Erika Ebert and I met in a crazy-tornado-warning rainstorm in Philadelphia where we were both vendors at the Art Star Craft Bazaar. I love that her designs are mainly inspired by antique paper ephemera. She is very generous with sharing her inspiration on her blog, and she has lots of beautifully styled shots of her various letterpress projects on her website. I strongly suggest you visit them, but first, read this Q&A.
1) How did you get into letterpress printing?
Life has a funny way of presenting itself over time. In my case of becoming a letterpress printer - the road was rather curved and roundabout. The simplest answer is that my sister asked me to make her wedding invites for her in 07 and that is how I got started. The more roundabout answer has something to do with my classical training as a fine artist from The Academy, the life-changing experience of becoming a Mom, the connection I found via craft blogs and flickr to people all over the world that inspires me, a trip to a paper store in Florence in '99, my family background of entrepreneurship, & wonderful friends and family.
2.) What inspires you these days?
My daughter is my endless source of inspiration. Because of her - and showing her the world - I spend a lot of time with my eyes open. In the woods, in the sky, on our home & with the important people in our lives. The changing seasons right now has an awesome amount of inspiration for me. Spring is my favorite season. I'm also reading a book about Beatrix Potter right now, and find her life and talent very inspiring. I am also really into looking through old books - on line or from my large collection - for ideas and inspiration. Now a lot of libraries have scanned their rare books and put them online, so have been researching libraries around the world - looking at their collections...very fun though sometimes I get sucked in for way too long.
3.) Tell us something you've made or done lately?
I have recently finished a Custom Wedding Invitation set for a couple here in Philadelphia. The bride and groom both love Philadlephia - with all of it's history, architecture, places to visit and wanted to incorporate that into their design. I absolutely love to do research, and decided that this was the perfect opportunity to visit a open to the public, but very much a hidden secret here in Philadelphia, The Athenaeum. I wrote a blog posting about the experience here . I'm also working on a lot of new designs - wedding invitations, new personal identity and everyday cards.
4.) Is there anything else we should know?
When I was 17 I was a cook at a local restaurant called LeBus - and was taught how to cut like a chef and sling sautée pans for 100s of people in one night. I pretty much love to cook - though I'm not as into baking. I would some day like to make my own bread every day, but haven't quite figured out the mystery that is yeast. I hardly ever making anything twice - and if I do it's never the same. And is it terrible to admit? but I look forward to my own meals and get excited about dinner. Thanks Eva for asking me to participate!
Her work is so inspiring! I definitely have a thing for pretty banners and crests. And I love the photos she takes...
Don't forget to visit her website. (You can link to her blog and her shop from there.)