Saturday, June 27, 2015

Spread the Woosah Grand Rapids!

The highlight of the SS16 Cushe Conference was collaborating with Erica Lang of Woosah Outfitters on an original woodcut design.

Woosah Outfitters and Printshop is a naturally inspired print and apparel brand meant to inspire an inner peace and calmness—which Erica refers to as Woosah.

Today, Erica celebrated a great achievement, the grand opening of her store front on Division Avenue, known as the Avenue for the Arts, in Grand Rapids.

The store is combination of everything Woosah means for Erica > the artful, handmade nature of her carved woodblocks, mixed with the stillness and beauty of nature. Erica has put so much of herself into the store, and it is designed personally and immaculately. Details were not overlooked.

A graduate of Kendall College of Art and Design, Erica's designs are created as woodcuts, which is the oldest form of printmaking. It's a time consuming process, driven by skill, but also by pure passion.

To make a woodcut, first you carve a design (in reverse) into a block of wood. You carve away the areas you don't want printed. What remains will then get inked, usually with a roller. When you roll ink across the block, the raised portions will take on ink. You can then print the design by pressing it into paper (Erica uses an etching press here to apply even, consistent pressure).*
Erica's designs have a distinct style and handmade texture to them. Each is inspired by an obvious love for the outdoors, and displays a sense of whimsy and inspiration.
Erica funded the store opening through a very successful Kickstarter campaign. It is a place that brings about immediate peace and wonder, and invites you to look around and linger. Check it out for yourself at 131 S Division in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Follow Erica and her amazing art on instagram, and spread a little Woosah yourself!

*This process is not entirely unlike the linoleum block printing I've done in that past.

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