phm studio spaces: lizard press

Artist Name: M.K. Augustine
Shop Name and Url: Lizard Press
City: San Francisco

Where in your home/apartment/city is your studio located?

I share presses at the
San Francisco Center for the Book

What equipment/tools do you use?
Cranky old Vandercook V-4 proof presses at the Center--they do have a mechanical C&P, but I like the ability to interact with each piece as it comes off the press.

Lots of wood type! I was lucky to have started my interest just before it started going through the roof on ebay, I've got about a dozen complete alphabets in various sizes and quick a few random incomplete sets.

Polymer plates for digital designs, photographs and modern typography. I like the combination of the roughened texture of the wood type with the clarity of type and illustrations made from plates.

Do you have an inspiration board, and can you tell us what is inspiring you now?

Most of my inspirations come from, "let's try this!" usually it is something that will be challenging on the press, but does not "seem so" because it would be easy to do on a desktop printer, and in the process I learn to push the craft and myself.

How do you create best (e.g. do you listen to music while you create and if so what?)
Silence. Best ideas randomly when driving/walking/over coffee, when I am able to ignore the usual pressures and can ponder new ways of combining visual elements.

Also I am lucky to be able to teach letterpress and we do a lot of experimenting. With 8 to 24 people experimenting, that is a lot of inspiration happening!

Since I print outside my studio, I plan my projects about 90% before the press, with the need to bring all of the paper, type, plates, ink to the Center. But 10% is decided on the press, seeing how the "visions" interact.

I can plan for basic placement of wood and metal type on the computer, but the actual texture of each letterform does not come out until it is locked into the press bed, inked and proof run. The color and amount of ink on the press, the the paper texture and color, the cranky-ness entailed in cranking the press (roller height, tympan backing), and the transparent interaction of the succeeding ink layers are all factors that can greatly shift my final choices.

While printing I'll turn on which is great because you can chose an artist and the site will pool other artists in that mode to create a mix, current mixes I sift through are Indigo Girls and Erasure (yep, child of the 80's).

List (3) of your favorite artists:
An exhibit of Jack Stauffacher's wood type prints at SFMOMA really got me interested in the texture and tones of wood prints on the letterpress

I love Stefan Sagmeister's organic typography, design and philosophy
"I always try to go in a direction where the final piece will incorporate the process visibly."

Paula Scher's fantastic typography and hand lettering skills""

And not a country music lover myself (folk is pretty darn close though...), the posters done a Hatch Show Print are absolutely fantastic in there wood type play and structure!

(sorry that is four!)

If yours isn't, what would be your perfect studio?
Ahhh, the perfect studio would be the Hamilton Wood Type Printing Museum... all that authentic ancient wood type. I've been told they still have the cool old guys that hand carve the letters by hand!

They do have workshops occasionally, my dream is to get out to Two Rivers Wisconsin and attend one!

Thanks M.K.

Jan Halvarson

1 comment:

Fiona Cartolina said...

Very interesting studio/artists profile. letterpressing is so interesting and skillful!