Hey Abi + Josh - can you tell us a little about Bearded Lady, what sort of things you do and what sort of things you're bringing to Feliz?
Bearded Lady is a print shop, studio, and retail space tucked on a short, out-of-the-way stretch of 4th street in East Austin. We provide customized textile printing services to a small handful of particular clients like Traveller Denim and Helm Boots, collaborate with artists to publish limited edition art prints and create small runs of products with them like sew-on patches and various wearables, and work with several talented poster artists printing gig posters throughout the year. Though Bearded Lady has been providing print services in Austin since 2002, we've shifted our focus in recent years to scale back the commercial printing we had been doing and work more on our own products and artist collaborations. In 2014, we've also started teaching workshops, both here in our studio and out at the Chinati Foundation in Far West Texas. We're very excited about that, and have plans to develop workshop programming more fully in the coming year.
We're psyched to be participating in Feliz this year! We are planning to bring a variety of limited edition art prints, a select few gig posters, framed prints on wood, artist patches, greeting cards, chambray bandanas, flour sack towels, and some of our smaller runs of shirts and tanks.
How did you two meet?
Though we ran in overlapping social circles, Josh and didn't meet until 2006 when I hired him to print some shirts. I'm an illustrator/designer by trade, and needed extra product for an art bazaar I was participating in. We started dating, got hitched in 2010, and I stepped in to help with Bearded Lady when he bought out his business partner in 2011. Since then, we've put a lot of work, love, and passion into the business and are really proud of what we're doing these days.
I'll admit, I know almost 0 about how printing works. What is the first thing you would want someone like me to know about the printing process?
Well, it's not the easiest thing to explain in a few sentences, but the type of printing we do involves using a squee-gee to push ink through a stencil that has been burned into a fine-meshed screen, onto a variety of substrates - paper, wood, fabric, what-have-you. Like other forms of printmaking, screen printing is very process-oriented, involves a lot of steps, and requires a positive, adaptable personality and a willingness to roll with the punches. It's interesting in that it straddles the commercial and fine-art worlds and has both high and low applications. We enjoy that dual nature to what we do week to week.
Tell us some places where we might have seen y'alls work.
We sell our posters and a few of our garment designs at Parts & Labour on South Congress, have been doing some art print editions with the folks at Common House and Monofonus, and have been on the East Austin Studio Tour for years. You've probably most often seen our work without knowing it - decorating aprons at Houndstooth Coffee and Barlata Tapas Bar, hanging at Fair Market during ArtCrank Austin and the Handmade Motorcycle Show, or for sale out at the Trans Pecos Festival in Marfa.
What are 3 things each of you need to get to working every day?
Good coffee from beans Josh roasts in a 80's era corn-popper, eggs for breakfast, and the company of our dog, Vesper.