Saturday, November 22, 1-6pm
Arts & Craft Press
2515-B South Tacoma Way
The Arts & Crafts Press, founded in 1996 by Bruce Smith and Yoshiko, would like to announce the GRAND OPENING of their new space in the historic 1929 “Tillicum Toy Company” building where they’re excited to have a printery, Yoshiko’s blockprint studio, and a small showroom where you can browse and shop from their collection of note cards, prints, books, mugs, and tiles based on Yoshiko’s designs.
Come see their beautiful antique printing presses dating from the 1890s to the 1950s, enjoy hot apple cider, a few delicious nibblies catered by Yellow Bird Catering, and local microbrew beer by Wingman Breweries. During your visit, you can try your hands at printing on one of the presses, but be warned, you might catch the printing bug like Yoshiko and Bruce did 20 years ago! It is highly contagious!
Based in the Pacific Northwest, the Arts & Crafts Press is a small letterpress printing studio. They began as a publishing house concerned with the historic Arts and Crafts movement, working with the belief that art is not an object, it is a way of life. “We strive to create things of beauty by using our head, our heart, and our hands.”
Growing up in Tokyo, Yoshiko first studied sculpture at Tama Art University in Japan, and then, after moving to California, studied music and modern American and Japanese history at the University of California, Berkeley. Yoshiko taught herself (with the help of wonderful mentors) the craft of letterpress block printing, and in 1996 co-founded The Arts & Crafts Press with her husband Bruce Smith.
On her process Yoshiko states “For my limited edition prints, I first sketch flora and fauna I find either in America or in Japan — anything from fir trees, pines, maples, and poppies, to heron, koi fish, and crickets –and then after multiple drawings and watercolors I begin cutting the blocks. Sometimes I work with wood blocks, usually cherry, and other times, I choose linoleum blocks. I also use hard polymer plates for some of the color blocks. I then take these blocks and plates, printing each color separately on a Vandercook printing press, using as many as twenty blocks per print to achieve the desired effect.”
The Arts & Crafts Press was accepted into Spaceworks Tacoma in February 2014 and after receiving training, technical assistance and marketing support, they are now a proud graduate of the Spaceworks Creative Enterprise Program. During this time Yoshiko and Bruce were able to identify a space and sign a lease on their own. Spaceworks is proud to support creative entrepreneurs like Yoshiko and Bruce as they launch exciting new businesses in Tacoma. Spaceworks Tacoma, a joint initiative of the City of Tacoma and the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, is designed to activate empty storefronts and vacant space in Tacoma.