Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Last minute shopping for last minute posting preview!

Howdy friends - I hope the season is treating you well -

We've been busy making a few things this fall yet to see the site, but if you see something here that you'd like for a gift etc - let me know and I'll get you setup!

 I'm really excited about the Union Station print. There are only a handful of these available in a few variations.

A quick preview of  some of the pie throw prints

Oh and the Chocolart bars are back in season!!!
Olive and Sinclair Chocolate wrapped with handmade prints
$15 plus the shipping 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Technicolor transmissions

We are always trying new things here in the Isle of Printing color theory lab. Case in point - the new Circa Survive letterpress print.  Here we have 4 colors mixing on the paper to create many more...WHOA wait a go science!!!!!! We are always pleased when something we learned in art school turns out to be useful.

Dredg fans sorry we made your favorite Band so very tiny - design over function sometimes we hate to say. (well really we don't)

Not many extras did we make - signed numbered and limited to 100 prints 16 1/2" x 23"

$35 on the old web-a-saurus 
get yours or get squared 

H Kneesch 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

This is what you have been waiting for!

Attention loyal patrons and meandering roustabouts within the reaches of our electric beams...

Isle of Printing – INVITES, CAJOLES and CHALLENGES every able bodied man, woman and child of the vaunted and proud city of Nashville and all regions beyond its borders - to participate in our 151st annual OLD FASHIONED PIE THROW

In a tradition older than time itself...

SEE the spectacle unfold.  CHALLENGE  your senses and TEST your skills.  

Prizes awarded.  Accurate advice given.  No prior experience necessary!!!

NOVEMEBR 6th 2010
Between the hours of 6 and 9 o'clock 

Find us in the historic Downtown Arcade at number 79  – Nashville Tenn.  Betwixt  space/time and 4th and 5th Avenues of the Arts - second floor - Blend Studio. 

First come, first served – no early admittance.  $5 dollars cash to participate – gawking and loitering allowed at no charge to you.

Both the public and press are welcome – no spitting allowed.  Anyone with a working accordion and knowledge of its use is also encouraged to attend.

Please send a self addressed stamped envelope to 520 Ash ST. NASHVILLE, TENN 37203 for a list of all current and pertinent rules, regulations and admissible hand signals of the 2010 OLD FASHIONED PIE THROW. All rights reserved – no animals were harmed in the making of this advertisement.

Yours truly 
Hiram Kneesch

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Black Keys as seen through our eyes

Well friends – We are very excited to be presenting the latest Black Keys poster this weekend in Tulsa.  In a rare bit of foresight, I had our shop historian take a few pictures of the process as we hurtled towards completion.  Thanks be to the documentarian!  If you are interested we put a large pic of the poster at the end of the post.

While making this print it occurred to me that the process we use to make prints is a reflection of our values at IOP or maybe it is the other way around.   I always tell people that we are an environmentally conscious company because we try not to make useless crap.  Let’s face it -  there are faster ways to make an image appear on a piece of paper than carving 4 blocks, setting 500 individual pieces of lead type and running them all through a press one color at a time.  Knowing how much effort it takes to make it happen keeps us honest and it sure keeps us from tossing off a half-baked idea just for the hell of it.  You will have to be the judge yourself I suppose.

I hope you enjoy our little show and tell of the process of turning an idea into a genuine letterpress show poster

These prints will be on sale at the show on Sunday and here on our site Monday morning. Signed Limited edition of less than 180, 4 color hand carved letterpress posters size 26”x16” – don’t be slow or you might have to cry yourself to sleep this week.  


The historian didn’t take any pictures of me dreaming this print up so I will describe the gist of it.  Basically we draw and draw and draw – while you are asleep – we are drawing – while you are at the bar we are drawing – then we have a great idea and all is right with the world.
After that…….

We generally sketch out the ideas in pencil – from there the image is sized up to the actual dimensions and transferred to tracing paper.  Here we are transferring the drawing to the linoleum from which we will cut the plates out of later– one plate per color.

Here is what linoleum carving looks like – if you have any ideas of what we can do with all the lino shavings IOP creates send us a note on a twenty dollar bill.  Dogs love to eat them for some reason – but I do not approve.

On to printing - after we carve all the blocks (in this case 4) we glue them onto wood and print each color one poster at a time on our Vandercook proofpress.  Generally we start with the lightest colors first.  

Mixing colors

pink is next

Our print with 2 colors

The press helps us register the prints – that is - it keeps the image printing in the same place on every poster so that we can be assured that each color will line up with the next one.

Then we did two more colors but the historian had gone home by then so there are no pictures of that. 

After the lino blocks are printed I set the type.  We are using both wood type and lead type on this print.  Some of the type is at least 100 years old.  Crazy! 

 As you can see everything is reversed on the press – a necessary function of the process – we all can read backwards very well – as you would expect the Da vinci code proved no challenge for us (save the Italian aspect) 

There is no spell check on the press but I wish there was….

After the last color we set the posters aside to dry and then sign and number them.  After that we go out for cocktails and milkshakes.

Thanks Mr Gutenberg

Hooray for Printing!

Hope you enjoy the prints – give us a shout if you have any questions and we will see you on Monday!

A few more detail shots of the final product

Thursday, July 22, 2010

If a tree fell and nobody blogged about it would you still hear about it on twitter?

This last weekend IOP took a much needed break from digitizing the last 4 years of our lives and watched a movie. Little did I consider that the film would in fact revolve around the very same concept. If you haven’t seen it - the movie Julie and Julia is about how writing a blog can destroy everything it touches – including people, books and food from the past.

Luckily since we employ no professional writers here - the titanic powers of the blog are muted at best, but the movie still left me with a self-loathing ennui that only someone with a blog can truly fathom. After all as the movie proved thoroughly via fiction- today we can blog it, photograph it and lay it out so nicely - but who or what going to put substance into our lives? Titans of the past? Us? LOL cats?

Since we at IOP have not done much to destroy culture in the past few years – I spent a little time thinking about where the true blame might fall.

Who made the idea of typing some nonsense on the computer equal to saving a life or translating French cooking into a vernacular Americans could understand?

Who indeed …and then it came to me in a flash – I know the first time I saw someone pecking out their most intimate thoughts onto the glowing screen of a computer monitor. I know who encouraged us all to take the grand events of a real life and encapsulate it into a few quips to never fade away. Season after season he brought us closer to the brink of mass self projection and perhaps we should recognize him now for what he has done.

Doogie Howser brought us the blog and thus perhaps our ruin.

I trusted him - we all did - because he after all was a genius child doctor.

Now I just don’t know what to think every time I read:
  • A blog about Japanese biker gangs riding vintage American motorcycles in Japan posted in American blogs about Old school motorcycling in America.
  • A blog linking to a site offering us all the ability to dress EXACTLY like Mel Gibson in the Road Warrior.
  • A blog about someone’s house - on the other side of the planet - that is way cooler than your house will ever be.

Frankly it scares me – Why? Because I love it all too much and I think you might feel the same way.

Perhaps as penance we should ask Neil Patrick Harris to write & sing us a song about the heavy burden of the invention of blogging

Perhaps that would ease the imbalance I sense in the universe.

Hiram Kneesch *transcribed from a text via Bruce McClure

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Process of chocolate

If you haven’t tried Olive and Sinclair’s chocolate yet here in Nashville you really should. Over the last two years we have had to do a lot of “product research” as we worked on creating packaging befitting such an awesome local product.
Here are a few shots of the process:

Early sketches as we worked on creating the original wrapper designs – Since eating chocolate is pretty fun we tried to convey that same feeling in the artwork.

Possibly the first incarnation of the design

Working out the details

Early color version

One of the final team effort production versions based on our art

A few shots of the hand printed boxes we helped design for O & S to use as both packaging and display. In the spirit of multiple reuses - the boxes will soon feature prints on the bottom of the boxes to keep after all the chocolate has been sold.
More to see soon! Check out the O&S website and blog here

Be your own Genie

Two Etsy sales and climbing!

For every parent that thinks art school is a road to ruin I like to think there is a shop like ours proving them wrong. Follow your dreams - if you dare – life doesn’t last nearly as long as you think it might.
Remember buying a print is like granting a wish.

OKAY - my personal hover craft is waiting– gotta split!

Hiram Kneesch

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

If Sherraden uses a computer I guess we better try it too

Hello my friends – fear not – contrary to what our recent internet posts would have you believe - time did not in fact stop on May 21, 2010. It is still rolling ever forward.

Hooray !!!

And though no blog was updated or picture uploaded, things have been cooking on in our little corner of the universe. IOP has rejoined the electronic front of 21st century in force! – we invite you to look for many new things to see in our website and on our fancy new ETSY site?! And there is more still to come. Stacked up and waiting for final approach are about 3 or four years worth of goings on in our little shop...

So stay tuned, stay sweet and stay our facebook friend forever and ever and ever

Until Hiram shows up -
Your loyal servant

B McClure

Friday, May 21, 2010

Giving never tasted so sweet! Show ‘em you care!

Hello Friends and Neighbors.
If you are a Nashvillian, you know how hard the recent biblical style flood has hit many folks. My cohorts at Olive and Sinclair I want to show our support for our community, as well as raise some cash for those in need.

Thus the Bail Out Bar was born.

In the tradition of our previous collaborations of art and chocolate, each handcrafted chocolate bar comes wrapped in a handmade limited edition print from our shop. It is a combination I think almost everyone can appreciate! Chocolate, art and the act of giving!

Think of it as stock in Nashville you can eat and a banner you can wave!

We hope that each bar can put a smile on someone’s face now and contribute to rebuilding our great city in the future.

Cost $10

50% of all proceeds will go straight to Hands on Nashville.

Currently available directly from Isle of Printing
Also at: Hatch Show Print, Alegria, Twist Art Gallery, and Mitchell’s Deli
(more retailers TBA - please check back)

Each 2.75 oz bar comes wrapped in a poster you can hang up to show folks we are in this together!

Give if you can and go help a neighbor if possible.

Many thanks for your help

email us at info(at) for more info or to place an order

Hiram Kneesch
Isle of Printing
Nashville, Tenn