Introducing: Handmade on Peconic Bay

 Depending on the method, printmaking isn’t always the most eco-friendly process. With that in mind, Matthew Shapoff founded Handmade on Peconic Bay (HMPB), which is a one-man studio that specializes in Cyanotype and Vandyke printing. Relying on years of expertise, his work ranges from monoprints on paper to wearable accessories – each of which is crafted by hand in his Long Island studio.

Moon Phase Canvas Tote

Moon Phase Canvas Tote

In order to truly appreciate the work of HMPB, it’s important to understand the characteristics of both Cyanotype and Vandyke printing. Both processes were originally discovered in the 19th Century and thus require very little in terms of resources. All you need is a photosensitive solution, a receptive surface, natural sunlight, and a little bit of knowhow to create a print. Yet because there are so many variables (i.e. intensity of the sun or the strength of the solution), no two prints will be identical. In fact, it is in these natural variations of hue and value that make these processes so unique.

Queen Anne's Lace Detail

Queen Anne’s Lace Detail

Unique Silk Scarves

Unique Silk Scarves

What I like about HMPB is that these characteristics are obvious throughout the entire collection. By nature, the photosensitive printing methods are extremely versatile in that they can be applied to different materials like paper, silk and canvas to name a few. In terms of imagery, Shapoff finds inspiration in his natural surroundings – whether in the form of lunar charts or zoological studies of marine life. Because many of these motifs are coastal, there is also a strong sense of place about his work that makes it that much more distinct.

Crab Cyanotype on Cotton Paper

Crab Cyanotype on Cotton Paper

In addition to honing the skills already mastered, HMPB is also embarking on new territory over the coming months. Shapoff is investigating ways to stimulate the American artisan economy by sourcing domestically produced linen and cotton fabrics for his own work. There are also plans to introduce different styles and goods – including an experimental collection of custom printed messenger bags.

If you are interested in learning more about Handmade on Peconic Bay, be sure to visit Shapoff’s website where you can find up to date information about new projects and inventories. In the meantime, feel free to scroll through some select images of his work in the gallery below.

CMYK – Blue Collection

The fundamental thread that ties this blog together is a celebration of the creative spirit. Having recently rediscovered my collection of inspirational clippings dating back to high school, I’ve decided to periodically gather and display found images on Procured with the hope of kickstarting something – anything – creative over the weekend.

Taylor Stitch – Summer Indigo Shirts


When the team at Taylor Stitch creates a new collection, they are inspired by a certain theme. For Spring/Summer ‘12, the label released a limited series of shirts embodying the ocean as understood through traditional Japanese patterns. The line is composed of four pieces, which each feature a different print in variations of indigo and white. Though the kanoko (“dappled”), sazanami (“ripple”), ariso (“rough seashore”), & shizuku (“trickle”) patterns all originated in Japan, the shirts are cut and sewn in the US with great attention to detail. Like all of their readymades, the Indigo Summer prints are crafted with single needle construction, refined with French seams, and adorned with sustainably harvested horn buttons.


Be sure to check out detailed images of each shirt in the gallery below. You can find more information about Taylor Stitch on their website – including an in depth look at their custom tailored shirt service.

Often Overlooked – León Ferrari

            Those who are familiar with artist León Ferrari tend to know him based on the injustices he has endured throughout his career – whether it be political censorship or simple the fact that he (along with many other Latin American artists) was long overlooked in favor of modernist painters from America and Europe. Yet the status of many South American artists in the art market has greatly improved throughout the last decade. Acting on the relatively recent praise of MOMA and The Tate, investors and art collectors are scrambling to acquire pieces from the now 92-year old artist’s portfolio before he is unable to produce any more work.

[Untitled] 1977; Ink on paper; 24″ x 16 1/4″

            But all art exploitation speculation aside, Ferrari’s work has become synonymous with social criticism and political protest. Yet while most are content to talk about conceptual backing in art, it seems few step back to simply appreciate the sensory qualities of the works at hand. Ferrari is an artist who requires both sorts of appreciation from his viewers. It is imperative to discuss and debate the meaning behind his work, but it is equally as important to enjoy his execution.

            Of all the aesthetic qualities throughout Ferrari’s portfolio, his relationship with line is particularly striking. There is a great diversity throughout his line-based drawings and prints. The pieces are all unified by approach, but differ in terms of character.

 For example, the violent and frenzied scratching in his “Escritura” 1976 starkly contrasts his untitled drawing of the same year (both pictured below). The latter piece evokes a sense of music, both in it’s overall resemblance to score sheets and the fluid, dance-like swaying of the line.

“Escritura” 1976; Ink on paper; 18 1/4″ x 13″

[Untitled] 1976; Ink on paper; 19 3/4″ x 113 1/2″

 Conversely, the following untitled piece from 1963 not only recalls both pictographic and hieroglyphic scripts, but also investigates a synthesis of the two.

[Untitled] 1963; Ink on paper; 18 3/4″ x 12 1/4″

   His scribbles on polystyrene evoke a Cy Twombly-esque energy, only to be revisited on the surface of a three-dimensional plexiglass cube in 1999.

[Untitled] (date unknown); Graphite on Polystyrene; 19 1/4″ x 13″

“Prism” 1999; Ink on Plexi; 23 5/8″ x 7 7/8″ x 7 7/8″

     Though it is merely a small facet of an overall artistic ability, the variety by which Ferrari employs line offers a sound insight into his approach. As his better known, politically-charged pieces demonstrate, there are always different perspectives on a given idea or issue; even those as mundane as line.

Walton Ford Altered Audubon Prints

The departure from the traditional Audubon print is as welcomed as it is overdue. Gladly Walton Ford revived the languid beauty of the archetype by adding some much needed (grotesque) humor and irony.

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