PRINTERVIEW!: Crystal Cawley

Crystal Cawley has been a member for over a year and can be found battling our largest press while making letter and text based patterns for a variety of her pieces and soothing our vandercook as an active Printer Without Margins. Her Printer's Devil edition (above) gives us a taste of her text pattern and embroidery mastery. 

quick bio in 2-3 sentences:

Crystal Cawley is an artist who works with paper, textiles, collected objects, and re-purposed materials. Her work explores ideas of identity, time, and loss, and draws on various traditional skills like embroidery and letterpress printing. Besides being a happy member of Pickwick Independent Press, she also prints and teaches in Portland at Wolfe Editions. 

tell us about your print:

CC: I used a photopolymer plate for the skirt, which was leftover from a print I made in 2015. It is a gathering of wood type brush-style letters photographically made into a single plate. The bodice is printed from a wood type number 3 that is in a sorts case at Pickwick. 

music you listened to while making this print?

CC: Whatever was in my head that day. I forget how to turn on the music at Pickwick.

how many times did penny make you fetch a ball for her?

CC: 0 (this time) because I was printing very early and nobody else was there.

how long have you been making prints?

CC:Since 1976. 

how do you get started with your prints?

CC: Some inspiration comes from books — I’m happy stealing quotes and ideas from poetry, non-fiction, and fiction.  Other times I go to the print shop, start looking in type cases, and start with whatever catches my eye. From there it’s getting my hands dirty and paying attention to what develops. 

what's your favorite recipe?

CC: My Aunt Clara’s chocolate cake with mocha cream frosting

other places we can see your work?

CC: My web site, locally at the Maine Women Writers Collection, and other public collections listed on my web site.

take a selfie right now 

CC: Nope, I don’t do those.