Monday, July 6, 2009

Intelligent Designs

Screen printing at Tower Place

Though Tower Place Mall was eerily empty when the Documentary team went to visit the Tower Place project one morning last week, the room where the apprentices were working was bright and pleasant. Stretched across the buttery yellow wood of the floor and sketching as they searched through the books which were scattered across the room, the studio was a vision of artistry. Tower Place is creating panels that feature Cincinnati landmarks held within decorative frames. The panels will be hung later in Tower Place Mall. When we visited on the 23rd, the apprentices were working on these decorative frames, the assortment of books sprawled across the room serving as their inspiration. Some books were full of floral Victorian bouquets, others had image after image of henna designs within their pages, and still others offered up stylized Art Nouveau prints for the perusal of apprentices. Even with all of this inspiration before them, some apprentices decided to go it alone. One, Vincent, was working freehand. "I'm already kind of interested in this stuff," he said. "I've just got designs in my head."

Just a few days later, when we visited the team as they worked at the Clay Street Press, we saw the designs beginning to become a reality. Using a computer to make the designs crisp and flawless, the image of a decorative frame was then placed on a light board before being transferred onto transparent paper. I also saw the image designed to go inside this frame-- a light-filled picture of Cincinnati's iconic Museum Center. These images will later be screen printed together to form a finished product both historic and fun, drawing on the work Tower Place brainstormed earlier as well as real images from Cincinnati.

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