I’ve spent a few hours in the print shop of a local community college and have been, slowly, getting back into the print groove…It’s a very different feel from my woodworking classroom and it’s a real relief to be in a bright, spacious and sawdust-free workspace. It still takes a lot of energy and focus, but the reward is almost immediate and the ink smells like home.
printmaking classroom, press furniture, Challenger letterpresses, Cherokee syllabary type
Once again, one of my favorite radio shows, On the Media, talks about something vital in my world; the other week, it was mass transit and this time, it’s gorgeous, illuminating, exciting art! On their December 21st program, OTM discusses the fabulous Guggenheim exhibit of the mystical work of Hilma af Klint, “Paintings for the Future.” This OTM segment is fascinating and informative about an artist I’d been hearing/seeing things about here and there for a little while–I regularly listen to On the Media, and, amid the expected stories on politics and media, there was this gem! This segment explores not just the art itself, but how it was positioned in history and how it came to be in the Guggenheim. I urge you to listen and be inspired! (The first several minutes of the segment is solicitation of donations, but at about 4 or 4.5 minutes, the segment about af Klint starts.)
1/18/19Hey, here’s another radio show on af Klint! Studio 360(PRI.org) has an exploration of her work and its place in (art) history. It’s a nice piece about the history of af Klint and her work and it also mentions some of the work artists have done in response to her work.
These are a couple of calendars I made as examples for a class I’m scheduled to lead: quick intro to letterpress using a calendar format. The images are two-color lino block images printed on half a page, the other half left blank to staple a 12 month calendar to. Left, it’s about 9″ x 12″, right, 11″ x 17″. Then, fold the whole thing in half and slip it into a manilla envelope and mail it off!
This is my current work space, at least some of it. I do a lot of work at the kitchen table, the sketching, the carving, the laying out, etc, but the inking and printing I do on these mobile carts. The inking cart is a rolling delight I designed and built in my woodworking course and my little press is currently resting on a metal tool cart I got a few years ago and have since dedicated to printmaking. The shelving on the right is half storage and half art supplies; I often use the top shelves for drying prints. I can roll the carts into the kitchen when I start getting sloppy and when I’m done, I can roll them back into a corner of our small living room (which is actually devoted to storage and studio space). The setup is imperfect, but it works.
==>I really enjoy looking at other peoples’ workspace–I happened across the site Hyperallergic and their occasional entry “A View From the Easel.” It’s helpful to see how other people find ways to be be successful in seemingly less-than-ideal spaces.
I’ve got another layer of color to add and some trimming to do and then, postcards. And, a change of palette! These cards have used up the last of my old ink remnants and I’m looking forward to some blues and bright greens!
Here’s my response to the lovely poppies crowding my tomato plant–a t-shirt! I did a quick stencil screen print and hope it’s dry enough to wear to my woodworking class tomorrow. (The shirt is from the thrift and I made the stencil from some old cut-price Contact paper. Worked okay.)
Where I am here and now is pretty nice, but: I’d love to be slopping it up in a bunch of ink (or pulp!) in a cooperative art space with a bunch of like-minded associates in the service of art for all! This above is a picture of Taller Leñateros in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas México (2009), a wonderful print and paper-making cooperative workshop.
This was the letterpress studio of an acquaintance of mine where I spent a lot of time learning about printmaking and learning about art. Although I would not use the term “beloved” to describe this place, I do feel an enduring affection for the old press, the uneven floor and the inky atmosphere. The time I spent alone there, happily working and teaching myself, made a difference in my life and I treasure the memories.
This is a print, seen elsewhere on this site sans frame, that displays a sense of being “weathered.” I really love the worn-out look; it reminds me of the stuff that hung in offices where my parents and their friends worked (back in the 1960s, 70s). The old frame is ‘reclaimed’ (clean and tightened, etc) from a thrift store–it fits the print, I think.