Press Release (ePRNews.com) - Memphis, TN - Jul 08, 2016 - Avid readers now have a shop that caters to their love of literature with hand-pulled linocut prints of their favorite authors, quotes, and authors’ places. East Grove Studio is owned and operated by artist Sally Busby, an English teacher with Shelby County Schools in the greater Memphis region, and all pieces available for sale can be found at eastgrovestudio.com.
With over 14 years teaching literature to gifted students in the district, Sally has amassed a great love and knowledge of famous authors, such as Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe, Walt Whitman, and Emily Dickinson, among others. For materials, she uses linoleum and carving knives, along with water-based and soy-based inks, to create a mirror version of each author cut and dyed for gallery-worthy prints, buttons, bookmarks, and other items.
“I started doing this because I missed working in the darkroom with negatives,” she says. “Printmaking was always my favorite art medium in college because I saw it so closely connected to the photographic negative. In some odd ways, I felt it was the best creative outlet to connect three of my favorite things—photography, authors, and knitting. Yeah the knitting thing is really vague but I totally see it. With each cut into linoleum, inked linoleum print, and brush stroke, I feel I’m knitting connections between author and reader.”
Sally started East Grove Studio with the singular inspiration to connect readers to authors in the most unique and creatively artistic way as possible. “I made a list of just about 60 favorite authors,” she says. When I feel like it’s time, I choose an author. My first series is classic authors, but I’m halfway through my next 2 collections. Sometimes I listen to an audible book of the author or sometimes I listen to podcasts about the author while I’m working. I look at photographs of the author, or drawings if photos weren’t around in the author’s time period, and then I sketch out a reverse-image picture of the author. I carve the image and continually check the carving as I’m going—especially the eyes.”
It takes her around 2-8 hours to carve a linoleum, depending on the size and complexity. Prints take around 3 days to fully dry, and then comes the process of deciding the additional watercolor element on it. They can range from a color-wash background, to painting in gold earrings for Shakespeare. “I look forward to adding my next few author collections that are already planned,” she says. “I actually have playwrights, poets, and philosophers planned as well. Right now, I have some prints of my artwork on notebooks, which I love so much, along with bookmarks, stickers and buttons. Eventually, I’d like to have them on totes and mugs, as well. I want to give readers plenty of ways they can honor the book and celebrate the author in their lives.”
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