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....

Monday, May 17, 2010

Where art & architecture collide...Cool ideas for Artists' Studios

It's not often that both of my passions - architecture and art - cross paths, but recently they did on Wet Canvas's printmaking forum. A post by bridog on artists' studios led me to chime in with some of the research I've been doing on prefab buildings

In developing some ideas for architectural design competitions over the past year, I've found a lot of examples of studio and shed "kits" and built projects that would be ideal for an artist. I've even sketched a few ideas of my own for imaginary clients (including myself). One recent competition that some friends and I entered was for a green "shed" for a community garden in Vancouver. We didn’t win, but we’re thinking about building a demonstration project this summer. We’re also toying with the idea of building the design as a birdhouse.

The idea of a shed in the woods, or cabin on a pond, appeals to the artist in many of us. My studio at the moment occupies about half of the sunporch off the back of our house. It's about 5 feet deep and 12 feet long, with most of it is being used for storage. So my printmaking activities often spill over into the kitchen and onto the dining room table.

My ideal studio would be lit by natural light, heated by a tiny woodstove, and be just big enough to hold all of the stuff and processes associated with printmaking.  I need countertops - horizontal surfaces are essential - with a sink and built-in storage shelves for paper and a drying rack. I like the idea of something detached so that the mess is contained. But I've gotten used to toddling out into the sunporch in my PJ's at any time, day or night, to check on how something is drying or run a quick test print on a new block.

After reading the posts on WetCanvas from artists who’d like to have a self-contained studio, I decided to start working on design concepts for a backyard studio. It’s a fun little design project that satisfied the architect and artist sides of me.

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