Spaceworks Tacoma continues to help local entrepreneurs find adequate spaces, with The Arts & Craft Press the newest beneficiary of the program.
Founded in 1996 by Yoshiko Yamamoto and Bruce Smith, the company will celebrate the grand opening of its printery and showroom in the historic 1929 Tillicum Toy Company at 2515 South Tacoma Way on Saturday.
At the new space, consumers can browse and shop from the company's inventory of note cards, prints, mugs, books and tiles based on Yamamoto's designs.
Growing up in Tokyo, Yamamoto first studied sculpture at Tama Art University in Japan, and then, after moving to California, studied music and modern American and Japanese history at the University of California, Berkeley. Self-taught in the craft of letterpress block printing, her designs are inspired by the nature around her Pacific Rim and Pacific Northwest homes.
“For my limited edition prints, I first sketch flora and fauna I find either in America or in Japan — anything from fir trees, pines, maples, and poppies, to heron, koi fish, and crickets — and then after multiple drawings and watercolors, I begin cutting the blocks,” she said. “Sometimes I work with wood blocks, usually cherry, and other times, I choose linoleum blocks. I also use hard polymer plates for some of the color blocks.
“I then take these blocks and plates, printing each color separately on a Vandercook printing press, using as many as twenty blocks per print to achieve the desired effect.”
The grand opening will be catered by Yellow Bird Catering, with local microbrew beer provided by Wingman Breweries.