Artist in Residence
Sail away Take a guided tour inside Tugboat Printshop, a backyard woodcut press located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Set sail on Pittsburgh’s Tugboat Printshop, with Valerie Lueth at the helm!
Tugboat Printshop was founded 10 years ago in the front parlour of a 100-year-old Lawrenceville row house. Operations were kept tidy and made to work, but space became a big need pretty quickly.
This past year, a new studio outbuilding was constructed on the property to host Tugboat; printing resumed in the upgraded location last autumn. The new space is bright and airy – it’s a big cube of possibility! The Wooden toy pencil sharpener – I love things made from wood! ease of moving from home to studio is incredible (time’s tight in a household with small children). I’ve been brainstorming some wacky plans for an eventual green roof and garden… the view up top is breathtaking.
Having a studio nearby and ready to go is amazing. I can either breeze in and start anew or pick up an ongoing project with ease. The building is set into the earth (the property is on a gradient), with a tall blue box facade facing an alley zigzagging with roof lines and chimney tops. Historic Victorian brick buildings are everywhere.
The view out the studio windows is my home and garden, with indirect sunlight filtering in all day. Dutch-style doors open interchangeably to the alley. The studio space is used for a variety of different purposes, so its layout is fluid and customisable. Tugboat Printshop is an artist press specialising in traditionally made woodcut editions. Its printshop was founded in 2006 by Valerie Lueth and Paul Roden. You can see more at www.tugboatprintshop.com.
Ink is rolled and smoothed on the glass slab to eliminate inconsistencies before rolling up the block to make an impression. This sofa has just been replaced with a drawing bench. Being able to transform the room to fit new needs was a top concern and one of the main reasons the space was kept so boxy and simple. These I-beams aren’t just for show – they’ll eventually support the Tugboat Printshop roof garden. This central table is made from plywood and wrapped with canvas on sawhorses. I use an assortment of Japanese- and Americanmade tools to carve wood. A handful of V- and U-gauges make up my toolbox.