Thursday, May 13, 2010

homemade james

So I decided to make some labels for my canned goods. I think it sums me up pretty well. The thing I like most about the design is the space to write the name of the jam or pickles and number them as well, something I stole from Hudson Whiskey (very good on the rocks).

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

press on press action

The Bold Italic is an experiment in local discovery. Or that's what they say in their "About Us" section.

Anyway, Sarah Rich, a writer for BI stopped by H!L a couple weeks ago. I showed her the ropes and presses and this is her story....

Maybe one day I'll be a famous pressman.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


What you see here is my old Raleigh Tourist and a Schwinn Breeze. I assume that they're both from the 1960's but identifying by the serial numbers is a bit hazy. The Raleigh was in bad shape when I got it but I fixed it up good. Some black enamel paint, rust remover, a new reflector, frame pump, and brake pads and it's as good as new.
Those are rod brakes (not very practical on frisco's steep hills) and a "money-bag pannier" handmade by myself.
Valerie's awesome Bern helmet. (matches her bike perfectly)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


fresh from the deli, straight to your mouth

Sunday, December 27, 2009

the oven

This range might be the reason why I chose to live in this apartment.

It's a circa 1955 40" double oven Wedgewood. The built in griddle is not to shabby for making pancakes on and the crumb catches make for an easy clean up.

When we first moved in the pilot lights were keeping the whole kitchen a good 20º hotter than the rest of the flat and making our gas bill sky rocket. So we turned off half the stove but it can still be lit by matches.

Now if I could only sync the oven temp with the dial this would be my dream stove.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

end of a season

To mark the end of the sailing season for the schooner I volunteer on, Alma, I letterpress printed a drawing I did of the boat and the bridge.

Originally an ink drawing, I scanned and made polymer plates of them. They're two color and printed on Manifesto's cotton rag paper with a trusty Heidelberg Windmill.

Hopefully I can sell them at the Maritime Store at the pier.

signed edition of 50

Friday, October 30, 2009

complex video

Friend and old classmate, Abby Uhteg attended an artist's book residency at the Women's Studio Workshop in Rosendale, NY. She made an edition of books using etching, letterpress and handmade paper.
I enjoyed her photos as she posted them, but it turns out she took so many she compiled them in sort of a stop motion video of the construstion of her book, "The Complex of All Things".
And here's the moving picture reel,

Sunday, October 25, 2009

the poor man's art

I just saw a great documentary at the Roxy about Amos Kennedy , Jr. who is a letterpress printer. It was part of the SF Doc Fest (a documentary film festival) which is my first time attending a film festival. It was great having the director and Amos there answering questions at the end of the film.

Funny story, I was deciding on going to this film the other day and discussing it with my coworkers when it just so happens Amos walks into Hello Lucky and tells us to come to his movie and hands us some beautiful prints.

I really have to agree with his with his whole theory that selling prints for cheap is the gateway drug for collecting art. It makes people more interested in art knowing they can afford something that is handmade by an artist.

Well here's the short that was released before the full length documentary, enjoy.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

a set of 4

I printed these for my partner in crime, Anna.

Done on Hello Lucky's Windmill, using Holyoke Paper Co.'s Cotton Rag paper. I was able to get some deep impression because of the softness of the paper and my use of soft packing behind the tympan (A combination of mylar, tracing, and letterhead).

Edition of 50, each hand signed and numbered by the designer and printer.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

a perfect city

I love this article that David Byrne wrote for The Wall Street Journal. I always wondered what would make a perfect city myself and I think he explains it well.

Excerpt on size,

A city can't be too small. Size guarantees anonymity—if you make an embarrassing mistake in a large city, and it's not on the cover of the Post, you can probably try again. The generous attitude towards failure that big cities afford is invaluable—it's how things get created. In a small town everyone knows about your failures, so you are more careful about what you might attempt. Every time I visit San Francisco I ask out loud "Why don't I live here? Why do I choose to live in a place that is harder, tougher and, well, not as beautiful?" The locals often reply, "You don't want to live here. It looks like a city, but it's really a small village. Everyone knows what you're doing" Oh, OK. If you say so. It's still beautiful."

Thursday, September 3, 2009

intense printing

Exhibit A: 4 color invitation, front and back with score and perforation.

Heidelberg Windmill... check

pantone colors... check


thanks to Anna Hurley for the amazing photos, you truly are a great letterpress pornographer

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I just got these shoes yesterday to go with my new suit. I was having some trouble finding nice dress shoes that weren't generic and ones that were interesting but not expensive.
I came across these little guys at the Ben Sherman store here in SF. They had what I was looking for, in terms of shoes.
Interesting distressed shiny leather that updates the look of the traditional oxford. Low in the ankle which works well with the suit trousers. Throw in an old time toe cap and I fell in love. Originally $152 they were on sale for $50, not bad.
You can find them here.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

scissor fight!

Max and I at Hello Lucky show that you need to trust your coworkers with your life.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Magazine cover for Über
This faux magazine is a fashion quarterly that highlights dirt, grime and eruo-trash styles.
Created using metal shavings a stencil and iron oxide powder on levi's.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

meat my plants

I have a great fondness of all things green and growing. As a caretaker of some interesting plants I have come to appreciate the subtleties of growing a tropical fern right next to a desert loving succulent. Let's take a tour of my "garden"

To your right is a great big Staghorn Fern. I got it as a Christmas present from Paxton's Gate here in the Mission. To water the behemoth I stick it in the shower once a week and feed it with Dyna Grow 7-9-5. Deer hoof in the background is for scale.

Next is a A. crispafolium or ‘Lasagna Fern’. I got this one from Macy's flower sale. It's another leviathan that enjoys humid air and mid sunlight levels. I like to think the Staghorn and Lasagna are good friends, since they both require the same care and are like species.

Here we have a Pitcher plant, basil, Japanese Aloe, a mystery orchid (a gift but it hasn't flowered yet so I'm not to sure what kind it is yet). In the background is two cacti, but I don't know what kind they are either.
The basil plant is a great addition to any kitchen as well as the pitcher plant (discourages any fruitflies). The aloe is edible and is great in smoothies and I heard is extremely good for you. It doesn't taste like anything and when you skin it it takes a slimy jellyfish texture, kinda gross.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

running away

I picked this print up from the Renegade Craft Fair. It's a great letterpress print from Cindy Tomczyk. The wood type used for this print was used from the archive at Hamilton Wood Type Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. I've always wanted to visit there although I never really wanted to go to Wisconsin.
The print stood out for me because of the wood type used and the phrase. You know what they say though, "The grass is always greener on the other side."

Monday, August 3, 2009

Duchess and me

I received my new suit from Duchess last Monday and I have been itching to wear it around town. It's a beautiful constructed suit. There's pockets galore inside the jacket. The trousers fit like a glove and have hidden suspender buttons. The style is what they call the Atticus, it's a suit inspired by the high lapels and semi high waisted trousers of the 1930's suits.

The tie is a new edition from American Rag. I'm not really a fan of skinny ties but this one caught my eye with the olive green silk, and you tie it just right a gold fleur de lis will lie dead center and create a faux tie pin.

I had a great time in Lafayette Park with Jane on the camera. I think I might have turned some heads. {The infamous Danielle Steel's house to your right}.

This lining is a silk gold paisley print that was custom on my suit. I think the color of the gold the the grey herringbone work well with each other. It always gives me a surprise when I take off my jacket.

I plan to buy a pair of wingtipped oxfords since there's sometimes when the cuffs of the trousers catch on my beloved ankle boots.

Friday, July 31, 2009

dead animals and pith helmets

If you haven't seen this article in the New York Times entitled "The New Antiquarians" you should check it out. The slideshow is worth the price of admission.

For more information about those two sisters,
Hollister and Porter Hovey, you can check out their blog right here.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

busyness cards

These are my business cards. Designed and photographed by my friend Anna Hurley and printed by me. They are a work of art, and you should frame one if you are lucky enough to ever receive one.

Double-sided, on curry cardstock printed on a Heidelberg Windmill.

Friday, July 24, 2009

a bit anal

This is the set-up of my tools on the side of my press. The other guys think it may be overkill, but I always know if they borrowed something without asking.
The List, (from top right moving left)
1. rubber band ball
2. loupe
3. swatch samples
4. paper finger (attachment for press)
5. guide clips
6. guide with homemade paper clip
7. Quoin key
8. Calculator
9. shears
10. pica pole
11. buffalo horn bone folder
12. screwdriver, flat head
13-16. assorted wrenches
17. x-acto knife
18. NA Graphics Star Makeup Rule

Thursday, July 23, 2009

sea chanty posters

I recently collaborated with two of my coworkers and amazing designers Anna Hurley and Shauna Leytus, from Hello!Lucky on these posters. I gave them a line from one of my favorate chanties and they interpreted to their own whim.
Both are letterpress, the smaller three color was done on my usual Heidelberg Windmill and the other was done on a Vandercook No.4.
I put them up for sale at the Renegade Craft Fair this weekend and they did pretty well.
The posters are for a sea chanty that happens every first saturday of the month aboard the Balclutha at Hyde St. Pier. See you there!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Saddle bag

I just did a trade with my friend Shayna Brown. Shes a wonderful designer, post production whiz, and a very talented crafter.
She came up with the design of her business card which I letterpressed and in return she made me this awesome saddle bag for my bike.
I love the woven faux leather fabric, big buttons and strap that attches it to the seat post, but my favorite thing about it is the embroidered patch. It makes me feel like I'm some sort of WWI RAF pilot.
Thank you Shayna.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


woodcut on japanese paper

Initially part of my senior thesis, this print hawkens back to a 1930's schoolbook on animals I saw. Having grown up on a farm and raised by depression era ethics of my grandparents, I immediately connected to the image. I added the light blue evergreens on the bottom to show my favorate tree growing up, the blue spruce. The trees also give the bull scale making it appear to be Babe, the blue ox. The title Lumber is given right on the print to remind the veiwer of the technique (a woodcut), the subject matter (Babe and trees), and the raw materials of what went into this print.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

How to get on the Sartorialist

Thought this was a very clever way to claim a spot on the Sartorialist's hallowed blog.

Monday, July 13, 2009


I spotted this fashion shoot on another blog.
I would like to think volunteering on the Alma is this fashionable, but reality it's way too cold and dirty for what they're wearing and you're thinking too much about what to do next to look so damn good.

The Alma

The Alma in the foreground at the recent wooden boat show in Tiburon, CA. I've been volunteering on her for about four months now, taking tourists around the bay every Saturday.

As built in 1891, Alma was a typical flat-bottomed, square-ended scow 59 feet in length, with a 22.6-foot beam, and a 4-foot depth of hold. Alma's registered tonnage was 41 gross and 39 net.[1] Alma carried two masts, schooner-rigged, with a single main-top-mast. Alma was average in size, but she was unusual in that, unlike many of the scow schooners then built on the bay, she had a cross-planked bottom. This construction, requiring heavier scantlings, may have contributed to her longevity

Follow the link for some more info,

Saturday, July 4, 2009


Visiting my friends and family on the Jersey Shore. I'll be here till the 12th of July. See you around.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I made this bird helmet/mask for a masquerade party at 111 Minna for this coming thursday the 25. The mask solves the problem I always have of fitting a mask over my glasses, in a very clever way if I say so myself. See you there.
All original artwork is © James Tucker 2009. All other content is licecnced under Creative Commons, unless otherwise noted. Thank you.