Department Store Vendor Interview | Print Club Boston

We have recently welcomed new vendors Print Club Boston to sell their gorgeous limited edition silkscreen print series via our online Department Store and we have embraced their love for all things print! Released as a series twice yearly, each collection of prints has a thematic cohesion and production. Run in small editions, the prints are accessibly priced and all handmade in a small studio in Somerville, MA. In addition, a portion of each print edition is kept available for a ‘print swap’ via Print Club Boston online. Swappers can propose an exchange of a goods or service and their print comes free of traditional charge, a neighbourly gesture we believe is in the spirit of print’s history of dissemination and exchange. The Club love to tackle new design and print projects so if you are interested in a potential collaboration with them do not hesitate to get in touch.

I had the opportunity to have a chat with Elizabeth Corkery from Print Club Boston and picked her brains to find out where her love for print originated, the value of printed products and what print means for both the creative and the consumer. Read the interview in full below…

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Can you tell us a little about your background and where your passion for print stemmed from?
I studied printmaking as an undergraduate in Sydney, Australia and I think from the beginning it really felt like the right fit. I’m always more prone to careful planning than outbursts of spontaneous inspiration in my practice and that is really printmaking to a tee!

What are the main influences on your work?
I can be inspired by a hugely diverse array of things, from other artists, to foreign architecture, garden design, textiles repeats. Anything can creep into a project if you’re open to letting it. 

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How do you approach new projects? What is your thought and production process?
For Print Club I keep a lot of folders of ideas for future print collections and I’ll add to them as I come across inspiring imagery. At some point or another I will delve back into one of the folders and start playing around with designs for the new screenprints which we release twice yearly as a series.

What has been your favourite or most rewarding print based project you have worked on so far?
Through Print Club I offer a “print swap” option where artist and makers can get in touch through the website to propose items or services for a swap rather than traditional purchase. This has been one of the most amazing aspects of running Print Club as a business as it has lead me to meet local Bostonians in person and forge lasting friendships, and it can connect me with artists in places as diverse as Russia, Croatia and Spain.

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What was it about the Department Store that made you want to be a part of it and sell your lovely prints/products?
I’m a long-time People of Print fan. I have always been enthusiastic about their aesthetics, values and their approach to expanding rather than narrowing what print and printmaking can mean. When they opened their online marketplace I knew they would bring a similarly discerning eye to the quality of work included and so I jumped at the opportunity to be involved. 

In your opinion what is it about print that engages the audience/consumer?
Print doesn’t seem to separate itself from its audience. I think because of its tradition as a means of disseminating imagery or words, it almost feels like the art of the people! I enjoy making prints by hand but in a large enough volume that they can be kept accessibly priced and hopefully enjoyed by a diverse range of art-lovers.

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As you know the latest issue of our Print Isn’t Dead magazine, (Element 003) is focused around the themes of customisation and instantaneous print processes, how do you think your work links to this? And if it doesn’t would you consider adding these elements to your work?
I think this is a really fascinating way to approach to idea of a periodical or journal, which has always been a format that are delivered information in a very singular, or prescribed way to readers. I think the idea that each copy could literally say something different to each person is so much fun. It also perhaps echoes what great art can do in a less obvious way – say something different to each person. 

How do you feel about customisation/personalisation of print or products from both a creative and consumers perspective?
For consumers I think it can be a double-edge sword, obviously there is the potential to get exactly what you want, which can be positive. However at times you don’t know what you want until you see it, until someone has taken the time to conceive of it and create it and by purchasing that print or product you are engaging and placing value in their thought process and practice. 

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What do you think adds a personal value to artwork/products/prints?
Value can be a tricky thing to articulate. In terms of products that I personally buy and prints I personally respond to it is a particular combination of being visually beautiful and well made. Knowing there was period of time when a person was concentrating on making this print or object you are now enjoying can be fulfilling feeling. 

What do you think is the most exciting thing/trend happening within the print based scene right now?
I really enjoy the increase in print-based events happening offline, in person. Events like Pick me Up in London, Supergraph in Melbourne, we were just at a multiples fair in Baltimore that was excellent. Handmade prints always benefit from being seen and experienced in person and so I hope this is a trend that continues to gather steam and there is an increasing amount of opportunities for people working in print to meet.

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What are your general thoughts and feeling towards digital printing currently?
Digital printing is only gaining in quality and sophistication which is obviously positive. I think the more people know about the autographic print process and the digital print process the easier it will be to acknowledge the value of both. One can’t replace the other in either way, Print Isn’t Dead has done a fantastic job so far in their issues of Element to highlight both ends of the spectrum and get people thinking about what it means to produce a printed publication in a new way.

If you could only pick one word to go on the front cover of our Element 003 magazine, what would it be and why?
People. Because that’s really what this issue is about, giving agency to people in a really unique way. 

Finally, what do you love doing in your spare time?
All the regulars! Travel, cooking, eating, seeing movies, going to galleries – all the good stuff!

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department-store.co/collections/print-club-boston
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Hannah Dawson

Hannah Dawson

Graphic designer and contributor at People of Print
Hannah Dawson

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About Hannah Dawson

Graphic designer and contributor at People of Print