Tag Archives: Jean Glenn

Surprise

Who doesn’t love a good surprise? Indeed!! As you may have noticed, Brown Ink recently launched a new site with the addition of Paper Goods arriving this Fall. Nick and I have been enjoying the process of creating the new site and we’ve been fortunate to have a brilliant team of players around us. A big round of applause to Kate Arends from Wit & Delight who ran the Brand Developing, Eric Price from The Walker Art Center is the Graphic Designer, Scott Anderson at Room 34 is the Developer, and Louisa Podlich from Louisa Marion Photography who shot our images. Thanks to everyone for the talent, creative juices and energy surrounding Brown Ink!!

The Paper Goods store has been an idea swirling inside my brain for the past year. After last year’s National Stationery Show, many blogs featured stationery lines new to me. At the same time, I saw several small, one-man-band companies found only in a handful of boutiques or online. Which was when it dawned on me…Brown Ink needs to provide the opportunity for others to enjoy these lovely products too!! But alas, you must hold your excitement until the Fall when our e-commerce store will open.

We thought we’d give you a sneak preview of last week’s New York trip where I met dozens of charming paper lovers and suppliers!!

My dear friend Jean Glenn from Pomegranate Press and I about to inhale a sea of booths!!!

w&j

It was a treat to meet St. Paul gal, Catherine Polacek from Printerette Press. Check out her fabulous note pads which debuted at the show.

National-Stationery-Show-2013-Oh-So-Beautiful-Paper-Printerette-Press-30-550x366 National-Stationery-Show-2013-Oh-So-Beautiful-Paper-Printerette-Press-2-550x366

The stationery and prints at Banquet atelier & workshop were even more beautiful in person!!

National-Stationery-Show-2013-Oh-So-Beautiful-Paper-Banquet-Workshop-2-550x366

National-Stationery-Show-2013-Oh-So-Beautiful-Paper-Banquet-Workshop-3-550x366

Bright colors and Aztec were strong themes at the show seen here at Anemone Letterpress

National-Stationery-Show-2013-Oh-So-Beautiful-Paper-Anemone-Letterpress-15-550x366

The Yellow Owl Workshop booth was not to be missed with hand-painted, rainbows of color. I’m a bit crazy over their selection of stamps!

National-Stationery-Show-2013-Oh-So-Beautiful-Paper-Yellow-Owl-Workshop-1-550x366 National-Stationery-Show-2013-Oh-So-Beautiful-Paper-Yellow-Owl-Workshop-14-550x366 National-Stationery-Show-2013-Oh-So-Beautiful-Paper-Yellow-Owl-Workshop-12-550x366

One of my favorite new lines was Sideshow Press which used outdoor camping as their inspiration.

National-Stationery-Show-2013-Oh-So-Beautiful-Paper-Sideshow-Press-15-550x366

National-Stationery-Show-2013-Oh-So-Beautiful-Paper-Sideshow-Press-31-550x366

If you’d like to experience even more from the Stationery Show, head to Oh So Beautiful Paper where Nole Garey and her team captured the event remarkably well (so much so, it was impossible to not use a few of her images!!). I promise to highlight a few more of my favorites from the show in the month ahead.

The day before the show I had the chance to meet two inspirational women creating paper treasures from their home studios in Brooklyn. Artist Jonna Twigg creates unbelievably gorgeous journals, both leather and fabric bound, for her Twigg’s Bindery line.

jonna

And the poised Emily Johnson from hartland brooklyn left her career in the fashion industry to design stationery full time.

hartlandphoto

I also had the chance to check out paper goods scattered throughout New York, one of my favorites being Greenwich Letterpress, where they sell their own line as well.

greenwich

Lastly, a thanks to you, readers, for staying with us on this journey!! Here’s to a summer of writing, wonder, and expectations of good things to come from Brown Ink.

A Letterpress High

(Poor timing but iPhoto decided not to be my friend today. Thus, no planned pics are included of my personal experience with a certain letterpress. iPhone gladly stepped in.)

I’ve been a fan of letterpress ever since I can remember.  Maybe since I’ve always been a bit old fashioned but there’s something so refreshing yet tactile about the lettering embossed into the thick paper. To be straight, there is such a thing as a letterpress high. I’ve felt it!

So it was no surprise when I came in contact with Jean from Pomegranate Press that I fell head-0ver-heels for her work (she is also one of the most pleasant and creative people I know). Her situation is a unique one.

Jean is naturally talented in the arts for starters. When Jean landed here in Minneapolis in 2002 she found herself a Chandler & Price Platen Press in St.Paul. She had seen a letterpress once before but had never used or printed with the machine and wasn’t sure if she would even enjoy the process. But she soon taught herself to print and, as she states, “my work is my education.” As time went on, her basement was transformed into the current Pomegranate Press. Here you’ll find stacks of paper with letterpress samples of her work over the years, cans of colored ink and many wooden boxes filled with metal fonts in a variety of sizes and fonts along with icons, borders and more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Jean on personal stationery, baby announcements, business cards, and the annual holiday card which is most likely my favorite. Every November we meet to decide the design including color, the type style and selecting from the fantastic holiday icons she has on hand. Then she’s on her own working her magic.

 

I caught her last week in the midst of a holiday card for my good friend, Therese.  I was amazed at the patience and accuracy needed with each card. This is far from the electric letterpress machines you hear about these days. This is the real McQueen.

 

 

 

 

Jean first establishes the placement of the type so it lands where she wants it to be on the paper. She also needs to set pins in the tympan paper which will hold the cards to be printed. Next, without ink, she prints samples to make sure the design is nice and placed correctly. If she’s not satisfied with the design, she will re-typeset. She’ll then play with spacing to typeset letters, words, and lines until just right. And will also make sure the printing is not crooked. Next, Jean will ink up the press and print samples to establish a strong ink consistency. Finally, printing time! And lastly, she cleans the press & type and re-sorts the type back into their cases.

 

Honestly, after watching the process of creating Therese’s families card from beginning to end I held a clearer understanding and appreciation for the art of letterpress. Not only does it take an incredible amount of patience but it’s Jean’s keen eye which catches any flaws in the printing, not an employee who oversees the electric machine in action. The art of letterpress is still true to its original form and you can’t say that about much these days.

 

On a different note, this is a perfect chance for me to mention another gift idea!! My friend Therese happens to co-own with her big sis the uber yummy Alora Ambiance line of diffusers, soaps, sprays and candles. The Brown family is gaga over the products especially the festa line during the holiday season. Treat a loved one to an Alora product for the holidays!  Locally you can find them at Ampersand, Victory, Brian Graham Salon, Lusseria lini, La Petite Parfumerie and Grand Frames on Excelsior. But you are forewarned, they are addictive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly, the word on the street is the Walker Art Center Shop is selling their holiday paper and cards at 50% off this week. Run not walk!