minouette

things from secret minouette places

Toronto, Canada

Highly rated in United States

Multiple buyers from United States gave 5-star reviews!

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Highly rated in United States

Multiple buyers from United States gave 5-star reviews!

Announcement    Block prints and housewares by minouette! Find a curiosity cabinet of natural history, science & scientists, myth, magic and more.

minouette is Captain of T.E.S.T.: Toronto Etsy Street Team, a leader of Printsy: Printmakers of Etsy and a proud member of the Mad Scientists of Etsy.

Announcement

Last updated on Oct 15, 2016

Block prints and housewares by minouette! Find a curiosity cabinet of natural history, science & scientists, myth, magic and more.

minouette is Captain of T.E.S.T.: Toronto Etsy Street Team, a leader of Printsy: Printmakers of Etsy and a proud member of the Mad Scientists of Etsy.

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2234 Sales

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Ele

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Ele

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About minouette

Sales 2,234
On Etsy since 2007

Printmaking at the intersection of art and science

When I was younger, my favorite subjects were art on the one hand and physics on the other. I decided that it was easier to pursue art on my own than it would be to attempt to be a modern-day amateur scientist. So I opened my shop as a postdoctoral fellow, working as a marine geophysicist by day and printmaker by night. My work involved building machines and going to sea to image what is below the ocean floor, which kept the spatial-numerical left-half of my brain occupied, but I couldn't survive unless I kept the pictorial right-brain happy, so I need to create art. Right now, I balance my art-making with science communication, running the Toronto Etsy Street Team and raising my baby son.

I make a lot of different things. My shop, "things from secret minouette places" is filled with block prints on beautiful Japanese paper and on textiles. Part of the magic and beauty of printmaking is the possibility of making multiples. This allows me to create original art at a very reasonable price.

I focus mainly on linoleum block prints. The process begins with drawing an image in reverse on linoleum and carving away the negative space. I use a tool called a brayer (like a paint-roller) to apply ink to the lino block. Then I take my paper or fabric, lay it on the inked block, and burnish the image onto it with another tool called a baren. The baren was developed for Japanese woodblock prints. Mine consists of a flat, but textured, disk wrapped in a bamboo leaf. To make another image, I simply apply more ink to the block and repeat.

I also make things from the printed textiles, like pillows, stuffed animals and ornaments. Sometimes I make wood block prints (in the traditional Japanese 'moku hanga' way), screenprints (also known as silkscreen or serigraph prints) and lately, more multimedia work. I love the idea of combining my scientific and technical knowledge with my art making; I've begun incorporating some electronic circuits in my artwork to allow it to interact with the viewer, for instance by lighting up, changing colour or making sounds or music.

I think the intersection of art and science is fascinating and a creative inspiration. My subject matter includes a lot of natural history (flora and fauna, some of which I've had the pleasure of observing at sea), scientists and the history of science, and some myths and legends (which served, once upon a time, to explain the world around us, as a sort of proto-science). I'm really interested in Cabinets of Curiosity (or wonder - the wunderkammer) kept by avid amateurs from the Renaissance up until the 19th century. People had huge collections of natural wonders: rocks, gems, fossils, butterflies, shells, bones, all sorts of plants and animals, real and imaginary. Science and magic were still intertwined. These collections both fostered myth (such as narwhal horns passed off as unicorn) and the development of descriptive science (including geology, paleontology, botany and zoology). I think of my shop as a Cabinet of Curiosity. It's filled with specimens from natural history (with the odd harpy or unicorn thrown in for good measure).

Shop members

  • Ele Willoughby

    Owner, Maker, Designer

    Scientist by vocation, artist by avocation, or perhaps vice versa. Ele is both a marine geophysicist and a printmaker. She pursued courses in printmaking at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Open Studio and studied moku hanga Japanese wood block printing.

Shop policies

Last updated on January 23, 2023
Welcome to minouette! Here you will find art, creatures and things for your home. Most items are made using printmaking techniques, primarily, relief printing using lino. An image is drawn and carved in reverse, the block is inked and burnished onto paper or fabric by hand. I use water-based inks, which are safer for the environment and the printmaker. I believe in reduce-reuse-recycle. Many items include upcycled vintage material and ephemera. Packaging is kept to a minimum and employs recycled material. Lino block prints are made primarily on handmade Japanese kozo (or mulberry) paper; these papers are made from fibres in mulberry leaves which means fewer trees are harvested to produce this art.

Accepted payment methods

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Accepts Etsy Gift Cards and Etsy Credits

Returns & exchanges

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Cancellations

Cancellations: not accepted

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