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What I really want to tell you about is this penny smashing machine that I've been working on. I want to tell you about it because it's mechanically complex and exciting, because I'm collaborating with one of the brightest people I've ever known, because it involves eight other awesome illustrators who produced killer original designs for the pennies, and because we've been working on it in some capacity for the past two years (the original idea came to us way back in 2008). There honestly isn't anything else like it.

But not now, not in this update. There's a lot to share about that project, and if I start rambling on about it you might not read about some of these other things I've been up to. And anyhow, we're still working on a lot of small details inside the thing: at the moment I'm struggling with learning how to solder stainless steel wire, and either it's hard, or I'm absolutely terrible at it, or both...

Meanwhile, I've been printing.

And it's been good. Last fall I set up a pretty scrappy screenprinting scenario in our basement. I'd always printed in studios set up by other people who had already put in work to figure out the fine tuning on their exposures, etc. Now I had a pile of old frames and supplies inherited from a retired signmaker, and it was time to put them back to work.

Experimenting. Making a few mistakes here and there. Tuning the details. Enjoying working with the limitations and the handed-down equipment (the tools all have a beautiful patina from years of hands on them). I started with a new edition of the "Teach History From Below" design from a couple years back. Moved on to messing around with layering dried plants on emulsion to build ink layers on a print about rewilding. More ideas in the works! Sketches and drawings everywhere! I've also been toying a lot with tiny little linoleum blocks: I've got a handful of them sitting in various places around the house, and I pick them up sometimes and work on them, trying to get at some fresh working methods from a process that I learned as a teenager. "Survivor" was my first printed attempt at some new ways of carving and trying not to think about it too hard.

I don't think I would ever print anything these days if it wasn't for my involvement with Justseeds, and it had been long enough that I forgot how excited other people get when you design something interesting, print it on a piece of paper, and give it to them. It's a healthy supplement to the deeper investigative dives I tend towards with most of my other work. Check out all of my other prints on Justseeds here... and while you're poking around, have a look at some of the other folks' work, because there's some damned talented people in that crew.
DIYDPW: it's a semi-regular blog channel that I've been doing over at Justseeds since late 2011. Basically I document scenarios where individuals or communities don't wait for the Department of Public Works to solve a local infrastructure problem -- they take matters into their own hands. Mostly this manifests as hand-made municipal signage. I'm looking out for this stuff all the time, but I also take contributions! Get in touch!
Check out the DIYDPW channel on the Justseeds blog...

What's going on down at the West Virginia Mine Wars Museum?

Well, we closed up for a bit over the winter, but we've already reopened for spring! I went down in December to tweak a few details, and others in our fantastic crew have been busy managing all kinds of crucial financial stability details, media outreach, hiring a new program fellow, future event planning, organizing of our new newsletter/journal (on real paper!), and planning our Miner's Memorial project to be unleashed TBD (some time after we nail down what, exactly, it's actually going to be). Anyhow, if you haven't made it to the museum yet, great! Because it looks just a little nicer this spring. Give me a holler if you're headed down...

...and by the way, May 16th marks our one year anniversary! 

(we got a giant new monitor to replace the projector that died prematurely... details, details!)
Group Exhibtions Upcoming, both at SPACE in downtown Pittsburgh:
John Riegert, curated by Brett Yasko: 6/24 - 9/4/2016  (seriously, there are 250 local artists in this show)
...and I'll have work from a previous exhibit in an exhibition of regional sculpture set to coincide with the 26th International Sculpture Conference this October, curated by Murray Horne (details TBA).
Prints on Paper @ Justseeds
Prints on Paper @ Justseeds
an online sketchbook of sorts
an online sketchbook of sorts
Here's All the Finished Work
Here's All the Finished Work
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Embrace the old ways. Send me real mail, especially postcards: 4078 Howley St | PGH PA USA | 15224

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Shaun Slifer · 4078 Howley Street · Pittsburgh, PA 15224 · USA

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