Meri Brin has something that she wants to tell you. It has to do with ink and paper and keeping secrets. Operating under the moniker “Fixed Orifice Press”, Meri’s prints and journals are inspired by pattern and texture — multiple layers of silkscreen or letterpress pile themselves on top of each other, while linoleum cuts take center stage in glorious, contrasting color. Red Letter Day got a chance to catch up with the always-entertaining Miss Brin, and hear a bit more about her process.
“Fast Loves on Fancy” — 2010
letterpress and silkscreen broadside
JH: In 2-3 sentences, describe your work and/or press.
MB: Fixed Orifice Press is work that I make separate from my “fine art” or “graphic design” work – it’s a place for handmade journals, notebooks, postcards, broadsides, t-shirts…items that are more accessible and user-friendly, with a lower price-point than my etchings or silkscreen prints. I started FOP when making blank notebooks to sell – I didn’t want it being “Meri Brin’s Notebooks” or anything like that.
JH: If someone were interested in seeing your fine art prints, where would they go, web-wise?
MB: My portfolio of artwork and design is at www.meribrin.com
JH: Tell the RLD readers a bit about your influences & the kinds of things that inspire you.
MB: FOP is big on nature-based patterns, delicate details, and bits of fun. Ice cream cones, airplanes, lined paper, and of course dogs! A mix of old and new. A little bit of an edge, especially with the colors red and purple, drips and darkness. A dog that is part mechanical makes us look backwards and forwards at the same times. Things to slip in your pocket that no one else would have. The way paper looks when it’s been in the sun a little too much. Animals really speak to me, both in FOP and in my more personal artwork — I love to juxtapose them with other objects as well.
one of Meri’s handcrafted journals, available via Etsy…
JH: I love those two phrases: “Things to slip in your pocket that no one else would have. The way paper looks when it’s been in the sun a little too much.” They really embody the whole philosophy and look of your work…
You incorporate a variety of printmaking techniques (as well as letterpress) into your work. Do you have a favorite printmaking medium/technique you like to work with?
MB: Silkscreen is perfect for cranking out notebook covers, as well as being able to print more than one color in a short amount of time. I have been embracing more letterpress lately, which I would love to continue, but it takes a little more planning.
JH: Do you consider your work to be art? Or craft? Or a mixture of both?
MB: I feel like it is more craft, and I like that because it’s different from the work I do as “fine art”. This is a little more down and dirty, a little more DIY. I want to make things that people want to have in their pockets or send to other people for fun. I want my work to be accessible — instead of buying an etching for $300, maybe you buy a set of postcards or a notebook for $7 — but either way I want the imagery that I have created to make you smile or give you a sense of enjoyment when looking at it or using it every day.
“The Remedy on Divergent Methods” — 2008
letterpress, silkscreen, handbound artists’ book in an edition of 7
JH: Anything else we should know?
MB: I love to make stuff, and I just want to put it out there into the world for others to enjoy. There’s nothing better than getting a gift in the mail! And we heart Red Letter Day.
JH: Aww shucks. We love you right back.
For further information, feel free to visit the Fixed Orifice website
or Meri Brin’s “infinite noise” Etsy shop…