Before noon his hands were already stained the same vibrant blue as the posters hanging in his warehouse. Fourteen years of trial and error making screen prints still can’t keep Andy Crawshaw from getting dirty.
Crawshaw starting screen printing art when he was 15 years old and his punk band wanted to sell merchandise. Instead of paying someone, he decided to take on the task himself, working first out of his mom’s basement and steel tub, then building the hobby into a company, 112 Printworks, which he opened in Fremont in May with partner Rick G.
“In the past five to six years the general interest in printmaking has really exploded,” Crawshaw says. “During the past couple years a lot of people I looked up to who made me want to start print making gave me the motivation to open the store.”
112 Printworks, which fills the space that was once the Seattle Fish Co., is part indie rock band poster museum and part print factory.
“In the 60s and 70s a lot of the bands had screen printed posters and this is just a revival of it,” Crawshaw says. “As far as I know, posters then were just for promotional value and weren’t a commemorative merchandise item that people bought.”
The store features work from eight different artists, a number which is expected to grow, including an Artist of the Month and Crawshaw’s own pieces.
A poster hanging in the center of the room is one of Crawshaw’s creations, a transformation of the old Bardahl Oil sign that has lit up the neighborhood since 1953 into a “Ballard” sign, marking its prominence as a local landmark.
Other works feature artist Sasha Barr’s “Ghost Town” glow-in-the-dark print, posters featuring bands including Death Cab for Cutie, The Head and the Heart, The Jesus Lizard and Band of Horses and Crawshaw’s newest Fremont “Center of the Universe” poster.
“A print, really, is susceptible to the ability of the printer,” Crawshaw says before picking up another screen and getting back to work.
Tonight, Friday July 8th, 112 Printworks will be hosting The Art of Portable Shrines, a retrospective installation of work by the Portable Shrines Collective that will include flyers, T-shirts, album cover art and video projections plus new screen prints by Aubrey Nehring and Steve Quenell.
The opening is 6-10 and features a live performance by Ya Ho Wha 33. No cover, all ages.