These are samples of designs I had printed to fabric last year, both created from prints I did. The one on the left was based on a monotype and the one on the right was based on a reduction cut letterpress print. (I used the blue fabric to cover chair cushions on my chair project last year; I called it “Shop Class.”) I photographed the prints for digital files and then used the fabric printing service, “Spoonflower” to print out yardage. The images above are what the samples looked like when I ordered. (I really like the results, but because I could afford to only get a yard of each, I haven’t found anything to do with the fabric, beyond the cushion cover.)
Here are some of the prints from my time in the shop yesterday. The night before, I had quickly grabbed some cardboard and various papers, carved some designs and glued it all up; my design is all experimentation for practice. I hadn’t done any collagraphs since my BFA education, so it had been about eight years since I’d inked up a plate like this. Yikes, it takes some time and lots of attention to get the desired results. (Also, this shop isn’t really set up for this kind of printing, so I had to do some improvising–it all worked out, though.) I’m not entirely satisfied with the prints, but it started to feel familiar again and I’m going to try again, soon.
I got to lead a book binding class this last weekend and it was a bunch of fun! I hadn’t done much book-making for some time, so I introduced a few fairly basic styles that can be done at home with no special equipment and with very accessible, inexpensive materials. The participants were game and we all accomplished quite a bit! I introduced them to the proof press, too, so we added another realm of possibilities to the pursuit. And, I got use a lot of my old prints. So, all in all, the participants got a good taste of book art and I got a good reminder of what fun book-making can be and of its potential for art-creation. A good experience on a beautiful weekend!
Here’s some more stuff for paddle fans–this one promotes environmentalism, environmental awareness and climate change awareness. I’m planning on adding another layer of leaves to the foliage and trimming the sheet like the brown one in the upper left. The wooden stick will be the ‘trunk.’ Several of the typefaces I have to choose from are pretty beaten up, but I think that’s okay…it fits in with this message pretty well.
(Also, maybe I should add: the paper is cast offs from a local print shop, most of the sticks are re-used and the ink is hella old…I’m trying to make the most use of materials on hand…)
Here it is, “bust/Old Man Face,” and I’m pretty pleased with the results. My registration is spot-on about 90% of the time, which is fabu, at least for me, and I got some good subtlety in the colors. I will frame a couple of them and then prolly trim down the others for book cover material for a book binding class I’m scheduled to instruct next month. Sweet!
Here are the prints as I worked on them: On the upper left is the first layer of this reduction cut (or, the second layer on some prints where I printed the inked-up block as a background, first). Next, is the 2nd layer and, because I’m trying to learn from my mistakes, the registration is much better (so far) than on other recent projects. I experimented with transparent colors on this to see what kind of effects I can get. Second row left is the result of an application of a transparent yellow; it’s a little hard to see, but there is a clear layer of gloss apparent. Finally, I put on one more layer of transparent color. Look what happened! It’s a layer of transparent purple over the transparent yellow–I love it! I’m hyped. And, amped.
I spent a bunch of time in the printshop yesterday (yay!) and finished up the printing on my next set of paddle fans, “Pyramid of Power.” I made them with cutoffs from the local university’s print shop; the shop is always happy to give stuff away rather than to pulp it. This coated card stock works great for fanning and picked up the ink pretty well. Clearly, the type I have access to is pretty beat up, but it’s working well for my intent. I’m now looking for some American flag stickers to put in the lower right hand corner to fill that empty space. These are for the Fourth of July, but are also for every day that citizens need encouragement to believe that we have what it takes to make the nation of our ideals.
Peace in the US and everywhere.
Hey, here are a couple of t-shirts from one of the participants in the silkscreen t-shirt sesh I held the other day… It was good fun and everyone there seemed to learn something edifying. It was rewarding to see everyone find something that they were interested in trying, and the results, well, they speak for themselves!
I often listen to podcasts while doing rote or simple tasks and this morning, while carving on a linoleum block, I listened to one of my favorites, CounterSpin from Fairness and Accountability in Reporting, or FAIR, @ https://fair.org/counterspin-radio/. The program interviews a lot of sources that do not commonly get approached by corporate media reporters and talks about how corporate media often under- or mis- represent very important issues, policy or cultural trends to the detriment of citizens. The show I listened to today was an interview with Amin Husain, an organizer with the cultural activism group Decolonize This Place. The show’s host and interviewer, Janine Jackson, asks us to consider, “Cultural institutions are important sites of public conversation, but the public doesn’t have much say in who gets to lead that conversation, or the stories they tell. Activists are asking us to talk about what that means, and what it would mean to change it.” Her interview with Amin Husain discusses a lot of good points about colonization, ethnocentrism, wealth and equality. And it poses really important questions about the value of art, as culture, as manifest spirituality and as something that we assign monetary worth. It’s a really good listen, even if you’re not particularly interested in art and museums.
From the interview page: A New York-born conceptual artist and MacArthur “genius” grant recipient, Wilson has spent a lot of his career examining the way art and artifacts are chosen and exhibited. He wants everybody — the curators and the visitors — to reconsider how and why artwork makes its way into museums.