About

Sarah Kulfan is a visual designer, illustrator and letterpress printer. She is the proprietrix of  Gallo Pinto Press and Beans n’ Rice where she respectively prints limited edition prints and runs her freelance graphic design business. Sarah thrives working as an independent artist and designer where the flexibility in her schedule allows her plenty of time for opting outside. When she’s not hiking a trail or climbing a peak, she can be found in her letterpress studio, working on her latest reduction cut, a printing method which has occupied much of her time lately. At an early stage of her freelance career, when there wasn’t much work to keep her occupied, she apprenticed with Stern & Faye, Letterpress Printers, where she learned the fine details of letterpress printing.
Letterpress for her is all about bridging her creative and active pursuits. It allows her to story-tell her observations outside. The interplay of shadow and light, the relative smallness of the human scale, the high-drama of sweeping landscapes, and the variety and richness of colors are just a few real life experiences she encounters when she’s outside, and these are all concepts that she is trying to bring to the page.

Process

Working with reduction cuts is an interesting challenge as a print run truly is finite. There is no possibility of creating a second edition as the plate is carved away with each pass. Each new cut that’s made after successive print runs becomes a bit of a leap of faith. It’s a nerve-wracking and immensely satisfying approach to putting down layers of ink. My process usually starts with on-site sketches and photography. I’ll refer to these photos and initial sketches while redrawing the illustration many times over to tease out details. I dial things in further by using Photoshop to help map out layers of color. Recent projects have typically ranged from six to thirteen passes. In addition to reduction cuts, split fountains, metal type and pressure printing techniques are also often looped in to the process.

Background

The row of roosters in the Gallo Pinto Press logo was printed from a piece of linotype that originated from Stern & Faye Letterpress where I learned to print.  Owned and operated by  Chris Stern and Jules Remedios Faye, “the printing farm” included a converted barn with an extensive letterpress shop and metal type foundry taking up the first floor and a bindery upstairs. Nestled on the bank of the N Fork of the Skagit, the south facing windows looked out over an apple orchard. On the drive up, you could see Sauk Mt from highway 20. Much of the equipment in my shop comes from Stern & Faye and certainly all my printing know-how can be attributed to my time at the printing farm.

Exhibitions & Speaking Engagements

New Impressions 2019
International Juried Exhibition
April 17-June 30, 2019
Opening reception: May 25, 2019, 5-7 pm
Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum
Two Rivers, Wisconsin

New Impressions is an international juried exhibition to showcase exploration and creativity with letterpress printing techniques. This call attracted 254 diverse entries from around the globe. The final 42 works on display are from artists in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and the United States.


Living a Life in Letterpress: Live at Ada’s (Episode 108)
The New Disruptors
January 23, 2019
Ada’s Technical Books and Café
Seattle, WA

Demian Johnston, designer and pressman at Annie’s Art & Press, and I spoke with Glenn Fleishman, host of the New Disruptors about devoting parts of our working lives to modern letterpress. We talk about how we got sucked into an old-school printing method and how the medium affects our design and vice-versa.


Letterpress: Making Impressions
Invitational Exhibition
January 4 – 28, 2019
Opening reception: Jan. 4, 2019, 6–8pm
The Art Project
Bainbridge Island, WA

This group invitational showcases letterpress prints by artists from the western U.S. & Canada, including Jessica Spring, Michael Hepher, Amy Redmond, Sarah Kulfan, Jenny Wilkson, Yoshiko Yamamoto, Myrna Keliher, Ellie Mathews, Heidi Hespelt, Laura Bentley, Katie Dean, Carl Youngman and Carl Montford.


Solo Show
November 1 2018 – December 31, 2018
Derby Salon
Seattle, WA


Arts North Studio Tour
October 13-14, 2018
Seattle, WA

This weekend long studio tour featured 12 artist studios, many hosting guest artists. Guests could see and purchase art on display and print a keepsake commemorative take away. Guest artists included Amy Redmond of Amada Press, Brenna Anderst of Rowan the Retriever, and Jules Remedios Faye of Stern & Faye Letterpress.


Northwind Book Arts Group Presentation
Northwind Arts Center
September 5, 2018
Port Townsend, WA

Seattle designer, illustrator and letterpress printer Sarah Kulfan of Beans ‘n Rice Creative Studio and Gallo Pinto Press has agreed to come to Port Townsend to talk about her work. Among other things, she has mastered the art of reduction linoleum cuts and will talk about her techniques. A reduction linocut can include as many as ten impressions, some of which involve graduated color. A bit of a mind-bender in terms of planning! Her print – Clallam Co. – was recently juried into Hamilton Wood Type’s New Impressions 2018, an international competition.


New Impressions 2018
International Juried Exhibition
April 17-June 30, 2018
Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum
Two Rivers, Wisconsin

New Impressions is an international, juried exhibition to showcase exploration and creativity with letterpress printing techniques.  During its fourth year, the exhibit features work on display from 42 artists in 9 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Switzerland, Argentina, Austria, Norway, Brazil and Italy. Learn more about each artist’s process by looking at this year’s digital catalog on issuu