Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Star is Born

You all may remember that I mentioned some time ago that after 20+ years I’ve been thinking of diving back into marketing products from designs based on my famous New Orleans label collection. In the 80s and 90s, I marketed the Archives Past Cards® and Fabled Labels® brands on coffee mugs, gumbo bowls, prints, post cards...you name it. You can still find vintage Archives Fabled Labels® products on eBay and Etsy. Past Cards® still sell briskly all over creation. No, I don’t make a dime. (It’s a long story.)

The oldest and most spectacular images in the collection are the 13- and 15-inch diameter flour barrel labels printed between 1882 and 1890. A few of the best ones:
All are exceedingly rare and most are damaged by rodents and insects. Huge chunks are missing on some of the best ones. All that can be remedied in Photoshop. The hardest problem is the shape. Circles are difficult and expensive to mount and frame. First there’s the issue of finding a decent...not gaudy...round frame. Then there’s the problem of getting mattes and glass cut. As I cast about for ideas that would appropriately evoke the wooden barrel spirit, an idea came to me: old-fashioned wooden embroidery hoops. These probably haven’t changed in more than a hundred years. They’re still made of thin laminated natural wooden strips that suggest the barrel look and feel. They still have simple brass and metal hardware on the outer hoop. They come in all sizes. And they’re cheap. Why not do something I’ve always wanted to do and print labels on fabric and stretch them on embroidery hoops? Eureka! A new product — Barrel HoopsTM — is born!
Even as I write this, I’m building the Fabled Labels® Archive website. I’ll keep you posted.
Meanwhile, Barrel HoopsTM launched last night on eBay. Take a look.

Stay tuned. Coffee posters are next. I’ll probably post them on eBay before the end of the day.