WeMake is teaming up with the talented folks at Magnetic North to bring you our final discovery workshop of 2012. Mark your calendars for Friday, November 9th and join us in making a collective screen-printed poster! There will be a studio tour, hand lettering demos, and you will learn how to create a silkscreen project from start to finish.
Magnetic North has a really creative idea for this workshop. Everyone who comes will get to help create a collaborative silkscreened poster based on the theme, “What inspires you to create?”
We’ll each make a small drawing (it can be hand-lettered, an illustration, doodles, almost anything!) about what inspires us. Each person’s artwork will be combined into one collective poster design. The Magnetic North team will walk us through the silkscreen process using this design as a demo.
We’ll learn about exposing an image onto a screen, the type of equipment and ink being used, and then finally the actual printing process. At the end of the night you’ll have a one-of-a-kind poster to take home created by you and your fellow makers.
There will also be screens set up for you to get hands-on and print an item of your own. Bring a cotton t-shirt, tote bag, or any small item you’d like to print on.
About Magnetic North
Magnetic North has been actively involved with the design community since their grand opening in May. You may have seen some of their work recently with Design Week Portland and our Put a Bird In It auction. Paul Searle had a chance to film the team working on their birdhouses last month.
I had the opportunity to speak with Mary Kate, Fred, and BT recently and I was curious about the people and ideas behind Magnetic North.
What is Magnetic North?
It is a studio where we can make our work, but this space has also created its own identity that really explored in our retail shop. We’re new, but we’re looking forward into the future. We want to develop a line of products and art that is Magnetic North.
How many people work here?
There are five of us, and the mustache wax company works out of here as well.
Mary Kate and I were actually looking to expand. We had our basement up and running as our print shop and then BT and Karen, who is our studio mate, were looking for a new place and it just seemed like the right time to do it. We looked at probably eight or nine other spaces in different parts of the city but we were looking for something that had character. Something that had been used as a different space like an old gas station.
This used to be an old auto body shop. We have a tiny retail space and we get people who come in who are doing really cool things. They’re so excited that we’re here.
What is it about Portland that you find exciting as far as the design community, and how do you see yourselves fitting in there?
I think what’s exciting to me is that it is so much of a community. In other places people are doing their own thing. But here there’s so much collaboration, or at least friendly vibes amongst the people. Everyone’s so excited to share what they’re working on and you can’t help but be inspired.
People get excited about it. That’s the whole reason we came out here. It seems like the place to be creative in the US right now. I think coming from the east coast it was sort of night and day the way that people look at creatives and artists. Here people respect you and they see the value of art. In addition to the community of great makers and artists, there is also a buying community that supports and values the creatives and allows them to thrive.
What inspires you? What are your sources of inspiration for design?
I always like vintage design. Vintage advertising, the overly decorative lettering and things like that.
I’ve been working a lot as a sign painter these days. My inspiration is similar to Mary Kate’s but I focus on a lot more on incredibly simple, almost industrial typography. That works well with sign painting.
I’m inspired by the vintage, the industrial, and the same as these guys which is why we found ourselves here. That’s really what Magnetic North is. We kicked around about 30 different names. We were talking about signs and the idea of direction and guiding, as well as this old-world craftsman field. BT said “Magnetic North” we were like “That’s it!” The revival of hand-craftsmanship is what inspires me.
Our workshop this fall is about screen printing. What is it about printing that gets you excited and that you want people to take away from the workshop?
It is a skill that you can learn quickly and inexpensively on a really small scale. I started out in my parent’s garage and then I when we moved to Portland we were living in a one-bedroom apartment and I was working out of a closet.
Teaching people and getting them excited about starting a small-scale operation is really liberating, really empowering. You can do it with little start-up money and space.
Save the Date: November 9th
Keep an eye out for more details and info about registration. Thanks for making this such an amazing year to be a Portland designer/maker/artist/person. We can’t wait to wrap up the year with this exciting workshop. See you there!