Photo: Adam Dorobiala
Ogden-born Nic Annette Miller has been practicing her humane alternative to taxidermy for just two years now. After adopting her collie companion Sheila during her senior year of school at Utah State University (where she double majored in Design and Printmaking), Miller felt compelled to go vegetarian and inspired to take her jigsaw to some birch. “‘Save a Deer, Buy a Print,’ is kind of the concept.” Miller says.
Miller’s work consists mostly of relief prints (woodcuts to be specific) of mounted game animals such as deer, moose and buffalo. She starts by carving a piece of birch, inks it up, rolls it through a press with paper, pastes the paper onto the wood and then uses a scroll saw to carve the exact image with more detail. The end product is striking and somewhat imposing, as the woodcuts are life-size.
Earlier this year, Miller was one of the graphic artists chosen to participate in the AIGA’s 100 Show, where she sold her first woodcut in a silent auction. She also participates in the University of Utah’s continuing education program Life Long Learning where she teaches photography with Holga cameras (she was initially majoring in photography at Utah State) and takes the occasional harmonica or didgeridoo class. Miller has also been working with Leia Bell, a great person to know when you are a young girl pedaling prints, and recently helped her open the new Kilby Court branch of Signed and Numbered.
As of late, Miller has had a “redheaded business partner” by the name of Emily Bunnell with whom she has created a line of paper goods. Bunnell and Miller met in the graphic design program at USU, but have only recently begun collaborating. “Art made us friends,” Miller says. Their partnership is called Friends Make Prints. Bunnell will be selling woodcuts of her own at Craft Lake City. Friends Make Prints will consist of large individual pieces by both girls and their line of smaller paper goods and prints. Their goods will range in price from five dollars to three hundred dollars, with the paper goods being the low price point and moving up based on size.
Stop by the Friends Make Prints booth at Craft Lake City, check out their stuff, and maybe get an animal head for your den or game room. If you don’t get a chance to check them out at CLC, take a look around their website: friendsmakeprints.com.