Thursday, July 23, 2009

Home brewed, handmade labeled - Family Affair

This is a tale of a journey, .... an adventure...

I was recently asked by my son Ryan to do something artistic that he could use to label his 'home brew'. My son has made several batches of home brew these past few years, and he was now interested in labeling the different batches to them separate them from one another, and provide an interesting look to his bottled brew. This assignment has kept me busy the past month and a half. So far we have collaborated on labels for 4 different batches of home brew. An added complication is that we are collaborating 'across the miles' - my son is in Texas and I am in California. We exchanged ideas, rough sketches, early drafts, and the final images via phone calls and email. I shipped the final digital images via email, and my son printed the labels in Texas and applied them to the bottles. This picture shows labeled bottles from 3 of the batches.

At the beginning of June the request for the first label was for the "Apricot Ale". This label assignment appealed to me because I love apricots - I was raised in a house that had an apricot tree in the backyard that was left behind when our home was built. With my first assignment I went to the grocery store and bought some good looking apricots and took them home and arranged them in my son's glass beer mug that he had received from his brother. The first sketch included just the mug and the apricots. I sent a digital image of the label to my son in Texas, and he asked if I could add some Hops.... Gee, I had no idea what Hops looked like. But, with Google and Wikipedia to the rescue.... armed with a few printouts I went to my painting class, and my teacher Jolene Anderson helped me figure out where I could 'tuck in' some Hops. My son was pleased with the final image.

Next up was a Cider that was to be titled, "Simply Cider". This time I bought some new fresh red apples and arranged them on the table, and scanned the internet for some sort of picture of a keg or barrel. I settled on drawing a barrel.




At this point I realized that the necks of the bottles needed some decoration as well, and I designed the following '
neck-hugger' that could be used as a general label:
One night my son called to say goodnight (he is 2 hours ahead of California time) and he said he needed another label for an 'Ale', but he didn't have a name for it - it was 'unnamed' and he was heading to bed... But, he did mention the name of a nearby street 'Whitecap Drive'. That got me thinking about a wave image that I had painted last fall. It took me several iterations, but I was able to 'harvest' my November 2009 wave image, for "Whitecap Ale".



The final label in the series for the time being, is for a Kolsch. For this label, Ryan wanted to use a sketch that he had done of a bike coming over a mountain top. You see, my son is a bike racer and he loves hills!! During a road race there are awards besides the final winner. In the middle of the race there may be one or more 'KOM' awards for the cyclist that gets to the top of the mountain first. They are designated the 'King of the Mountain' (KOM). This was the inspiration for the "KOM Kolsch".



This has certainly been a fun venture with my son, and an excuse for me to do some sketching and painting!!

11 comments:

Lin said...

These are WONDERFUL, Clair -- and what a clever son!! They'll really set these delectables apart! He should be very pleased!

john.p said...

What a great idea! I'm a home brewer, too, in the past, and want to get back into it. Love these labels. They add SO much to the brew.
PS:Thanks for the award nomination. Haven't decided if I'm going to fulfill the requirements to keep it, but I tickled you like what I do, and I'm no stranger to your work.

Laure Ferlita said...

Fantastic - I just love your labels - all of them! I have noticed before that you use a lot "type"" in your sketchbook images. I would love to know more about your process for creating the images and the type too.

Great job!

Margaret Ann said...

What a fantastic series...Love each and everyone...lots of love in these! :)

Claire M said...

Thanks for stopping by to take a look!

This certainly has been a very fun venture with my son. He says there will be many more in the future... so we'll see where this goes.

Laure - I do like to combine lettering in most of my pages, but it is all hand-drawn at the time. That includes the lettering in the beer labels. I find as I get older my hand is less steady (my father had a tremor, and who knows for me...), but I just keep trying to do my best.

bubblemunch said...

I get a beast of a tremor sometimes (medication) ... I incorporate it into my art at times ;-)

These labels look so cool. A great family collaboration.

Lost In Wonder said...

What a great way to share each other's hobbies.

Mary Paquet said...

Claire, all of these are just wonderful. I love the collaboration of creativity between the brewer and the artist! How special.

Ryan said...

More to come... get ready Mom for the Holiday special reserves.... as soon as flying and racing both calm down...

Thanks! They are all perfect!

Krista Meister said...

Claire, these are absolutely wonderful! What a great project for you and your son, and bravo to your son for his idea. I especially like the label with the waves.

Teresa said...

Wow.... look what I've been missing! These are wonderful! I love the variety and the soft watercolor effect. They're very appealing. Great job, Claire!