| Carsen Smithwick

Meet Masy Chighizola

Press Relief is a one-woman printshop, owned by Masy Chighizola. New to Local Pop Up and Local Supply, Masy creates all her designs using a manual process called block printing. Masy settled on the business name Press Relief because she thought it was a fun play on words such as “stress relief” and “press release” which describes block printing and the therapeutic process Masy finds with block printing. She uses an etching “press” that applies pressure to the carvings and transfers the image - much like a stamp. From the carving process -  which is called “relief” printmaking - to the transferring of the design, Masy finds this process to be her own source of stress relief.

Masy found her love for printmaking after taking a printmaking course in her graphic design major. After finishing her first project, Masy realized she had an instant love connection with printmaking and hasn’t looked back since. In 2013, she received her BFA with a focus in printmaking from Nicholls State University and moved to LSU where she received her MFA in printmaking in 2017. After many years of schooling, Masy realized creating art on a computer screen killed her enthusiasm for creating. She loved the handmade aspect of mixing your own ink, rolling the ink on a freshly carved block that you designed, and watching the design come to life after pulling the first print is her favorite place to be. 

A quick summary of her process is starting off by creating a variety of designs with linoleum blocks that she hand carves that range from playful patterns to realistic renderings. Much of her designs are influenced by her surrounding nature, ornamentation, and a “gumbo” of her Louisiana culture’s components. She always starts her designs on paper to make sure a design is perfected first. The design then gets transferred to a linoleum block by carving it into the block. She rolls ink onto the block, then the design is hand cranked through an etching press to apply enough pressure to transfer the image onto the medium she is working with. This process creates slight variations that allow for unique prints every single time, “reflect[ing] the beauty of hand carved block printing.”

There are many other creative paths Masy would love to experiment with if the opportunity presents itself, such as surface pattern design and art licensing. In 2022, she experienced a dream come true when she was able to collaborate with Anthropologie on a clothing line. When she does have some free time, Masy loves to travel and participate in outdoor activities with her husband, Joe, and dog, Murray. She also spends some free time being with and caring for her Mom.

You can find a selection of Masy’s block printed art at Local Supply such as stickers, block prints, tapestries, and even bandanas. Check out her selection in store or online, or check out her website for more of her artwork!

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