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Artists’ Spotlights

Julie Russell-Steuart

September 9, 2012
Jessica Larsen & Breanna Schlichtmann , Reinbeck Courier

Name: Julie Russell-Steuart

Location: Reinbeck

Degree: Maryland Institute, College of Art, Bachelors of Fine Arts

Article Photos

Julie Russell-Steuart pictured in front of her Vandercook Universal III proof press at her studio.
Photo by Jessica Larsen

Day job: Caveworks Press & Studios: I have my own company providing creative services for business, which includes graphic design and writing. For example: brochures and business cards, signage for trade shows, photography, development of images and content for web, and web design on a Wordpress platform. I have been doing all of the design, marketing and advertising for the Reinbeck Art Festival as Chairperson.

Family: My husband David Steuart is my partner in creativity! He has a photography and video production background. Our daughter Cassie is seven, and in the 2nd grade. We believe she has talents in music, art and science and we look forward to helping her develop them.

Medium: Drawing, painting, artist's books, printmaking, book-related crafts.

History and Tools: My degree is in General Fine Art and while in school I busied myself with drawing, painting and photography. I had a turning point when I took some classes in alternative processes in photography, and a class in offset printing as a means to make small editions of artists' books. I realized the artists' book form, which can combine writing and imagery, was a natural for me. It was not until the summer immediately following college while doing an internship, that I found printmaking, and first pulled some prints on a Vandercook letterpress. I knew I was in love! Still, it was a long time until I had a press of my own. My husband and I have been building the print shop for over 10 years, adding equipment as we find it. I have a Vandercook Universal III proof press, several type cabinets full of metal type, a huge guillotine paper cutter, among other things. Since I've had the press, I've published some poets in small editions, poetry broadsides and linoleum prints. I occasionally print custom stationery as well. There is nothing like the feel of letterpress with its tactile qualities in paper, ink and impression.

I continue to draw, and will be offering charcoal portraits in profile at both Artapalooza and the Reinbeck Art Festival, done on the spot for purchase.

My interest in artists' books means I am training myself to construct books as well as explore the form from an artistic standpoint. I am currently at work on a book titled Throwaway that is part of an international edition of work by book artists' called BookArtObject. My playing results in fun things like the key chain books, and pocketbooks that are purses made out of used hardcover books, both of which you will find at the festival.

Inspiration: I try to dig pretty deep and find what it is that I want to say. I look at current events, continuing personal themes, and pay attention to materials and processes themselves. For example, most of the linoleum prints I did over the summer explored laying down a background color just like I first learned many years ago, playing with spritzing solvent and dabbing more ink on the plate (Cassie had fun helping me) so that each print is unique, before printing the linoleum cuts. That is what's known as a Variable Edition.

Techniques: Letterpress printing from: Hand-set type, linoleum cuts, metal cuts made from digital images, vintage cuts from advertising. Books: Various hand binding and construction styles. Drawing: charcoal. Painting: Oils and acrylics.



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The Reinbeck Art Festival will be held on September, 22 on Main Street in Reinbeck.



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