Artist: Sam Hirst
Location: Northern CA
Web sites: Inklore Design, Inklore
What do you create?
I create a line of block printed/stenciled housewares and accessories for you, your home, and for little ones.
How did you come up with your business name?
My husband and I were brainstorming all the words we could think of that had to do with printmaking and came up with ink(almost everything I make has a bit of ink on it) and lore (I still think we came up with this to represent the "traditional" technique I use but he says it was for the "story" behind the items) ink+lore= inklore
When and why did you decide to start your business?
I stumbled on an article about Galbraith and Paul a few years ago and was intrigued by the art form of block printing, so I went out and bought a beginner's set of materials and used them to make my own Christmas cards. Over the next few years I started reading some design/craft blogs and really wanted to find more time for making things, but my children were small and I was working part-time from home. When my part-time job went away and my kids were finally a bit older, I decided to support my new passion for block printing by starting a business. I still get giddy when Inklore buys the supplies for a new project.
Where do you get your inspiration for your projects?
Most of my ideas come from my own backyard. Many of my prints are from plants in my own yard or things I use everyday in my home. I really try to create items that are functional or practical, so many times an idea comes from a need for something in my own home. Right now I'm working on a new product that was inspired by one of my daughter's drawings. I've turned her drawing into a print which will be on a new item for Inklore kids very soon.
Which of the tools you use is your favorite?
Definitely my carving tools, though toothpicks are a close second.
What part of your process do you enjoy the most?
My favorite part of the process is carving a new print and then printing it for the first time. Watching a print come to life still amazes me.
What would be a dream project that you’d love to work on?
I would love to have the space to block print lengths of fabric. My first inspiration, Galbraith and Paul still inspires me.
What advice would you give to someone starting a creative business?
I think you really have to have a passion for what you're doing, and a lasting passion. And then, don't be afraid to tell people about what you're doing. Not everyone will love it, but someone will!
What's the most important thing you'd like people to know/understand about your work?
I would love for people to know just how hands-on it really is. The carving of a new print is slow, methodical, almost meditative, but printing is physical, sometimes exhausting. The artist literally touches every bit of what you see when you see a block print.
What have you learned about yourself through your work?
As I was growing up, my mom always told me that I was artistic, and I always argued with her. Since starting Inklore, I've had to admit that she was right, and I find that my well of creativity is deep enough to keep going...
If you had the time, what new craft/medium would you like to learn or use?
I don't have the time, but I'm still going to learn how to screen print. Sometimes my ideas are too big for block printing, at least in the space I have, so I need to learn screen printing to get those ideas out.
What is your go-to snack?
Chocolate, only dark chocolate, and peanuts (but no peanut butter, please)
Thank you Sam!