Christin, Ally, Alex, Kaitlyn and Daniel
Art Historian and teacher Robert "Bob" McClain and his wife, University of Oregon Professor of Japanese Language and Literature Dr. Yoko Matsuoka McClain, would visit printmakers and collect original prints during their trips to Japan, then sell the prints when they returned home. Over time Bob became interested in learning how to make woodblock prints himself and studied with Junichiro Sekino. In the late 1970's he realized he could create a business importing and selling printmaking supplies from Japan. The earliest price list we can find is dated 1979. During the 1980's Robert McClain Japanese Prints & Supplies quickly became recognized as the leading supplier of superior quality art materials for Moku Hanga (Japanese-style woodblock prints) in the U.S.
Bob McClain Bob and Yoko McClain, 1956
In 1991, after Bob McClain's death, Elaine Chandler purchased the supply business. Elaine renamed it McClain's Printmaking Supplies in honor of its founder. A well-known and respected printmaker herself, Elaine taught Moku Hanga workshops and promoted Japanese tools and materials to other instructors and schools around the country. Elaine also expanded McClain's to include materials for other forms of relief printmaking, including linoleum and wood engraving supplies.
In February 2001, Elaine sold McClain's to Alex Prentiss, her former Moku Hanga student. Alex's background is in library science, retail sales, and technical writing and illustrating. On the art side, she is an experienced letterpress printer, book artist and western-style woodcut printmaker. After falling in love with Moku Hanga more than 20 years ago, Alex now teaches Moku Hanga workshops in the Portland area.
McClain's staff includes Alix "Ally" Stinnett, who joined McClain's in May, 2011. Ally attended Central Washington University where she majored in both Sociology and Studio Art. She first got excited about printmaking while taking a class at Oregon State University and enjoys making Moku Hanga prints. Ally is in charge of McClain's Newsletter and Instagram. When not working at McClain’s, Ally keeps busy chasing after her three-year old daughter Quinn and catching naps whenever she can.
In October 2014 Daniel Jasa started working at McClain's. Daniel has an MFA in Printmaking from Northern Illinois University and an undergraduate degree from the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) in Oregon. In addition to running a tool sharpening business, he hosts a weekly open studio session at Atelier Meridian where he occasionally teaches workshops on printmaking and sharpening tools. His work is currently on display at the Portland Art Museum's Rental Sales Gallery. You can also view Daniel's work at danieljasa.com.
Christin Mottaz came to McClain’s in July, 2018. Christin was raised in the Pacific Northwest and studied Printmaking and Art Practices at Portland State University. Christin is full of creative energy and in addition to printmaking, enjoys making costumes, vegetarian cooking and baking fabulous cakes. She recently combined her love of costumes and running for Portland’s “Run Like Hell” Halloween race.
Kaitlyn Mays graduated from Columbus College of Art & Design and ran the print lab there. Starting in 2012 as a full-time employee, she now fits a few days a week in here between her other job, working at the Portland Farmer’s Market. She taught herself and now teaches an ancient kind of fabric making called nålbinding or needle binding, which predates knitting and crocheting.
In addition to teaching printmaking at Portland State University and Portland Community College, Josh Hulst continues to help out at McClain's. A McClain’s employee since 2007, with an MFA in printmaking from the University of Oregon, Josh is an expert in all areas of printmaking and will happily and skillfully answer your questions about technique and supplies.
Under Alex's leadership, McClain's continues to offer the high-quality service, tools and printmaking materials that have made it the leading supplier for relief printmakers both here and abroad for over 40 years. Our purpose is to help relief printmakers find the materials and support they need to reach their printmaking goals.