Print Club Boston

American Made Since 2013

Elizabeth Corkery

Somerville, Massachusetts
We are an online source for limited edition silkscreen prints. Our prints are released as series and are all handmade in our small studio.
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Tell us about your business.

Print Club Boston was born out of my desire to create a place for screenprint in my daily art practice. As a recent fine art graduate, I looked to ways I could translate some of my conceptual concerns to smaller, less production-heavy prints that could then be made available online. It is important to me that the prints have a thematic cohesion and all be produced by hand. I never want to them to be mindlessly mechanical or materiality indifferent, but rather a beautifully tactile object for the home. I’ve kept them accessibly priced so they could be enjoyed by a diverse range of print lovers. I have released two series of prints so far and I’m excited for the collections to become more collaborative. I see the business evolving to be a point of connectivity between other artists and makers. Through travel, project collaborations, special events and social media I’ve been able to begin a process of cultivating a global creative community around Print Club that will continue to grow.

Tell us about your workspace, shop, or studio.

All of our prints are currently handmade in a sunny, bay-windowed room at the front of my home in Somerville, MA. Printers are notorious for their fastidious cleanliness and organization and our studio doesn't differ much from this! In addition to plenty of flat, clean surfaces for printing and a space to pin up work and inspiration, I like to keep inspiring books close to my workspace. At the moment I'm often looking at a catalog from the Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace and a wonderful book by Penny Sparke called The Modern Interior. Our hope for Print Club Boston is to expand our studio through establishing a community screenprinting shop. This facility would provide open access and workshops for printers around Boston. It would also be a meeting place and a creative hub, hosting talks, exhibitions, visiting printers and special printing events.

What inspires you?

Theatrical stage sets, David Hockney’s etchings, symmetry and grids, museum period rooms, libraries, birdcages and glasshouses. Travel. A particularly decorative cornice or architectural flourish, linen-bound books and beautiful graphic design, planning dinner parties and playing host to lively discussions between friends. Los Angeles. Events and environments that engage all the senses, contemporary art shows hung in gilded interiors. Flowers – any and all. Trompe l’oeil and optical illusion. Other artists and makers who are spending their days doing what they love and sharing that commitment with the world around them.

What makes your business stand out?

A guiding principle behind a lot of the decisions I’ve made thus far has been community. Printmaking has always been a practice based in connectivity and collaboration and this is something I always look to draw on. From the beginning, I have kept a portion of each printed edition available for a ‘print swap.’ Swappers can get in touch to propose an exchange of a good or service and their print comes free of traditional charge. This neighborly gesture is truly in the spirit of print’s history of dissemination and exchange. It has also become one of the most fulfilling aspects of our business and has both fostered lasting friendships with fellow Bostonians and connected us with makers in locations as diverse as Croatia and Australia. Additionally, I would highlight the specific materiality of the work as a unique aspect of the business. The prints are all produced with many generations of longevity in mind, using handmade, archival cotton paper and high-quality non-toxic ink.

What advice would you give an aspiring creative entrepreneur?

To never waiver from their original impulse to make things. Quality, authenticity, and commitment never move in and out of style and they will always provide a sense of direction for all business decisions. I would also say that the actual process of making should never feel like mere labor, there is an engaging of the mind through the act of making – thinking and feeling are contained within that process and it is those active times that plans and ambitions can be crystalized. Be frank in identifying weaknesses & proactive in approaching them, whether through honing a technical skill or developing a business strategy. I would also emphasize the need for connection. When one is getting started it can feel like a lonely endeavor, however there are an increasing number of ways to connect to your local and global community of creative entrepreneurs. Never shy away from getting in touch with people you admire, in my experience this kind of action has only been met with shared enthusiasm.

What does American Made mean to you?

It places great value in the intimate connection between hand and head. American Made is not just about making, but also about inspiring. Both inspiring a new generation of Americans to similarly take up the drive to produce beautiful, high quality goods but also to inspire and bind together those who are making purchases to value what they put in their home and bring into their lives; to buy less but value more. Objects and products that are made by hand give people a connection to a material reality – these are made by another person, a person taking great pride in their work. This connection lends itself to a feeling of collectivism; engaged Americans purchasing and valuing the work of other creative Americans.

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    Oct. 17, 2014

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