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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....

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Back to the studio

I used a lot of excuses this year.  It was too cold in the (unheated) studio. It was too darn hot in the (overheated and west-facing) studio.  It was too messy to bring everything into my kitchen and work.  Everything got piled in the studio over the holidays and I just didn't feel like cleaning it out.  I was too busy at work.  Etc., etc.

Truth is, I just didn't feel like printmaking.  It happens, even to more seasoned artists than me.  No matter how much you love what you do, sometimes it becomes a chore.  That's what happened last Christmas,  after doing more shows than I ever had in a two-month period.  I was tired of looking at the same stuff over and over and I had no inspiration to do anything new.

What started as a break for the winter turned into an extended period of artists' block.  Then, one of my retailers asked me to pick up my work because it wasn't selling.  Gulp.

Hard not to take that personally, but it's business.  My work just didn't fit with the rest of the store, and it never found its audience.  And let's be honest - I really didn't put the effort into it this year.  I even took my Etsy shop offline (a.k.a. "Vacation") for extended periods of time over the summer.  No spark, no inspiration.  Hmph.

After a short vacation last week, I started thinking about printmaking again.  I started sketching some new ideas. I lost all of my inventory files on my old computer and I'm rebuilding them again, a task that I've been putting off all summer.  I applied for the Women's Gifts Show in Buffalo again this year, and decided that I'd better get my butt in gear if I wanted to get enough work ready to justify the table fee.  

The studio is still a mess, but I'm tackling it one square foot at a time. So far, I've cleared a path to the press.  It's a start.