Friday, June 7, 2013

Kathryn Hunter & Junior

Who is in the photo at right?

I'm Kathryn Hunter: I own/run a letterpress printing shop where we design, print and make letterpress stationery, wedding invitations, and other paper ephemera called Blackbird Letterpress.

This is Junior, he is what we like to call a dober-mutt, he's about 5 1/2 years old. We have another dog, Jack, but this outing was just with Junior.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

We went for a walk to the park (which is the beautiful Live Oak tree area of a nearby High School) because Junior reminds me he doesn't get enough.

And we are celebrating the release of The Mapmaker's War by Ronlyn Domingue. We are super excited because I created the 18 linocut illustrations inside the book!

What's brewing?

Today it's a double espresso with 1/2 & 1/2 made at home on an old espresso machine. The beans come from a local coffee shop that roasts their own beans.

Any treats for you or Junior on this occasion?

He does like a milkbone, so he probably got two.

How did Junior get his name? Any nicknames?

This dog "fell" into us, and so we named him Junior, loosely named after the baby in Raising Arizona.

Nicknames: Boo, dog, Sasquatch (his feet are huge!), stompy (he likes to stomp around).

How were you and Junior united?

One day in February 2008, my husband David came inside the studio and said "who put the puppy in the dog yard?" (We have a large fenced-in yard at the studio where the dogs stay during the day-and we had 2 dogs already in the yard that day).

I replied, "huh?"

Sure enough, there was a 6-month-old, mangey, starving puppy in the dog yard, scared to death. Now keep in mind that the other dogs were good guard dogs and they would have never let someone open their gate. So we think he was thrown over the 6 ft fence! He was so sweet and we decided to clean him up, get him fed and back to good health and neutered and then we would find him a home. He had to be dipped for the mange for 8 weeks. The day after he was neutered he was riding in David's truck with his head out the window and the truck hit a bump and he fell out. He wasn't badly hurt but he knew the kind of act he should play, and it played right into my hands. Junior went home with us for good that day.

You did the original linocut illustrations for Ronlyn Domingue's new novel, The Mapmaker's War.  You're a dog person, and I understand she's a cat person--how did that work out?

Ronlyn took a relief printing class I taught several years back. I know she was working on the book then and wanted linocut illustrations inside. We connect on the love of that type of image.

She is so sweet to the dogs here at the studio and her love of animals shines through, what ever kind of animal it might be. With that said, any person sweet to my big dogs is a friend of mine.

Where does Junior most like to visit on an outing?

Junior loves to go down to the Louisiana coast/marsh and ride on the boat barking at buoys.

Squirrel, cat, postman...?


Squeaky toy, ball, stick...?

Squeaky toy.

What is Junior's best quality?


If Junior could change one thing about the good folks of Baton Rouge, what would it be?

He'd ask the people to quit harassing them. Our neighbor kids like to make them a bit crazy.

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Junior could speak, which actor should do his voice?

The voice for Junior would be Ed Helms.

If Junior could answer only one question in English, what would you ask him?

What is the key to happiness? (He's always happy).

Visit the Blackbird Letterpress website, and view much more of Kathryn Hunter's work.

--Marshal Zeringue

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