Life of the Party!
Posted by Dave Bull at 7:40 PM, August 21, 2014 [Permalink]
A nice bit of news yesterday - the Kickstarter people have made us a 'Staff Pick' feature on their website!
Now that news about our planned Print Parties has been floating around the internet for a few weeks, and especially with the opening of the Kickstarter campaign, we're beginning to get feedback on the concept.
We ourselves feel that these Parties are going to be interesting and fun, and that they have the potential to become a 'must see, must do' item on many people's list when they visit Tokyo, but what are other people saying?
Well, here's a selection from comments over the past couple of days ...
- Awesome! Just wrapped up a two-week Japan trip on the 31st, wish this were there then! (Just another excuse for the next trip!)
- This is mucho awesome. We'll be sure to visit next year!
- We need to go to this when we finally go to Japan!
- Cool! I'm hoping it will be ready next time I go there
- Adding to my list of things to do on one of my short trips to Tokyo on holiday weekends or what-have-you. Excited that I'll be living so close!
- Cheering for you guys! I'll support and visit the shop.
- This is great, another place to visit!
- Great news! I always spend a day in Asakusa whenever I visit Tokyo. I will surely visit the shop when I have the chance!
- Oh man...this is the best. I'm obligated to go when I get to Japan
- I'm looking forward to joining your Print Party !
- here's to hoping that I can arrange a work trip to Japan sometime in the future, haha....
I'm beginning to think that we might be onto something here!
Once we get the main core of our construction done, and have something physical to show people, we're going to be starting a major P/R blast among travel websites (and of course the general media).
(Are we going to need crowd-control outside the front door once we get up and running?)
Kickstarter is open!
Posted by Dave Bull at 6:28 PM, August 18, 2014 [Permalink]
The ’David Bull is building a new shop in Tokyo’ Kickstarter page is now open, and the campaign will run for 30 days, until September 17th. And what better way to introduce it than to show you the project video!
Kickstarter campaign announcement ...
Posted by Dave Bull at 5:29 PM, August 16, 2014 [Permalink]
The Kickstarter preparation is now pretty much done. I had intended to open it up tonight, but I received a couple of emails that made me change my mind. They both asked me about the 'edition numbers' on the print that we will be making for the campaign backers.
As any of my long-time fans/collectors know, I never make Limited Editions; it goes against the main thing that Japanese prints stand for, which might be most simply described as 'widespread appreciation of the image content, in a physical form that adds even more to the beauty ...'
They were never about 'money', and never about 'collecting'. They were just beautiful objects. I have always stuck to that philosophy, and won't be changing now. But of course I also understand that backers of a project like this upcoming Kickstarter want to have a print that serves as a physical confirmation of the support they have given.
So after thinking about it for a while, here's what I'm proposing - each print will be embossed/printed in the lower right margin with the following information (this will probably be in Japanese, so that we can get it into the required vertical format):
'XX' will be a number assigned in the order that backers join the project, beginning with #2 (#1 will stay in our archives). Once the Kickstarter campaign closes, that'll be it for those numbers, and future prints that we make from the blocks (over the years, plenty of them, hopefully) will omit the Kickstarter Campaign line and numbering, leaving just the maker's information. We'll also include bilingual documentation together with the print giving full information on the project, and this will incorporate a full list of backer names (omitting those who wish to remain anonymous), letting everybody know how many were produced for the campaign.
Does this make sense as a sensible compromise between the two requirements? We are not promising in any way that the prints will have some 'investment' value, like many galleries do with their "It's sure to go up in value!" kind of spiel. And yet the numbers and embossment will be there, to serve as permanent record of the support of this campaign. As for how we will distribute the numbers, we will simply follow the timestamps in the backer spreadsheet that Kickstarter will give us at the end of the campaign (assuming we reach the goal.)
To make a long story short, the people who wrote to me about this want to make sure they get an 'early' number, and the only way for me to cooperate with those requests is to announce in advance the opening time of the campaign and then stand back; those people who find the number important can go for an early one if they so choose.
So here we go - the 'David Bull is building a new shop in Tokyo' campaign, as it will be entitled on Kickstarter, will open on Monday 18th August, a few minutes before the end of the day here in Tokyo. Some sample times around the planet (all Monday the 18th except the Australian east coast and New Zealand):
- 8:00 AM US West Coast
- 11:00 AM US East Coast
- 4:00 PM Britain
- 5:00 PM Western Europe
- 11:00 PM Australia, west coast
- Midnight Tokyo
- 1:00 AM (next morning) Australia, east coast
I'll hit the 'Start' button a few minutes before midnight, and will then immediately make a post here on this blog and also over on our Mokuhankan Facebook page, giving the Kickstarter URL (which we ourselves won't know until we actually have gone 'live').
Thank you again for the support and encouragement everybody! I'm sure we'll be able to get our new place open whatever it takes, but it really is going to be very tight, and even a moderately successful Kickstarter campaign would take a lot of the pressure off ...
Video preparation ...
Posted by Dave Bull at 9:42 AM, August 13, 2014 [Permalink]
I spent the entire day downtown yesterday- the mission? Getting a ton of raw video footage for preparing the Kickstarter introduction video. Young Teiko-san - who is printing for us, and will also be a Print Party 'hostess' - did the work behind the camera, trying to balance an umbrella and do all the panning/zooming at the same time.
Here are a few screen shots - the actual video itself will take a bit of time to edit ...
In front of Sensoji:
The Big Day
Posted by Dave Bull at 9:36 AM, August 8, 2014 [Permalink]
While you were reading yesterday's post, I'm sure it didn't take too much effort to figure out the basic idea of what was going on - yes, today was the day we formally closed all the paperwork on the lease arrangements. The envelopes full of money that I showed yesterday have been exchanged for ... a pair of keys.
Mokuhankan - actually 'David Bull' personally - now has a lease on the second floor of the building at Asakusa 1-41-8, Taito-ku, Tokyo. The term - three years, extendable at our option - begins September 1st. For the first year, there will be tenants present up on the third floor, but we have an option to take that space too once it becomes available.
While talking about this project over the past couple of months, I have been using the word 'shop' for convenience, but my plan for the new place involves far more than just a place to buy woodblock prints. Only 1/3 of the space in the new building will be the store, with another third being a workroom for a couple of our printers (where visitors will of course be welcome to watch them work). It is the remainder of the space that will be the most important part of the project - the Print Party room.
Backers of the previous Ukiyoe Heroes Kickstarter project may remember that one of the reward levels was: "PRINT PARTY! – Visit David Bull's studio and get a lesson in printmaking!" It was an instant hit, reaching the 'sold out' level in a matter of minutes, and the parties themselves, held at our Ome workroom over the following months, were very successful.
That experience only served to emphasize to me that an important part of our 'mission' to spread the word about the beauties of Japanese traditional woodblock prints should involve actual 'hands on' activities. The people who made their own prints during those Print Parties will never forget the experience, and will treasure the prints they made forever. So the new Mokuhankan 'shop' is actually going to be more of an 'event space' than a simple store. Come to Mokuhankan, join a Print Party, and make your own woodblock print!
The website for the Parties is still being put together, but please visit this (provisional) page which has a lot more information about what we are planning, along with access information.
And now, here's a quote from a document I began preparing last week:
The latest version of our budget for this project estimates $35,000 being paid out for lease and construction costs over the August/September period in the runup to the planned opening day in early October. Our cash reserve currently stands just slightly shy of that amount, and we'll of course have our normal income and expenses continuing through this period on top of all the new costs. It's too close. For the long-term, we are looking very good, as we have negotiated a very reasonable lease on the building, so our ongoing monthly expenses are going to be quite manageable (we're not getting in over our heads here, we believe). It's the start-up period that is going to be very, very tight.
Money a bit tight? Check. Need something to put us 'over the top'? Check. All in a worthwhile cause? Check.
What's a guy going to do, call his mother? Well, at my age, I don't think that's such an acceptable solution, but luckily, these days we have alternatives!
Yes indeed - Kickstarter, here we come!
There is a big sticking point with Kickstarter though - I am not eligible to run a campaign there. They have a very strict rule that you must be a resident of one of their 'active' countries, and that list does not include Japan. (The previous Ukiyoe Heroes Kickstarter project was actually Jed's project, from Kickstarter's point of view, and all the revenue went to him, from which he paid us bit by bit as we produced the actual prints.)
I am a Canadian citizen still, but when I checked with the Kickstarter people to see if this would qualify me, they apologized, but made it clear that because I do not live in Canada, I am not permitted to open a project. Period.
So that is what yesterday's picture was all about:
This is my son-in-law Ioan, who is a Canadian resident. Even before we thought about Kickstarter, he and I had made arrangements that he will come over here this fall to help me with the construction. So one thing has led to another, and the other day he and I created a company in Canada - Mokuhankan Woodblock Prints Ltd. Ioan is the owner - and President - and it is his company that will be the 'Project Creator' of the Kickstarter campaign, fitting in nicely with their residency rules.
I'm going to spend the next few days getting the campaign details worked out and making the introductory video (mostly down in Asakusa ... which might be a problem with weather, as we have another major typhoon coming this way this weekend ...).
You may well ask, "With Jed not being involved in this campaign, what will you be offering as rewards?"
You'll discover the answer to that when the campaign itself opens up (hopefully) on the 15th of this month, but for now all I can say is ... we will be asking for ... 'A Wave of Support' ...
Big day tomorrow ...
Posted by Dave Bull at 4:06 PM, August 7, 2014 [Permalink]
Getting ready for a big day tomorrow!
Just a short 'headsup' post today - a few points ... how are they related?
A few Japanese Post Office cash envelopes; the kind they put the money in when you ask for substantial withdrawals. You can't see it in the photo I guess, but they are fairly fat!
Who is this man, and why is he so happy? And no, it's not connected (directly) to those envelopes ... this is what you look like just after becoming President!
And last - but not least - the third part ...
More tomorrow, in what will be the most important post of the year!
Sweating the details!
Posted by Dave Bull at 8:20 PM, August 1, 2014 [Permalink]
Testing layouts for the new shop ...
In and among all the printing work on the Portraits series, we're of course still moving forward on the Asakusa project. Ishikawa-san (who will be the shop manager) and I spent the morning at the real estate agent's office, going over the proposed lease. He had originally simply wanted to schedule a meeting to sign the thing, but we wanted time to study it somewhat, rather than just show up and press the seal on a document that we really didn't understand.
He thought our request was kind of a waste of time, but we pressed, and we're glad we did. During the course of the couple of hours, we turned up (literally) dozens of errors. A number of the clauses were even written having us leasing the wrong floor of the building (there was obviously a lot of stuff copy/pasted from other places, and not properly vetted.)
One of his girls tried to keep up with it, rushing back to her computer, entering changes and then printing us a fresh copy, but she eventually gave up, and they promised to have a completely 'clean' copy ready for us next week, when it does become time to sign everything.
In the meantime one thing that that we want to try and nail down is the shop layout. We've been tossing around various concepts, as blog readers know, and we really won't be able to make final decisions until we start demolition and find what is under/inside the walls and floors, but as far as possible, we want to go in with a pretty clear idea of what we want to do.
So ... time to clear some space in our current workshop, get the tape measure out, and make some sample layouts with tape on the floor!
When it came time to figure out the dimensions of the smallest room in the building, I thought I would give it the 'newspaper test', but the other staff thought I was overdoing it; nowadays people take their phones in there!
We're going to cut no corners in our quest to make sure that you will be comfortable here! :-)
Who am I?
Posted by Dave Bull at 8:47 PM, July 23, 2014 [Permalink]
A request for feedback and advice from the fans ...
Here's an entire blog post with no images ... can you stand it?
Let's have a break from posts about the upcoming new shop, and deal with an issue that I have been postponing for a long time, but which I can't put off for much longer ... the question of 'identity'. Who am I? (publicly, that is)
A quick recap of the background, for those who aren't familiar with it:
- after some years of training and preparation, I sent my first prints out into the world in 1989, coincidentally the first year of the Heisei era here in Japan. There was no internet; I held an exhibition in Tokyo each January under my own name - 'woodblock prints by David Bull', taking subscription orders from the attendees (mostly Japanese, with a smattering of foreign residents of Tokyo also becoming subscribers). These were the days of making the Hyakunin Isshu series, and the prints I sent out had my signature, along with an embossing showing: Design - Katsukawa Shunsho / Carving-Printing - David Bull.
- in the summer of 1997, I got connected to the internet, and created a 'home page' for my prints, using the space provided for me by my ISP - Asahi-net - here in Tokyo.
- in May of 1998, I registered the domain name woodblock.com, and moved my website to that location, using servers in the US (far cheaper than the Japanese services at that time). 'Woodblock.com' kind of became my 'brand'.
- in 2000/01 I moved my residence to Ome, and because the building had a separate room for a workshop, and also bordered a small river, I began using the term 'Seseragi Studio' ('Studio of the Rippling Brook' might be a literal translation ...) in the materials that accompanied the prints going out. The poets series was now over, and I was making the Surimono Albums series of reproductions. On these prints I embossed a 'baren' mark, and also added my signature. All the work - carving and printing - was done by me personally. There were no assistants of any kind.
- in the spring of 2006, I decided to widen my world a bit, and began issuing some prints made in cooperation with other people (the first printer I worked with was Shinkichi Numabe, and the first outside designer was Gary Luedke). In order to differentiate these prints from my personal (100% self-produced work) I sold them under the brand name Mokuhankan. 'moku han' is literally 'wood block', and the 'kan' is a term implying a (rather substantial) place where that activity takes place. ('Bijutsukan' - Art Museum - is thus 'place of the arts' ... 'Toshokan' - Library - is 'place of reading materials' ... etc. etc.). I registered the domain name mokuhankan.com, and later the Japanese version mokuhankan.jp.
- I added a few prints to the Mokuhankan catalogue, but over the next couple of years, as my personal printmaking didn't go so well (both the scroll project and the My Solitudes project were minimally subscribed, and also took far longer to produce than anticipated), I was in the red for quite a long while, and the Mokuhankan project languished.
- My 'Mystique of the Japanese Print' series (2010-11) was far more successful, and put my bank account back into a more healthy situation. In addition to this, I was facing an oncoming 'milestone' in my personal life. I was about to become 60. That's no big deal these days of course, but it did seem to be that it was time to make some decisions. Namely decide between two possible majorly different life streams:
- keep going as a 'solo' craftsman. Some years the earnings would be good, some years bad ... no pension ... and an inevitable slow degradation in the ability to produce work.
- try and take the whole venture to a different 'level'. Hire people; train people; publish prints produced by other workers; build a structure that would (hopefully) be able to continue operating once I was no longer able to be productive myself. Within that (stable) structure, I could 'run my time out' peacefully, and the degradation of my own personal skills wouldn't matter so much, as I would be surrounded by capable people.
- So in the spring/summer of 2011 I decided to give it a go, and hired the first trainees for Mokuhankan. (These events are all covered in a lot of detail in the back postings on the Mokuhankan Conversations blog, accessible from the 'Table of Contents').
- At this point we don't need to get into the dramatic ups and downs of the next few years; we nearly hit bottom, but came up to the surface again after meeting Jed Henry, and are now doing quite well. If you have seen recent posts here, you know that we are now about to open a retail space / event space / workshop down in the Asakusa district of Tokyo.
But - to finally get to the point - we have to decide 'who' we are. It is becoming increasingly apparent that the brand name 'Mokuhankan' that I created a few years back has some major problems:
- it's meaningless to people who don't know what it means (if you see what I mean ...)
- even for people who do have some idea of what it means, it's an overly long word, and difficult to remember.
- the symbol I chose for our logo mark (the baren you see at the top of every page of our site) is meaningless to people who don't know what it is. I showed a Photoshop mockup of a proposed sign for our building a while back, but more than a couple of people have suggested quite strongly that I not do that, because most passers-by won't have a clue what's behind it. People have suggested I use a large illustration of some famous Hokusai print ... something recognizable by everybody who comes by. (NO! Not in thousand years will I do _that_!)
Should I abandon 'Mokuhankan' and go back to using my own name? I really don't want to do that, for a couple of reasons:
1) I have kept my own name (and signature) strictly for prints that I myself produced (all carving and all printing). I don't want to confuse that issue ... I am very proud of that work, and am terrified that future viewers will be saying, "Oh, that Dave Bull guy ... you know of course that he didn't do the work himself. He hired people to work for him ..." To avoid this, I intend to maintain an absolute separation between the 'Seseragi Studio' work - with my signature and baren embossment, and which I produce totally alone - and the Mokuhankan work, which is 'all hands on deck' ...
2) what happens later, when I'm no longer part of the picture?
So there we have the conundrum - what identity to use for this venture moving forward. It's clearly a decision that has to be made as soon as possible. What should the sign say; how should we identify ourselves; what web address should we use ... who are we?
1) Mokuhankan - home of fine woodblock prints. (URL: mokuhankan.com)
2) David Bull, woodblock printmaker (URL: woodblock.com)
3) Maybe we could even use the domain as the business name - a large sign reading [WOODBLOCK.COM] - surely people could remember that one.
4) Starting just yesterday, a new option became available: [WOODBLOCK.TOKYO] That's also easy to remember, although I have no idea if the use of .tokyo as the domain name would just be too confusing, as everybody is used to the standardized .com style ... (Try typing the words woodblock.tokyo into your browser location bar ... I think it should have propagated through the DNS system by now ...)
Anyway, I would very much like to hear your thoughts and advice on this question. I myself really have affection for the Mokuhankan brand that I have created over the past eight years or so, and am resisting the idea of abandoning it. But if it won't work in the marketplace, then I should clearly bite the bullet and move on.
Bird's Eye ...
Posted by Dave Bull at 11:57 PM, July 21, 2014 [Permalink]
A photo of our new neighbourhood ...
Just like most people, I've become used to using Google for most image and map searches, but they aren't the only game in town. Here's imagery from Bing (slightly modified in my Photoshop), which gives a very nice perspective on my new neighbourhood!
As you can see, the route to get to our place from the Kaminarimon gate is simple: straight up the Nakamise row of shops, turn left on Denpo-In Street, and you'll see us on the left side in the fourth block. (Or I mean, you will in a few months from now!)
Bing has higher resolution too ... try this link to see ...
Posted by Dave Bull at 3:37 PM, July 19, 2014 [Permalink]
The first photos of the inside of our new shop in Asakusa!
A very big day for us yesterday - it was our first face-to-face meeting with our new landlord, and the official 'go ahead' from her that we will be her new tenant. Two of the staff members and I were waiting outside the door at ten in the morning, as pre-arranged.
After she arrived and let us in, we all gathered in one of the tatami rooms, kneeling there amidst the many many years accumulation of dust, and we made our formal self-introductions. I gave her the present we had brought, as custom dictates, we passed some pleasantries, and she then handed over the keys.
This isn't the legal beginning of everything; I will be meeting with her real estate agent later to put my seal on the lease, arrange the final details about key money, insurance matters, and many other things, but ... we're in.
After chatting with us for a while about the history of the building and how she came to own it, she dusted herself off, and left us to our own devices. (That history is actually a bit interesting. It won't mean anything at all to our foreign readers, but to Japanese people of a certain age ... to hear that this was the location of 'Noguchi Shokudo' will certainly raise their eyebrows. And indeed, the interior 'decorations' that we are about to begin re-arranging, were built by them when they converted this place to a restaurant.)
Are you ready for a short guided tour?
Before we begin, a couple of notes: I only had a point-and-shoot camera with me, and these rooms are extremely cramped and small (the entire building is only 3 metres wide), so it was very difficult to get understandable photos. (And it was also quite dark in there ...). The other thing to keep in mind is that what you see here is certainly not what you will see when you come in the door on Opening Day. We are going to gut this place!
Anyway, let's go. The doorway from outside is quite narrow, but once you step inside you find that the stairs are neither narrow nor steep - very unusual for Japan. The restaurant people created a Showa 'retro' feeling, and once this is cleaned up, it's going to be beautiful!
I said a Showa 'retro feel', but that's incorrect. They didn't build retro - they were building modern - that's how long this place has been unused!
Before we explore the second floor, here's the plan that I drew this morning, showing the current state of the building based on our measurements from yesterday. (If you're interested, you might open the enlargement in another window, to better understand where these next photos were taken ...)
After you come up to the landing, turn right, and then step inside, here's a shot looking back down the stairs. The window you see there actually just looks at the stairs ... not quite sure why they would do that ...
(Many of these photos show various junk that is cluttering the space, and which we'll have to dispose of ...)
Looking down the hallway to the right - towards the front of the building - you see some glass shoji doors. They are the entrance to the Print Party room. Where that junk on the right is stacked will be a place to hang coats, grab an apron, and slip your shoes off, before stepping into the room itself for your Print Party™ experience! :-)
And here we are inside that room. We have a 'little bit' of replastering to do ... (The white 'drapery' you see outside is where some construction is taking place across the street ...)
Young Teiko-san was with me doing the measuring, and while she tested out the strength of the balcony, I ran outside for a quick souvenir snapshot:
She then pointed off to her right, and when I joined her up there, I saw what she had been excited about!
Turning around, and ready to leave that room ...
Moving back past the junk on the left, we see a most uninviting aspect:
Look at this! Who would design the place with such wasted space as long hallways? We are going to have to do something about this, and ...
... this next photo shows where the axe will fall. We're going to tear off the top two thirds of that wall, leaving it only waist-high:
This is the same corner from the other side. We can see why they built a wall there - they wanted to have an enclosed room.
Well, we want it all opened up, so that same axe mark will show the section that will be removed:
This will later become the central shop area, although you might find that a bit hard to believe at present!
Back in the narrow hallway, past that room on the left, we come across a small door. Inside is ... well, we all know about these, don't we.
This kind of Showa Retro we can do without, so of course we'll be gutting this entire corner of the space, re-framing a wider area, and installing a completely modern toilet and vanity ...
Moving even further past that, towards the back end of the building, we find another tatami room. (The people who built this did some creative fitting there, and that missing corner of the mat is going to make tatami renovation considerably more expensive than it already is ...)
When you visit, you'll find two printers working away here, and as long as you don't mind taking your shoes off yet one more time, you'll be welcome to step up into the room and watch what they are doing ...
And look at this. They'll be working under a giant recreation of a wa-gasa, a Japanese umbrella. Whether or not this is a portent of possible roof leaks I don't know, but for our first pass at these renovations, we'll probably be leaving this as it is ...
So there you have a (very) rough overview of the space. As I mentioned in the previous post, I've had a bit of difficulty getting some nice illustrations of our plans ready for you to see, so for now, you'll have to make do with the prospective floor plan ...
More later, but for now, I have to get back to my bench ...
Grab Bag ...
Posted by Dave Bull at 12:05 AM, July 14, 2014 [Permalink]
A catchup of recent activities ...
Here's a random catch-up on a few of the activities on (and around) my desk this past week or so ...
You might remember that I mentioned a recent 'flood' of orders stemming from a video blogger chatting about the Portraits series a few weeks back ... Well, having a bunch of new orders is nice, but this is where the rubber hits the road ... one by one by one ...
We're now caught up with the first three prints in the series for these new collectors, and are ready to start work on #4 - working in tandem with our current carving and printing of the newest one, of course.
But the Demon King isn't the only SuperHero on my bench this week; I'm also doing a batch of 120 copies or so of one of the reward prints from Jed's Edo Superstar video game Kickstarter project.
This should have been mailed some weeks back, but there was just no way to fit it in. But I hope the collectors won't be too disappointed when they receive it; at least they're getting a copy hand-printed by the workshop master here! :-)
While I was printing those this morning, I was 'interrupted' by something walking along in the river below, so I grabbed a quick snapshot of the visitor ...
These are called ao-sagi in Japanese, so I guess this must be a Blue Heron? He comes and goes quite frequently, but he's very difficult to get photos of. If I crack the door just a smidgeon, to try and get out on to the balcony to get a better photo, he's off in a flash ...
And for our last photo today, I'm just in time, because the staff here has got to the bottom of the box on this one very quickly, and there are only two left ...
This one was funny actually. I spent the best part of two days working with the NHK crew last week, far more than I should have. (The program in question doesn't feature me much at all; simply I am one of the people they contacted to add 'colour' to their main plot ... the program is about the Japanese art genre bijin-ga, and as there is an overlap there with my world, they asked me to contribute.)
The NHK people have my financial information on file, and at the end of any given session of filming (for the recent Journeys in Japan episodes, etc.) the producer simply asks me if there have been any changes, and when I tell him 'none', a deposit will arrive in my account sometime in the following month. They're a public broadcaster, and don't pay 'top' rates, but they do take care of you ..
But this time was different. As they were packing their truck at the end of the final session, the producer approached me, and I noticed with some trepidation that he was carrying a small shopping bag. No! But ... yes ... he gave me the bag, thanking me profusely for my time and trouble, and a minute later, off they went.
Well, at least they were tasty ...
The original meaning of 'browsing' ...
Posted by Dave Bull at 4:01 AM, July 9, 2014 [Permalink]
Some sketches of our plans for the shop layout ...
Thank you everybody! What a wonderful response to the previous post - about the price labels - with plenty of interesting suggestions about how we should proceed!
I'm not so perfectly happy that nobody seems to like my idea for displaying the price breakdown - not as it stands, anyway - but this is what you get when you ask for feedback ... Anyway, I'll get 'back to the drawing board', and will sit and think about this for a while, coming back a bit later with Mark II ...
In the meantime, there are plenty of other parts of our planning that are also moving forward slowly bit by bit. Among these is the design/layout for the core part of the shop, the area where people will browse our selection of prints. We're struggling a bit with this, again for the same reason - trying to turn the vague 'cloudy' idea inside my head into something that can actually be built and put together.
Here's a rough sketch of the browsing corner of the proposed shop:
A few notes:
- We don't have a vast catalogue to offer, so this will definitely not be one of those 'old' print shops crammed from floor to ceiling with racks and shelves of books and prints.
- We're going to try to keep it as clean and non-dusty as possible.
- Why a computer?
- Short term plan: simply this will be used to show things like videos of the carving/printing process, etc. etc.
- Long term plan: pickup a print from the rack, hold it in front of the computer camera. The camera reads the barcode, and automatically starts a video cued to that particular print - perhaps scenes of the print itself being carved, perhaps a little video snippet from Dave explaining why he selected that particular design, etc. etc.
- You see an angled 'stand' in the center of the cabinet; the idea is that people will pull a print package out of the bins, lay it on this stand, and enjoy it under raking light (from a light source hidden under the computer stand ...)
So this is the plan for the 'left side' of the shop space as you come up the stairs from street level. The 'right side' will be completely different ... I'll post the sketches for that a bit later, and you can 'pull up a chair' to see them. Following that, we'll take a peek at the printer's workshop space, and perhaps also the 'PP' room ...
For more entries, please make a selection from the 'Table of Contents' section of the SideBar on the right ...