printing for the people: new leaf editions

printing for the people: new leaf editions

back to “in craft”

Granville Island’s very own Peter Braune sits down with Craft Council summer student Jane Schiedel to delve deep into his love of printing and the legacy of New Leaf Editions established in 1985 by the Master Printer and good friend of the CCBC. 

On the eastern end of Granville Island, the part tourists tend to ignore, stands New Leaf Editions. The printing company, established in 1985 and owned by Master Printer Peter Braune, has produced works for some of Canada’s greatest contemporary artists including Bill Ried, Robert Batemen, Rebecca Belmore, Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun and Susan Point to name only a small few. It stands in great contrast to the typical printing spaces of French monks and Benjamin Franklin, bringing a traditional art form to contemporary Vancouver.

Originating in Edmonton, Peter Braune studied printmaking at the Alberta College of Art and Design before eventually coming to the West Coast and graduating from Emily Carr’s Master Printer Program. In the early 1980s, Granville Island appeared vastly different than it does today, only recently receiving government funding for the refurbishment of the industrial area. However, even at the time of Braune’s arrival there was a strong artistic presence on the island. After spotting a printing press through the window of a print shop, Braune began his career on the island. This would lead to the establishment of New Leaf Editions and to the purchase of his own printing press.

Peter is drawn to printing through the challenges it presents. In his collaborative print studio, Peter and artists have to solve questions of color, print method and execution. Because of this problem solving inherent to the medium, which makes it both exciting and difficult, prints can take anywhere from a couple days to a year to create.

Peter’s own artistic inspiration comes from the natural world, things including leaves, foliage, roads and a green frog named Kermit give him the inspiration to keep creating. When not printing and collaborating with other artists, Peter’s art takes the form of etchings, cards, and smaller prints incorporating the shape, color, and design of the natural world and road debris.

Despite the idea of printmaking and print shops, sounding very old-fashioned compared to other mediums and industries, printing is more relevant than given credit for. Braune explains prints as a “proletariat art form”. Whereas paintings and sculptures are generally more expensive and for a specific clientele, prints are easily available to the masses. Compared to many art forms, prints are not awkward; they are a versatile and beautiful addition to any room. However, despite the medium’s versatility and availability, prints are not as popular as they once were. The art form is not as familiar to consumers and studying artists. This is an unfortunate reality for such a vibrant and technical art form. Despite this, New Leaf Editions still produces and works with talented artists, continuing the keep the legacy of printmaking alive. As a part of the artist community of Granville Island, Peter and his collaborators wore tirelessly to pursue their artistic passions.

New Leaf Editions in it’s many forms has come to represent a constant in the Granville island art and business community. It is open to visitors across the island to help pursue the valiant effort of artistic expression and the important task of consuming leftover local cuisine. Creating “art for the people” and executing the art of our nation’s famed artists, Peter Braune’s print shop is simultaneously a humble and yet remarkable institution in Granville Islands’ artistic community.

Head to the link below to learn more about New Leaf Editions

New Leaf Editions