you'd have a place to unwind when you needed to. liquid limestone perth

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