Monday, June 21, 2010

Pearl & Marmalade Letterpress, Antique Wooden Letters

When picking a card to give someone, regardless of the occasion, we try to be extremely careful not to go too far down the cutesy route. The sheer amount of saccharin-sweet pussycats sleeping on dogs, or hiding in a toilet paper roll, or telling you to 'hang in there' is mind-numbing -- one begins to build up a tolerance for higher and higher amounts of this sweet stuff that normally would make your teeth hurt. Before you know it, you begin thinking that ducklings playing with kittens is 'edgy', that Garfield saying 'LASAGNA' is funny, and that cartoons of unhappy women with breasts sagging down to their knees is a perfectly acceptable - even funny - birthday card.

So we felt a bit like the legendary (albeit fictional) explorer Alan Quatermain unearthing some fabulous treasure when we discovered Pearl & Marmalade's distinctive line of letterpress cards and prints. Combining old-world style illustrations with a modern-day aesthetic, these cards turn baby announcements and birthday wishes into miniature pieces of hand-printed art, imbued with a sophistication born from the time-honored process used to create them.

As a matter of fact, the more study we did of what goes into making letterpress cards, the more enthralled we were with the process. So much so that when we found a few batches of 19th century letterpress letters available, we pounced on them like a polar bear on a seal pup. Containing a variety of fonts, letters, numbers and punctuation marks, digging through these antique wooden letters has become the thing to do when visiting the shop. Whether poring through them searching for a name, address, a good size "X" to rest one's coffee cup on, or just to hear the satisfying 'clickety-clack' as they rub together, we have to wonder just how long we'll be able to keep these pups in stock. We've made a portion of our Pearl & Marmalade collection available in our webshop, as for the letters, you'll have to come by the shop to see for yourself.

**Disclaimer: the Otherist takes no responsibilty for 19th century printing ink rubbing off on curious fingers. ☺

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Insect Lab, the return...

It's no secret that if there was a fire in the shop, and I was forced to save only a small number of items, first on my list would be these incredible pieces from artist Mike Libby. After what felt like eons of fantasizing on my part, last year we started stocking them in the shop, and happily our appreciation for these stunning, intricately modified specimens was shared by our customers. So much so that we are happy to announce a batch of new arrivals!

Along with replacements for the popular bumblebee and dragonfly, we also have three new beetles that have to be seen to be believed. As ever, the skill, creativity, and careful workmanship of Mr. Libby leaves me awestruck and salivating for more, like some character from one of J. R. R. Tolkien's tomes -- Smaug or Gollum, I'm unsure which. Am I the dragon, jealously guarding my horde of treasures while wearing too much in the way of jewelry? or a sad, obsessed, bug-eyed mutant who can't bear to let go of my 'Precious'? ... Or perhaps I'm just over-sharing? (...yes, I'm a nerd)

See our collection in the webshop - but to truly appreciate them, come check them out in person at our shop on the Leliegracht.