Blog – MiraMar Print Lab

Yesterday we held our first workshop at the shop, inviting local residents into the studio to made some Mother’s Day Cards.

More than 50 people from toddler to adult joined us for this drop-in workshop! The workshop focus was pochoir (hand stencil) monoprint process.

Our participants inked up monoprint plates and mylar stencils of spring symbols (flowers, leaves, birds, and butterflies) to create unique and beautiful cards.

We just opened our doors this past week and were eager to have people in the studio printmaking. We were thrilled to see friends and meet many new individuals in the community! We hope in a few weeks to have a ribbon cutting and a “grand opening” celebration. While we plan those activities, we will continue to post drop-in activities, especially since yesterday’s workshop was so much fun! Thank you to everyone who came out to the workshop and made some art yesterday!

We're wrapping up the cleaning of the space - here's a little tour of the studio now:


We're getting there! Should have the town walk through for the certificate of occupancy this week. If you're on our website, it's been updated and we've added some classes for the summer. Best of all, the space has been clean enough to start making some art in it!

My mom saved EVERYTHING - and piece by piece, is giving it all to me, including this print.


I made this linocut back in high school. It was probably my first relief print that required the use of a knife. Do you like it? I did when I first saw it, so I stole the image- it's a copy of a Roy Lichtenstein print.

Pop Art was a leading art movement in mid century USA and UK that challenged the traditional and elitist gallery culture by elevating popular or mass produced images into the fine art community. Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997) was a leader in this movement and is most well known for his comic strip style paintings. His peers include Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Marjorie Strider, and more.

Another Lichtenstein piece follows:

Roy Lichtenstein leaves it up to the viewers to decide what has just transpired in his 1964 painting of a tense phone call titled <em>Ohhh ... Alright ..</em>.

The above image, "Ohhh ... Alright ...", 1964 is actually a painting mimicking printmaking marks as they might appear in comics making my print a copy of a painting copying a print (what!).

Printmaking - or the reference to printmaking - was important during this movement because prints/photos/multiples are by nature more accessible versus exclusive; they are designed to reach many, not one wealthy patron. As a form of broad communication, they are often used in advertising, and other mass market operations allowing the images to be found across sectors in society. By bringing these images into the gallery, the artists were highlighting the separation of class in our culture, along with poking fun at the esoteric question - "What is art?". Contemporary artists like Shepard Fairey are continuing to challenge the status quo through print.

And while many new technologies have placed traditional printmaking squarely into a fine art genre, the power of print remains it's accessible and inclusive nature. What is the advantage of one of a kind? That said - I don't think I ever so directly copied another work as I did in my first print.

It's here! All the way from Albuquerque our Takach etching press! Isn't it beautiful? Feel like I should give the babe a name. I can't express how happy I am to have this press here in our space!

Also acquired: "The Excelsior" Kelsey Letterpress. Just gorgeous.


And for our first print from "The Excelsior" - Tulips! This is a 5" x 8" linoleum block.


With the presses here, and the space painted, it's all coming along quickly and we're aiming to be open at the end of April!


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Takach table top etching press, 24" by 48" is on it's way from Albuquerque New Mexico! Can't hardly wait to see it in the space!!!

We'll use this press to print monotypes, collagraphs, reliefs (lino & wood), drypoints and engravings.

Examples of each here:

Vicki OldfieldHydrangea+5

Vicki OldField, Collagraph, Hydrangea, 2010s


Kate McCrickard, Monotype, Parrot Bedspread, 2012

Margaret Burroughs

Margaret Taylor Goss Burroughs, Linocut, The Faces of My People, 2003


Alex Katz, Woodcut, Red Ada, 2010


Angie Hoffmeister, Drypoint, 2000s


Andrew Raftery, Engraving, Scene 3 Kitchen, 2008

Day 2

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We're in New England, so I'll mention the weather. It snowed today. Yesterday, I was sweating in the window painting the [temporary] sign. That said, the snow is really a welcome surprise - we've had so little this year!

So I went down to shovel and Amira and Max tagged along (primarily because I'm being pretty relaxed with the media since the space in completely empty). We finished the sign and put some postcards on the door - so even if we're not open yet, everyone can find us!

Our friend Jeff Schmidt suggested we do a time lapse as we create the space. Here's a little peak into what our "before" is.


Thank you to all our friends who have reached out with support over the last couple of days!

Day One

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Today we headed to the shop in the morning to clean, change the locks, and get a sign on the window to let people know what's coming.

I was lucky to have several helping hands cleaning the windows and the floor - took advantage of a few friends that stopped by!

We are hand painting a temporary window sign, and while working on it we sparked some interest with a few passerby's. We met Helen, with a star tattoo next to her eye, who is a graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Adrian's Alma Mater. They reminisced about the changes in focus for the SMFA (now a part of Tufts). We also met another woman (her name escapes me) who is heading back to Colorado in the fall. She has done some relief printmaking and it sounds like her training in the 1950's and mine in the early 2000's was pretty similar. She asked if we would use traditional materials - our plan to is to use mostly water based and non-toxic materials. Over the last decade or so, there has been a lot of new products created to reduce the toxicity of art making. We're looking forward to exploring these options.

Today was just a small start in shaping the space. Thank you to the friends who visited and strangers who stopped by!




On February 15, 2019, we leased a space at 148 Humphrey Street, Swampscott Massachusetts, to be the home of MiraMar Print Lab!

MiraMar Print Lab will be a printmaking art studio focusing on letter press, silk screen, monotype, and relief printing. We'll have open studio drop in hours, workshops, classes, and parties - for all ages! The space is open to all who are curious and interested.

This is a new business for Adrian and me. We are both trained in printmaking, and have always had a studio in our home for art making. We have always wanted to have a home for a press, and a community to work with - so we are excited to finally be creating one!

To get the shop off the ground, I am currently transitioning out of my job at the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. This blog will follow our path as we set up the studio and we will share everything else it takes to get a small business up and running. Check in here for updates on our progress. And please - reach out to us with any questions or comments!


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