An artist’s studio can say a lot about them. What they put on the walls or the tools they use can reveal more about the person and their process. But where are local artists working? Frame of Mind is a monthly feature focusing on Baton Rouge creators and the spaces they work in.
You can’t mistake Kathryn Hunter’s workshop and business space for any other studio in town. Blackbird Letterpress is located in a funky duplex on a quiet block of Main Street. This female-owned and operated print shop resides on the ground floor of Hunter's Mid City home, sandwiched between a cemetery and WHYR, Baton Rouge's community radio station.
The business has become a go-to spot for specialized, Baton Rouge-made print goods. With all of its designs created in-house, Blackbird Letterpress focuses on making stationery, notebooks, handmade cards and products like totes and perpetual calendars.
The workspace is full. Tools, papers, equipment and filing cabinets, filled with various paper types, letterpress blocks and business inventory, line the front of the studio. Hand-printed feminist propaganda hangs around the shop alongside quirky animal prints and figurines — both of these are a signature theme in Blackbird Letterpress and Hunter’s personal art.
Large, antique printing presses and machines are the focal point of the main production area where the small team of printers works closely together to hand print and assemble most of Blackbird’s products.
Right off of the main area is Hunter’s personal workspace and office, one of the coziest rooms in the shop. At first glance, it may seem cluttered, but like most artists, everything is creatively organized and every little thing has its own place. A huge window pours natural light on Hunter’s desk where she can draw and work on her personal art as well as her business.
Hunter surrounds herself with art and things she enjoys, creating a positive, inspiring workspace for herself and other artists to work in.