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Inspiration Board | Bearded Lady Screen Prints

Abi Daniel first met Josh Chalmers when he oversold her on an order of T-shirts for the Blue Genie Art Bazaar.

“Oh, he totally oversold me,” Daniel says. “Took me a couple of years to get rid of all of them.” The pair met in 2006, were married by 2010, and went into business together in 2011. Chalmers had first started screen-printing in his garage years earlier (“a time-honored tradition,” Daniel explains), to supply merchandise for his band and record label. He then started Bearded Lady in 2002. Meanwhile, Daniel built a freelance design and illustrating career. Eventually, after meeting Chalmers, she started helping her beau with Bearded Lady, taking on screen separations and design. “The benefit of being a couple and being bosses is that we get to hang out all the time,” Daniel says. “And the hardest part is that we have to hang out all the time.”

She adds, though, that all of the time spent together has benefited their relationship, as well as their business: “It necessitates a lot of honest, open communication. We definitely talk things out.” At Bearded Lady, the two, alongside their team, specialize in event posters, printed apparel, and the publishing of editioned art prints. Pop by Bearded Lady anytime Wednesday through Saturday from 11 am to 6 pm. Daniel also still designs and illustrates under the name Hoarsefly—and does a bit of fine art too, when she has the time. In November, she’ll show at Common House (common-house.com) with Graham Francoise.

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  • Watercolor brushes. Watercolor is one of my favorite media to work with, and ironically not at all suited for translation to screen printing.
  • Home-roasted coffee beans. Daily rituals are important, especially when you work more than you should.
  • A little plastic hare that I'm pretty sure I picked up at Toy Joy ages ago.
  • Ticonderoga pencil—my favorite. A brush pen that my good friend Tyler Harwood gave me. You can purchase ink refills for it, but I've taken it apart and refilled it myself with sumi ink. Douk-Douk pocketknife.
  • A chambray bandanna we made in collaboration with Traveller Denim featuring a vulture pattern that I drew.
  • Josh and I both carry sketchbooks from Leuchtturm 1917. I like the big one; he likes the little one. The weight and surface texture of the paper are perfect, the pages are numbered, there are built-in pockets adhered to the back cover, and they are just a really fine book to carry.
  • Antique glass paperweight I picked up from an estate sale.
  • Hot chiles—a major addiction of ours, and something we grow every summer.
  • Gardening gloves and our favorite gardening tool/gift from my mother, a circle hoe (sadly no longer in production—brilliant for weeding). One of the biggest indicators to us that we've got a healthy work-life balance happening is if we have time to care for our yard and garden.
  • Nikon Monarch binoculars. There is inspiration in the sky. Look up.
  • A little starter from an old fluorescent light in our 1950s-era paper cutter, and a metal plate from an old flat file, both with beautiful script.
  • Modelo Especial. Summer is hot and the workdays are long. Mexican beer with lime is a handy antidote for too much time spent in the shop.
  • Bouquet of herbs and an onion from our garden.
  • A scoop-coater for coating screens with emulsion, a squeegee, an ink knife and paint-can-opener that Josh has had since the inception of Bearded Lady.
  • We re-branded Bearded Lady in 2013 with the help of friend, office-mate, and talented artist/designer Mason McFee.
  • Vintage screen-printing book. We have several—they're lovely to look through and great sources of information.
  • A bass guitar string. Music is what pulled Josh into the screen-printing world in the first place, and remains a strong driving force.
  • A stack of creek-worn stones, fractured dried green creek-mud, driftwood, bone, and mossy branch. There's also inspiration on the ground. Look down.
  • A bone folder. A beautifully simple form with great utility for folding and scoring paper.
  • Three old machinist's squares, a gift from Josh's old boss, good friend, and mentor Joe Doherty.
  • The sturdy manufacturing and handsome typography of old rulers are something of a fetish for us. One should never undervalue a good cyphering rod.

Credits

Photography by Bill Sallans

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