Harpy House Press
Harpy House Press
Run by Alexandra Montclair, Harpy House Press is a Risograph press located in Astoria, Queens, NYC. Alexandra is an art school drop out, eventually completing an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice and a Masters in Counseling Psychology. She trained to be a therapist until she was in an accident that resulted in her taking some time off to recover. During that time, she got into Risograph printing through some local studios (Tiny Splendor and Awkward Ladies Club), and eventually bought her own machine. “I do my best work at home and being able to access the machine when I want, so I knew that getting a Riso was what I needed to do,” says the printmaker.
Harpy House Press produce prints, zines, and books. As she has continued to experiment with her machine, Alexandra has made “whatever strikes my fancy”; true crime, spooky stuff and horror movies, tributes to The X-Files and Twin Peaks. However, she is now moving her focus towards handmade books in feminist and Jungian depth psychology themes. She tells us; “Quite a mix I know but I went to a Jungian graduate school so the realms of dreams and the unconscious and archetypes is quite fascinating to me. And feminism because I believe in the liberation and empowerment of all women.”
“I love risograph because it’s endlessly adaptable. You can produce anything you want in any style. The trick is working with the machine to produce it correctly. The risograph is not created nor calibrated to make fine art prints. It has a mind of its own, and that’s part of its charm and its frustrations. It’s a constant learning process and I’ve had to adapt my way of preparing images for printing so that it looks best in riso and also learn the intricacies of the machinery to fine tune for good quality prints. I love the vivacity of the colors and how each print is unique. With riso you’re only bound by your imagination and your ability to manipulate the machine.”
As a curious person, Alexandra draws inspiration from everywhere, but particularly likes the inspiration that comes from our dreaming minds. She states; “Our psyches speak to us through symbols in our dreams and bringing that out and printing it on paper is way of communicating with ourselves.” However, she also finds influence from found photographs and imagery, and uses a lot of public domain imagery, finding many gems trawling through museum collections and libraries from all over the globe.
Thinking about the future of Harpy House Press, Alexandra would like to focus more on little books and periodicals. Her newest book, Materia, is a collection of collage exploring the dreamworlds and unconscious realms. She hopes to make this a quarterly publication to collect. Alexandra would also love to make a feminist newspaper of women to admire!
via People of Print https://ift.tt/3txEBCL
March 17, 2023 at 05:36AM
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