Thursday, 2 July 2009
Jackie from Forever Foxed has been kind enough to write a short piece about her inspiration behind her product and her preferred printing type.
My journey into crafts has taken a long and winding road. I have a love of bright colours and simple shapes, therefore it seemed a natural progression to combine my love of terriers and my obsession with design.
My first greeting cards were made with felt and harked back to my childhood memories of playing with fuzzy felt and also that familiar childhood toy, a dog on wheels. I soon decided to expand into different mediums and from here I discovered the joys of printing. The inspiration for my designs is my Wire Fox Terrier, Jackson. In 2007 he became very ill and so I found I spent more time at home caring for him. Making cards helped as a creative release and also to generate some cash for his humongous vet bills! Since Jackson is a rescue dog, it seemed fitting to also try and raise funds for various Fox Terrier rescue organisations here in the UK and the USA. With this in mind, I introduced a range of charity photo cards in 2008 based on my growing collection of dog on wheels toys.
I have always been fascinated by the printmaking process and last year I was fortunate enough to pick up a gocco here in the UK. These Japanese printers were originally designed in the 1970s and were hugely popular. Each image is imprinted onto special screens using flash bulbs, similar to those used in old cameras. The screens are then inked and used to produce cards or prints. Unfortunately, the manufacturers of these machines have stopped production and so eventually supplies of screens and bulbs will dry up. I have already begun looking for a new method of printmaking and, at the end of last year, I bought a small letterpress printer from eBay. With this I can use type or blocks to create images which are "pressed" into paper, leaving a lovely crisp impression. True letterpress is a dying art and highly skilled. I have been fortunate enough to have lessons from a very kind expert who has been showing me the ropes. I hope to finish my new range of letterpress stationery over the summer. I still enjoy using conventional printing methods (much quicker!) but there is something much more satisfying (and tactile) in relief printing.
I have had my own website for a while now, but I also sell on both Etsy and Folksy. Sales have been slow on Folksy but I am happy to be selling in UK£ as it is much more convenient. I hope that by continued marketing and just plugging away that it will pay off. Marketing has become almost a full time job as I have accounts on Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and I also have 3 blogs! I 'm planning to expand into other areas apart from stationery and badges and hope that in 5 years time I have a range of products, featuring many more terrier breeds.
In the meantime, I shall continue my journey into printmaking, and hope that each new design continues to meet with Jackson's approval.