About Rembrandt and Wine
- an early sip and print

Who thought of the sip and print concept?

Whoever thought up the idea that printing is enough fun to make a business? Bill Ritchie - who enjoyed all the aspects of printmaking during the 50 years he spent in printmaking starting when he as a teenager and then as a professor. Printmaking is seen by many artists as a messy and disappointing way to make art; while that can be the case, Bill taught alternatives to thousands of people.

He says "Printmaking is like a world with many portals - making plates, printing them, and tangents that radiating out of the fine arts. Crafting, designing, print shop technologies and machines can lead to fun and even games."

When did the sip and print industry start ?

In the 1970s when colleges were a firmament of change and challenge, and about the only place where you could learn printmaking. Exciting times they were, when professors had to think on their feet to keep the students' attention and stay one page ahead.

Professor Bill (who adapted the sip and print from paint and sip industry in 2014) used printing games and tricks that he thought would develop independent and creative thinking. The games backfired sometimes, but the experiments resulted in new ways of seeing printmaking as an experiences, not mere production printing, nor drawing and painting experiences.

What triggered the sip and print idea?

A book by an economist, Small is Beautiful, it triggered the success of the Mini Halfwood line of etching presses. Add to this printmaking experiences as fun and learning games, the unique, personal-sized Halfwood Mini presses enabled the next step, which was to align the art and craft of printmaking with performance and entertainment arts.

What sparked the sip and print ?

Bill was with Ethan Lind, a Busker-Etcher, at the Pike Place Market in Seattle, at his stall when a visiting Texan compared Ethan's printing stall to a "paint and sip." Bill learned about paint and sip industry from her, a spark like the birth of a new kind of edu-tainment. Bill switched the letter 'A' in the word paint to the letter 'R' in print and the print and sip industry was born.

What came next?

A few technical questions needed answers, but were easy and constituted the proprietary factors in Bill's Rembrandt and Wine concept for the sip and print industry. Fifty years in printmaking encountering just about every kind of problem helped Bill get get solutions.

Opening a business, however, is another story, though, and it's just beginning. Bill is an innovator in the arts, moreso than a business man; but he learned the lessons of the "minimum viable product" through ten years of press marketing and sales.

It's best to start by making, selling, getting feedback, improvements, and reinvesting for the next round - Rembrandt and Wine, Washington States's first sip and print, featuring presses, wine and beer made here.

What were the risks?

The paint and sip industry was twenty years old by the time sip and print started, and there were risks involved - many of the risks have already been taken by the painters. This leaves Bill and his co-founders with less risk than is typical in small business startups when engaging with the public in a profitable business venture.

Disclaimer: This is a concept under development.
For information contact
Bill Ritchie