News / silkscreen

Summer 2018 Craft Fair Schedule

Summer 2018 Craft Fair Schedule

I am feeling SO very spring-sunshine-y this week, it's glorious! And that's got me thinking about this coming summer craft fair season... yay! I've cut back on my craft fair commitments now that we've got TWO little running, climbing, wild, mischievous and delightful assistants on our little team. It was always a lot of work to pull off a big craft fair when it was just me, but now that we've got two little kids to look after, it's a HUGE undertaking! Someday the kids will be older and they'll be thrilled to spend the occasional weekend away from us and we'll get back to doing more fairs then, but for now, they're only little once and it's hard to do too many big weekend commitments. So, just a few great events lined up for this summer:

Yarmouth Clam Festival, crafts area: July 20 - 22, Yarmouth, Maine

Ossipee Valley Music Festival: July 26 - 29, Hiram, Maine

Common Ground Country Fair: September 21 - 23, Unity, Maine

Come out and see us - these are all FANTASTIC events filled with amazing handmade goods, and I'm looking forward to each of them!

Also, check out Picnic Craft Fair on August 4th in Portland - we LOVE this one and always participate, but have to miss it this year for a very special wedding in New York. And if you're in Portland, absolutely go check out the Portland Fine Craft Show on August 25th. We'll be out of town for this one too, but it was awesome last year and I'm sure it will be a great showing again this time around!

Common Ground Fair rainbow

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Packaging Design

Packaging Design

Did you know this week was national packaging design day? I know it’s a small detail, but I’ve always been really proud of my product packaging and the design thought I’ve put into it. Simple, minimal and practical (and eco-friendly)! My pattern design style is always pretty elaborate, which means the packaging needs to stay understated - I think it's a nice balance. And nice packaging makes it easier to give them as a gift - wrapping and presentation is always part of the joy of giving and receiving!

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madelocalmonth: COLOR

madelocalmonth: COLOR

        

#madelocalmonth day 8: what’s my favorite color? ALL OF THEM! 🌈 but especially purple. 💜 I can’t resist the urge to make everything purple. Or violet, lilac, periwinkle, raspberry, mauve, maroon, lavender, heliotrope, grape, orchid, fuchsia, magenta, eggplant, amethyst, indigo, thistle, plum, every possible hue and shade of purple. Even my kids are dressed in purple, haha! 

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Big news - a new studio in the works!!

Big news - a new studio in the works!!

new print tables at the new studio

Morris & Essex is growing up and moving out of mom's house! With a growing business and a new baby on the way, I'm moving my silkscreen studio out of the house and into a new space. It's a great big space in the beautiful town of Cornish, Maine, just a few minutes away from home. Rumor has it that this building used to be the exhibit hall for the nearby fairgrounds. It's a gorgeous, antique building with tons of history, updated with solar panels and now with a beautiful big silkscreen studio coming together on the bottom floor. 

This weekend we finished building a printing table 20 FEET LONG(!) at the new studio. We have sinks, we have tables, we have shelves. Next, to build a bolt holder for all my fabric, and then a darkroom... So excited for this new chapter and for sharing a space with fellow screenprinter Ms. Sabrina of Think Greene. Onwards and upwards!

building new tables at the studio

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Holiday Craft Fair Schedule!

Holiday Craft Fair Schedule!

Can't lie, I'm actually pretty excited for the bonanza of holiday craft fairs coming up!! I know I always get exhausted and frazzled from all the madness, but I still love it! Happy shoppers, happy crafters, sweet holiday baked goods all day long, general atmosphere of festive cheer. I can't resist it!


Anyway, come say hello, see all the Morris & Essex goods in person (and find lots of other wonderful Maine-made goods) at one of these awesome upcoming events...

Fri-Sun, December 2, 3, 4 - Art on the Hill, East End School, Portland ME. https://www.facebook.com/events/611582425696462/?ti=icl

Sunday, December 11 - Picnic Portland, at the Portland Company complex on Fore Street. https://www.facebook.com/events/672355802927486/?ti=icl

Fri-Sun, December 16, 17, 18 - Fine & Funky Crafts at Fort Andross Mill in Brunswick. https://www.facebook.com/events/1855252624687143/?ti=icl

Saturday, December 16 - Crafts • Cookies • Cheer at Purplebean Bindery, Auburn ME. https://www.facebook.com/events/1795226027418404/?ti=icl

And all month long, my work will be available as part of a special pop-up shop at Full Circle Gallery in Biddeford, ME. https://www.facebook.com/events/171629066635339/?ti=icl

See you there!! 

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Behind the Scenes: Mixing ink colors!

Behind the Scenes: Mixing ink colors!

You know what's one of my FAVORITE parts of this job? Mixing ink colors!! Most all of my colors are mixed by hand, by eye... I always start with big buckets of primary colors... Pour out some colors in a jar and add a few dollops of this and that... Magenta, Blue, Yellow, Black, White, Transparent, maybe a few drops of water... Usually it's a lot of this and a bit of that and at least three or four different ingredients that make the magic combination of hue and shade and saturation. Every drop of color added is a bit of a guess, as I have to mix it in to find out just how it will change my color. Mix, mix, mix... dab a smudge on a test swatch of fabric... adjust with a few more drops of this and that. Often the ink color changes a bit as the ink dries, so it can be a time-consuming project to get the colors adjusted just right. But it's always a labor of love! I might be a color mixing fanatic. Every jar of ink is a bright cup of potential, waiting to do something beautiful!

image: mixing ink colors for Hand printed Blue Flowers organic cotton canvas tote bag, $54.

image: matching colors for Grey bamboo scarf with Blue Waves pattern, $36.

image: mixing purple ink for Soft grey bamboo scarf with hand-printed purple Mayflowers pattern, $36.

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New Postcard

New Postcard

Here's a new postcard I made up for the New England Made wholesale show. It was nice to have these in the booth for visitors to grab as they wandered past. It's a big show with lots of wonderful things to see, and it felt good to give people a little something to remember me by. I've also found they're great to set out on my table when I do craft shows - people love to learn more about who made their gift and have something to tell about the business they are buying from. And lately I've started adding a card into each of my mail-order packages too. I'm happy to share these - let me know if you'd like one! If you are a wholesale buyer, let me know when you place an order and I will pop a stack of them into your package. I know some shops and galleries like to share a bit of information about the artists and craftspeople they are representing, and this makes a nice tidbit to include in the bag when someone purchases Morris & Essex goods.

It was a fun project for me to work on - cleaning off my work-table, setting up the photo and trying out different options for the front layout turned out to be a long afternoon's work, but it was a nice time and I loved the result! 

Here's the text from the back side:

MORRIS & ESSEX • hand printed in Maine

Morris & Essex produces colorful and original hand-printed paper and textile goods in a farmhouse studio in Limington, Maine. Our high-quality products are all designed by artist Eliza Jane Curtis, with a passion for color, pattern and function. Each one features colorful handmade patterns, textures and motifs inspired by a love of the natural world, geometric patterns, and vintage designs. Everything is hand-printed here in Maine. We use natural and sustainable materials and processes, and focus on positive, sustainable, business practices and supporting talented local artisans. We love what we do and we hope you will love it too!

www.morrisessex.com | eliza@morrisessex.com

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