Cat House Press

Cat House Press (Home of the press and the cats: Mighty, Tuntas, Sea Captain and Zoot) Specializing in prints using relief, etching and mono-print techniques, poetry broadsides and handmade books. Using 18th century letterpress techniques and handmade papers, the House generates printed materials that reflect a style reminiscent of the block book.  Textures, color, animals and landscape find their way into the prints, mixed with a bit of storytelling and myth making.

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Mighty

12 years old, loves to dance, eat canned cat food and party snacks

 

Legends, Myths and The Great Journey

Legends, Myths and the Great Journey are a series woodblock prints on Japanese paper and preserved with bees wax. The Legend, or Myth series, concludes within each particular piece. Using these images as a “spring board”, the viewer is invited and encouraged to actively reinterpret creating stories for their own experience. The Great Journey is comprised of a group of prints illustrating a particular story, or tall “tail”.

The Great Journey is based loosely on an epic story of immense proportions. It lies within the genre of storytelling that happens around a campfire with a good bottle of wine. Recalling the story the next morning is difficult at best, yet we spend the rest of our lives trying to remember. Not quite science fiction, ( there is no scientific process evident here), it is filled with the magical, mystical imaginative trip that can be taken without feeling the need to describe or explain the “how”. The “writing” found on the block prints is not discernable. It is meant to be perceived and not read. It is simply an “occurrence” the observer experiences. As an artist and storyteller I invite all that view this body of work to add their additions or renditions, verbally or visually.

The Great Journey

Maybe 6000 years ago? On a planet in a galaxy far far away, existed a vast and diverse population of organic beings. The planet, being a divine example of the great provider of life and sustenance, would seem the perfect environment for peaceful coexistence. However this was not the case. Diversity means difference, difference creates misunderstanding, misunderstanding spawns intolerance. The planet’s species were divided into a hierarchy resembling a religious caste systems currently found on earth, placing a dominant group at the top. Of course, if there is a top, there must be a “bottom”. Located at the “bottom” of this system were the creatures whose bodily functions had not evolved into the subtle and sophisticated systems found in the beings at the top. The dominant species were abhorred by the primitive physical need to ingest and digest food, defecate, pass gas, fornicate and reproduce by giving birth. So they sought a final solution. Flying in from all over the sphere, the leaders met for a brief meeting in the middle of the “day”, after much discussion, decided to seek a planet with the necessary elements for life and transport the undesirables. It would be a costly endeavor but hey, anything to rid them of these disgusting beings. Earth, a small uninhabited planet, in a relatively close universe was chosen. What happened next? We know. The age old story of an introduced species. The carnage that followed was devastating. In a world where the atmosphere did not provide all the physical needs of these creatures as on their previous planet, the inhabitants where forced to prey on each other for food and sustenance. One brilliant but aggressive species became dominant and had little regard for the needs of the rest of the populations. Soon the earth became polluted, and ravaged. Visitations, guidance and representatives sent to change the course of eventual total devastation did not help. The only solution was to bring them all back home, except the one of course that was causing all the trouble. So the great journey began on Earth, each species answering the call, making the way to the ships, side by side, predator and prey.

Legend and Myth prints

A Coyotes Tail

Alien Invasion: A Coyote’s Tail

Woodblock print on Japanese paper, mounted on wood panel, stands alone functions as a triptych

34in width 16in height

C_A Crows Message

A Crow’s Message

Woodblock print on Stonehenge preserved with bees wax, suspended healing herbs

24in width 18in height

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Take Back the Black Hills

Woodblock on Stonehenge preserved with bees wax

20in width 26in height

Great Journey Prints

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A Sacred Cow, A Murder of Crows, The Ruins of What Was Once

Woodblock on stonehenge preserved in bees wax

36 inches width 24 inches height

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What Happens At Night

woodblock and etching on stonehenge

30 inches  19 height

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In The Tradition of Point and Shoot, Photo Journalism on the Brink

woodblock on stonehenge preserved in bees wax

13 inches width 27 inches height

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Zoot, smartest cat alive, is in charge of the farm, great feet!

Poetry Broadsides

Poetry broadsides are set in Imprint 14pt. Each piece is individually printed and pulled by hand. Illustrations are done with woodblock, linocut or etching techniques.

The Poets

Gordon HenryJr. is an enrolled member of the White Earth Chippewa Tribe of Minnesota. His first novel The Light People won an American Book Award and his work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies throughout the US and Europe. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at Michigan State University.

The following broadsides feature two of his poems: Untitled Crow Abstract and When Names Escape Us.

 

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Untitled Crow Abstract

Poem by Gordon Henry Jr.

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When Names Escape Us

Hand painted etching on rives BFK

Poem by Gordon Henry Jr.

William Stafford’s poems are from the earth, living and experiencing particular places and moments in time which transcend an individual perception encompassing all experiences of all living things. James Dickey called Stafford one of the poets of our time “who pours out rivers of ink, all on good poems.” He has been my favorite poet since 1968 when I first read “Traveling Through the Dark”. The weight and power of that first reading has been with me all these years.

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The Woman at Banff

Woodcut on rives BFK

William Stafford

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At Cove

Woodcut on rives BFK

William Stafford

Handmade Books

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October Naming

Poem by Gordon Henry Jr.

Paper, bees wax

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Maybelle Visits: The Aliens Are Voting

Illustrations and text by Kathleen VanDeMark

Paper, gold leaf, and bees wax