Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Turntable Tuesday :: Love Dies Pizza is Forever

New Year upon us and I got to check-off the list for 2013 pizzeria ALLA LETTERA in Turin. The restaurant is dedicated to typography and in particular the typeface BODONI by Italy’s famous type designer, punch cutter and printer GIOVANNI BATTISTA BODONI. Alla Lettera's mission is put simply (like any good plate of food), “"alla lettera" significa anche "fare bene le cose", con qualità e nel rispetto della tradizione” -- “”to the letter” also means to “do things well”, with quality and respect to tradition.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Turntable Tuesday : In the Kitchen Playing, Baking and Printing

I am in the kitchen baking today. Found a terribly easy and SURE SHOT PIE RECIPE by top chef JACQUES PEPIN. Thought it would also be a great moment to then play around with food/typography and “print” a Christmas greeting. HERE are pictures of the final result.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Turntable Tuesday : Affordable Foodie Ideas for Christmas

I can’t get over the truism of the statement, "It’s the thought that counts”.
Turntable Tuesday muses over Christmas gift ideas. Final top of the list choices include food poems to memorialize our tastebuds, possible collector products or/and sad jokes to share (this one’s without a doubt).

This weeks NY MAGAZINE mentioned beloved American foods going, not necessarily out of fashion, but perhaps suffering cultural (or elbow grease) amnesia. In Vanishing: The Endangered Foods of New York and Where to Get Them While You Still CanThe Brooklyn Seltzer Boys are featured among select goods/companies which remain, small, under the guise of “old fashioned” and independent. 

blog food poems

Images 2&3 VIA AUTHOR WEBSITE. N.1 VIA Brooklyn News 12

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Turntable Tuesday :: Keep It Seasonal, Stylish and Offbeat


Probably wasn’t a tradition for most people, but a uniquely AMERICAN CHRISTMAS TRADITION at the RITZ CARLTON (which I might add, once included its own print shop). This ESSAY from 1956 by LOUIS DIAT, fabled head chef, writes in graphic detail how to insert truffles just under the skin of a bird (among other other classic recipes), and the atmosphere that pervaded like men only allowed in the Oyster room after Sunday mass.

"Members of head chef Louis Diat's kitchen brigade at the Ritz-Carlton New York, show off three of the hotel's celebrated French dishes: Terrine of Duckling Rouennaise, Aiguillette of Duckling Montmorency, and Pâté de Foie Gras Strasbourg.”
SIMPLE APPLE GALETTE RECIPE My tendency to make this has mostly everything to do with the baker’s dedication to creating delicious baked goods and amazing film photography of her work.

CHERRY BOMBE new to the scene and stylish food magazine featuring food loving women.

FASHION TOTE Belgium based designer MICHAEL VERHEYDEN quotes himself some edgy ideas on a bag.


Monday, December 9, 2013

Christmas Puppy Love Affair :: Letterpress Cards

Had a busy week last week printing up some Christmas cards. My illustrative animal doodle was realized into a three color print. The initial idea was “COSAS BONITAS” -- pretty things. Instead of flowers, I thought of puppies. Friends have them and I can see how much joy they bring to their homes.

  Puppy Concept Sketch

I put a christmas hat and scarf on him and he’s all dressed up for the holidays! I digitally printed out a copy for myself as visual and color reference. My digital printer was running low on magenta and turned out a cool palish oatmeal yellow on the hat trim. I went with it.

Cosas Bonitas. Mix ink

The challenge and excitement of printing really gets going once it’s time for registration and shape takes form--one color at a time. Falling in love with this puppy!

Cosas Bonita. Puppy Passage

I made flat and folded cards and circular coasters meant for hanging christmas decorations. I think he’ll bring some joy into someones home too!

Christmas Puppy

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Turntable Tuesday :: Raw

TURNTABLE TUESDAY thinks about what’s tasty, wearable and good to read for the holidays.



CHEESY ART: This guy knows his cheese! MIKE GENO paints "seductively tasty” hyper realistic food oil paintings. Good enough for me as I go gaga for anything cheese.

T-SHIRT:  Gotta love T-shirts and can’t ever go wrong with good ones in your closet.  You can wear them with jeans or a skirt--trainers or heels! This one is molto cool: VIOLENT ELEGANCE by Two Points

BOOK: Peter Moruzzi’s CLASSIC DINING: DISCOVERING AMERICA’S FINEST  MID-CENTURY RESTAURANT sounds formidable. These tales would surely inspire anyone, including my own martini and steak affair. DINNER PARTY DOWNLOAD’S Rico Gagliano had a jokily interview with the author and delved into a little of what mid-century American Continental cuisine must have been like--like patrons partartaking in uber classic cocktails and flaming meat prepared at your table. 

Sounds like a RUSH.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Turntable Tuesday: Red For Tomato

OX HEART TOMATOES, better known as CUORE DI BUE in north Italy, is a “COMMON" big, soft, plump and super juicy tomato. I’m a big fan if you couldn’t tell!

This is not your typical supermarket tomato, which may be redder, less expensive but tasteless...  HARRY J. KLEE, from the University of Florida’s Institute of Plant Innovation, is trying to bridge the gap and make common supermarket tomatoes more tasty for the average consumer, yet easy and financially viable for the producer to get to market.  But until then, you might find something in the States like Goldmans’ Italian American tomato, which aren’t perfectly round and firm to use in this following recipe.

finaltom soup

Our late blossoming summer has allowed us a wonderful fall "CASALINGA" ITALIAN TOMATO SOUP RECIPE and some TURNTABLE TUNES.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Turntable Tuesday :: Bon-Ton Market

On-Line MARKET - a collection of pretty objects, eats and places one can have, make or be at.

Per La Cucina: 
Time for warm soup and what better to serve it with than a LION’S HEAD SOUP BOWL?
Revol French handmade since 1789

Per La Casa:
Another French choice, Le Rocketship: A very nice concept mixing up the best of worlds--boutique & cafe in Paris.
A HANGING LAMP, which could go anywhere in your space.

Ricetta Pancake:
I usually do pancakes this time of year; I think I’ll give this one a go.
Gotta try recipe DUTCH BABY PANCAKES full recipe at Kinfolk

Dove Mangiare Amsterdam:
Gotta go to restaurant when in AMSTERDAM.
Aan de Amstel. Husband and wife team, she an illustrator, cook, book author and food stylist, he photographer.
image via iens

turntable kitchen

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Turntable Tuesday :: A Curated Mix

My favorite songs (often times the more obscure ones), get randomly copied, pasted and collected in a folder on my desktop or scribbled down on whatever paper lying on my desk then hidden away inside notebooks...

8tracks and Soundcloud are music social networks that allow you navigate and share with other enthusiasts what’s already in their network or upload from your own music library. But if you don’t have the music in your library (like those obscure ones)... it means you gotta get them there! I discovered an easy way to convert favorite songs/videos to MP3 fromYoutube (for instance) to your music library.

I didn’t care for uploading any software and just wanted something efficient.
HERE IS A SITE I found easy and straightforward to transform your scribbled on pieces of paper into MP3’s, store them in your library and neatly into a curated collection of songs to summon up a mood at work, a dinner party or just to chill.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Turntable Tuesday :: 1%

99% INVISIBLE is, well lets say, very often gratifying and that’s reason enough to listen to anyone for any period of time. It’s name was inspired by Buckminster Fuller - American born architect, designer, futurist (the enchanting list goes on), who said Ninety-nine percent of who you are is invisible and untouchable”. 

Paris Windows Surface

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Turntable Tuesday :: Lou Reed, Had A Coke And A Smile

Sunday was as good as any other day. GARY HUSTWIT, an independent DIY FILMMAKER based in NY and London, has released design type films for a long time now, namely Helvetica, Objectified and Urbanized. I ran across another one on Hustwit’s twitter feed, when it was announced that epic Lou Reed had died.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Mini DIY : Simple Stitched Booklets | Fare un Libricino Fatto a Mano

(versione EN e IT)

Here is a MINI DIY on HOW TO MAKE A SINGLE STITCH THREE HOLE BOOKLET. You can use this simple technique to keep recipes, photos, sketches... it’s all up to you!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Turntable Tuesday :: A Dog’s Appetite

Beautiful fall weekend in Alba (known for the world renown WHITE TRUFFLE FESTIVAL).
Pirouette Press got the chance to partake in the parallel event Contaminazioni, showcasing editors, poets, writers and the like. Wonderful meeting, demonstrating and speaking about the craft of letterpress with Italians and tourists (who got a sneak peak at some new letterpress stationery).

tartufi dbl paintings

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Turntable Tuesday :: Festival Delle Contaminazioni

In the studio printing and preparing for a weekend in Alba at the 1st Edition Festival delle CONTAMINAZIONI (CONTAMINATION), a cultural event hosted by UNESCO Alba which highlights writers, essayists, poets, playwrights and printers. Pirouette Press along with Museo Civico della Stampa di Mondovì will participate in the Mostra del Libro Antico at the newly restored Chiesa di S. Giuseppe in Alba from the 18th-20th October alongside the WHITE TRUFFLE FESTIVAL


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Turntable Tuesday :: Munich Eatery Spaces

Italy is famous for espresso and perhaps even more so people clamoured up to the bar to have a jolt, but not so much to sit and sip as I found in Bavaria. I met up with my sunny Californian cousin and her Deutsche husband in his hometown Munich. I had never been and wasn’t sure what else to expect except for beer and sausage. And there was plenty of that with the infamous Oktoberfest in full swing, which we popped into and out of and back onto gentler and quieter streets in record time. And I mean quieter, strangely and reflectively quiet which I think these interior eatery spaces show.
cafe marie.munich.1.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Turntable Tuesday : Taming Neenah, Menu Design

Here is a paper sample booklet by NEENAH PAPER COMPANY. I’ve had it for about 15 years, so a bit tattered. I’ve permitted myself to cut out just parts from a few pages and even brought it over with me to Italy from America. It goes to show how much I love this...well, object.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Writing, Design On Your Desk

This is a late post, at least relative to when the event actually occured. Nevertheless for those of you in Milan area next year in May, WRITING, DESIGN ON YOUR DESK  is free and worth a visit. This was a 1st. ed. stationery fair in Milan for paper designer enthusiasts held this year last May. There were print demonstrations, paper “rendering” workshops, booths by small and large studios and inspirational talks about concepting, bookbinding, print in todays marketplace and letterpress as a viable medium in the design arena.


FONTEGRAFICA (upper-top and bottom images) designs for artist gallery shows
THYPE Turin based Cultural Association (center-most image)
 participants final work at their paper rendering workshop 


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tuntable Tuesday : Beauty On The Page - Food Photography

I’ve started "Turntable Tuesday" to edge in a word wise about food and lifestyle and spread the awesome tunes I hear on my favorite podcasts etc.. For me, these things are an integral part of living well and moving forward with projects and plans in my letterpress studio. Music is the obvious in most people’s lives and it takes little effort to plug in our mp3 player, but eating well isn’t so straightforward, I think. These images are from photographers, artists, illustrators, cooks who all have the scope of designing beauty on the page.

Yossy Arefi

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Off the Vine : Letterpress Business Cards

Great fun printing these cards for "Italianna”. Anna Savino, specializes in food and wine tours in the beautiful Langhe hills of Italy, where the famous Barolo and Barbaresco come from. The cards were meant to be simple but elegant, something I think reflect the wines of the Langhe.

  Food Wine Travel Letterpress Business Cards
Two sided letterpress business cards - deboss | two color eggplant and vine green
hand pressed - vegetable based ink

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Turntable Tuesday : Anarchic Pasta

All pasta isn’t the same in Italy and if you’re in Genova, it’s handmade trofie (troh/fyeh) with pesto (most likely) or a seafood mix. I was hosted by friends Manolab for the weekend to learn some bookbinding techniques and we had the lovely typical Ligurian dish for a Sunday lunch. This short and twisted (by rubbing motion) pasta with a lost history is made with no eggs--kinda an anarchic pasta, huh?


(something uncomplicated that goes well with some seaside vibes)
Stir It Up by Bob Marley and the Wailers
Social Living by Burning Spear

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Turntable Tuesday : Guerilla Gardeners and J Dilla

First thing about this image to set the mood in motion is the chalkboard style lettering Food Is Free on the side panel of the minivan.  First heard about these community style gardens by way of  Ron Finley’s talk at TED and his giant effort in south central Los Angeles. Wicking bed garden technology (self watering gardens) makes community gardens sustainable and a good way to connect with people and create green edible landscapes where non would otherwise exist.

Very Busy People by The Limousines
and a few by Detroit’s late Hip Hop extraordinaire J Dilla

Monday, September 2, 2013

Corsivo Inglese :: Cusive English video short

Anyone remember grade school with a Big Chief pad learning cursive writing? Rumor has it cursive just isn’t part of the curriculum in the States now. Here’s a playful reminder: cursive lettering short video by Italian Calligraphist Barbara Calzolari

Add caption

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Turntable Tuesday : Plum Delicious

Plums or Prunus domestica or double the size of a popcorn and we’ve got Empress Italian Plums. A dinner party hit to end a season and begin another. Literally have kilos of this fruit just outside the doorstep and although I love to eat them as is, why not explore everything plum?  A fun way to entertain guests and maybe even surprise them!


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Turntable Studio Tunes : Hearty

As the name suggests, Turntable Tuesday is about what I’ve been listening to in the studio, sources of inspirational tunes, but I’ll start to highlight the “table" in the turntable part of the title too. What’s been cooking, as most creatives love to cook or at the least have a good bite and a glass of something nice to be inspired. Italy, has plenty of this to offer and more. Many here have awesome gardens with seasonal goodies. 

Cranberry Beans

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Artisanal Fair Italia :: Letterpress Demonstration

This is a special time of year as I get to spend it with the guys at the printing museum collaborating on the organization of the Artigianato (artisanal fair) 10-16 August. There will be two letterpress printing posts outside in our lovely Piazza Maggiore in the historic part of Mondovì. At one post Pirouette Press and Claudio Mandella of 9PT will pay homage to pop artist Andy Warhol by printing up some letterpress postcards with some infamous quotes by yours truly. I was moved by Warhol because of his willingness to mix it up and experiment with various mediums, including film, and techniques like printing.

These are the results of our 2 day homage to Andy Warhol -- great fun!

15 of Fame-printed and (on-line) 15 min. of Fame


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Turntable Tuesday : Homage to Andy Warhol : 2 Day Letterpress Print Performance

I’ve revisited Andy Warhol, who celebrated a birthday on the 6th of August, and plan a two day letterpress print performance with friend Claudio Mandella from 9PT (14-15 August, 2013 Mondovì, Italy). This is a homage to a fantastic artist--not to be mistaken as an Abstract Expressionist, but the purveyor of Pop Art. Warhol had the cool capacity to make his objects d’art "un-unique". Common sources Warhol used in his works in fact came from reproductions from popular American culture like advertisements, hollywood icons and newspaper clippings.

15 min. of Fame

Heinz 57  limited ed. letterpress postcards

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Motorcycle Letterpress :: Concept Menu

Due Pistoni Ristorante Pizzeria
letterpress cover menù and flat print business cards & table tent

Due Pistoni Menu inside

What do motorcyles and letterpress have in common? This was a concept menu for a neighborhood pizzeria, Due Pistoni, whose owner is a, you guessed it, a Harley Davidson rider. Added to the overall design were elements that gave the menu that "maintenance manual" touch. Screws are used to hold together the booklet and included is the local’s logo on the bike. Inside, there's a quote I found at Our Harley Days blog, translated from English to Italian-thanks to Vicki Downing for summing it up, “Our Rides... Our Adventures... Our Family and Friends... Traveling free and easy down a road that never ends...”. The cover is 100% letterpress while the inside of the menu was flat printed.

Cosa hanno in comune le motociclette e il letterpress? Questo è stato un menù per una pizzeria del quartiere, Due Pistoni, il cui proprietario è un  ... avete indovinato, un pilota di Harley Davidson.  Aggiunti al disegno complessivo sono stati gli elementi che hanno dato il menu che tocco "manuale di manutenzione". Le viti vengono utilizzate per tenere insieme il libretto ed è incluso il logo del locale sulla moto. All'interno, c'è una citazione che ho trovato su Il nostro blog "Harley Days", tradotto da Inglese a Italiano, grazie a Vicki Downing per riassumere in, "il nostro Giri ... Le nostre avventure ... La nostra famiglia e gli amici ... Viaggia libero e tranquilli per una strada che non finisce mai ... ". Copertina del menu 100% letterpress.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Turntable Tuesday :: Country Sunsets

I’m one of those people that say, I don’t like country but I like old country... are you one of those too? So this type of music is pretty good at putting things back in their place, or when a little courage is needed to get things done. I’ve come to understand running your own studio, or your own anything for that matter takes a healthy dose of what makes you happy everyday, like sunsets. This week I’ve been summoning Texas originals (native myself) to remind me of those simple things in life.
Studio Tunes:
Waylon Jennings “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys"
Waylon Jennings “Luckenback Texas”
Hank Williams (cover by Wookalily) “Ramblin' Man"
Willie Nelson and friends “Roll Me Up"

Pink Ribbons

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Turntable Tuesday :: 15 min. of Fame

The artisanal fair is around the corner and Pirouette Press along with 9PT will be paying homage to artist Andy Warhol. Some suitable tunes would then be by Warhol’s band The Velvet Underground and others influenced by them.

La fiera artigianale è dietro l'angolo e Pirouette Press insieme con 9PT farà omaggio all'artista Andy Warhol. Alcuni brani adatti sarebbero quindi dalla banda di Warhol dei Velvet Underground e altri influenzati da loro.


The Velvet Underground :: Rock&Roll (Gigamesh edit)
The Velvet Underground :: There She Goes Again
The Velvet Underground :: Who Loves The Sun
David Bowie :: Andy Warhol

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Studio Visit and 5 Star Pit Stop

This month I had Manolab visit Pirouette Press studio over a weekend.  We made a pit stop in the Langhe (wine hills) at Il Boscareto, a 5 Star hotel with an “L”, (meaning lusso or luxurious) near by. Lucky for us, it’s OK to just pop in for a glass of wine and take-in the beautiful landscape!

But, back to printing... Nora and Marco are new to letterpress, but that didn’t hold them back from composing a more complicated design.

Questo mese Manolab ha visitato lo studio di Pirouette Press per un weekend. Abbiamo fatto una fermata nelle Langhe (vino, colline) a Il Boscareto, un hotel a 5 stelle con una "L", (nel senso di Lusso o di lusso) nelle vicinanze. Fortunatamente per noi, va bene solo prendere un bicchiere di vino e l'adozione nel bellissimo paesaggio!

Ma, torniamo alla stampa...Nora e Marco sono nuovi a letterpress, ma ciò non li ha trattenuti dal comporre un design più complicato.



The design was one color (that’s what we had time for), hand-mixed and pretty darn close to the color scheme they use for their identity system. They chose to compose their tag line "Paper, Scissors and Heart” in vertical and their name in horizontal. We experimented on different paper, texture and this one was printed on the back of a postcard.

Il design era un colore, mescolato a mano e vicino alla combinazione di colori che utilizzano per il loro logo e identità. Hanno scelto per comporre "carta, forbici e Cuore” il loro pay-off in verticale e il loro nome, Manolab, in orizzontale. Abbiamo sperimentato su carta diversa, consistenza e questo è stato stampato sul retro di una cartolina.


marco nora langhe

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Detroit Printing Plant :: Amos Kennedy

I contributed to Amos Kennedy’s campaign via Indiegogo is to construct a place where people can come to share and learn the craft of letterpress in Detroit. Detroit’s Printing Plant's goal is to also eventually incorporate activities like book-binding and a handmade paper mill...and maybe, just maybe a hostel for visitors and bakery.  I think this is such a wonderful project for a city like Detroit and wish the best to Amos.

Detroit Printing Prints

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Turntable Tuesday :: Just the Girls

Me in the middle with cousins : original polaroid taken at grandma’s house

An all girls list this Turntable Tuesday. Summer tunes in the studio you may have not heard of before and now glad you did. Thanks to public radio and The Dinner Party Download for healthy radio wave exposure. It’s also the second time I post this picture, I love it!

Little Dragon: Twice
Poliça: Amongster
Boy: Little Numbers

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Letterpress Stickers :: Stay Calm Drink Wine

Individual letterpress stickers with message tag in Italian: Ricordati Salute (Remember Health) | mounted on cardboard.

Stay Calm and Drink Wine

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Turntable Tuesday :: Studio Tunes

“Turntable Tuesday" is a new addition to the blog. It’s a tasty treat of the best tunes playing in the studio stumbled on during the week when doing sport and listening to my favorite culture/foodie podcast mostly the Dinner Party Download.
Divine Fits: Would That Not Be Nice
Best Coast: Boyfriend
Biggie Smalls: Big Poppa

Friday, June 28, 2013

It’s a Vandercook

Big changes at Pirouette Press! There’s a Vandercook to add to the studio direct from Holland today. Problem is when we tried to fit it in the door to the new downstairs studio space, (too heavy to go upstairs) it was a little too snug--luckily my husband isn’t afraid of machinery and will be working on the problem this weekend. The solution is to lovingly remove the handle and if that doesn’t work...


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Letterpress Jam Session

Great fun this weekend with 9PT and other letterpress people from all over Europe and beyond at 2nd. edition Letterpress Workers conference/print jam session. The theme you may have guessed was food. The session was held at Macao (currently a cultural and arts but once the Municipal Slaughterhouse Company Headquarters 20 years ago) in Milan.

milk and cookies

Pirouette Press :: Milk & Cookies

linocut farm animal

Anne Marie Koper :: Linocut farm animal

Thomas Gravemaker

Thomas Gravemaker :: Typographic layout of participants

Beatrice Bless

Beatrice Bless :: Seed to Feed

Jens J.Hansen

Jens J. Hansen :: Slow and Quick