I am a linguaphile. I love words. I love how they sound, how they feel as you pronounce them, how it feels when you create them with a stick in the sand or a pen on paper or keys on a computer. I love how apparently arbitrary sounds and markings are endowed with so much meaning. And I love how they look.
I know there are others who share this passion. And luckily for us all, some linguaphiles have taken up residence on Etsy where they sell their beautiful, sad, funny, heavy, vibrant, grimey and whimsical words. …Whimsical. Say it with me. Wim Sickle. Love.
One great shop where you can buy wonderful words with which* to adorn your home or other place is The Big Harumph. Based in Witchita (that’s in the U.S.) The Big Harumph sells awesome linocut prints in various fonts, colours and sizes. I have literally spent hours in this shop browsing their wares and imagining where I’d hang each in my hypothetical house. I absolutely have my eye on the one I want, but since it’s for my greedy self I can’t justify spending the money at the mo. Will definately be at the top of my Christmas list, though!
I love the bold message, strong colours and urban effect. The texture and the way the printing process is seen in the final piece is awesome. Words you can touch. Neat. So go to The Big Harumph and buy you some words!
The other shop that I’m love, love, loving at the moment is RawArt Letterpress. Working from California this shop sells amazing original prints as well as giclée reproductions. I adore the fun mixture of fonts, colours and symbols and can’t get enough of the beautiful, busy nature of the RawArt prints!
The second-best thing about RawArt Letterpress is the amazing range of quotes, lyrics, exclamations and prose that you can choose from. From classics and favourites like Where The Wild Things Are and Dr. Seuss to the transcending words of Rumi and Oscar Wilde. I think it was in Angela’s Ashes (by Frank McCourt) that he said reading Shakespeare “is like having jools on your tongue”. I couldn’t agree more about reading such a small group of words which express so completely how I feel. I think they’d make great gifts – so far I’ve found at least three which made me think of specific people. (Plus I wouldn’t mind receiving one – or more – myself!)
I know exactly which print I want from RawArt, too. Two lines from a Mary Oliver poem which I’d never read before but I find to be devine. I want it in huge inkiness on the wall of my home. Alas, I currently do not have my own home, or the money to afford a giant print. But my time will come.
But you’ll notice I kept the best for last. What is the very best thing about RawArt Letterpress? Why, it is the artist herself! Colette Urquhart is the amazing lady behind RawArt Letterpress. Not only is she a great artist, but she’s also pretty darn friendly and when she says she’ll reply to your message “pronto” – she means pronto! One of the great things about Etsy is getting to correspond with the artists themselves and knowing that by making purchases you’re supporting awesome people.
To be honest, I wish I was a seller on Etsy. I’m not sure what I’d sell, but I do like making things! Right now I wish I was in California being taught how to make linoprints by Colette. Is that weird? It just looks like it’d combine so many things I love: creating things, words and letters, colour, paint/ink, making piles, paper (paper, paper!), mess, composing, reading, design… less so the cleaning up, but I’m sure I’d deal!
I just need some gumption, I reckon. I need to decide what it is I’m going to do with this one wild and precious life. (Apart from spending all my money on big beautiful words on Etsy).