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.
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!
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.
This is the image I practiced with yesterday on the proof press. The one on the left is good (!) and was what I was going for. But, as the other two prints show, I still need more practice: The middle one isn’t the worst one I did, but I think a sloppy insert to the clamp before rolling skewed it just enough to preclude a clean print. The one on the right was even more sloppy, but I trimmed off the edges so some of the ‘slide’ is gone and I think is less obvious. It’ll be a postcard, so that’s okay. Then, since I had the ink on the rollers, I made a couple of postcards:
Okay, I know these fotos are sub-par in quality, but they do show what I was trying out yesterday in the printshop. I applied the last two layers of ink, an opaque light blue and finally, a dark blue. The image on the left is what I was starting with, the yellow and green (which was actually a layer of transparent blue) inks, and the image in the center is close to what I had planned in the first place, with the colors I was interested in and the use of/practice with opaque and transparent inks and, mostly, registration. This print is the second-best version of this plan and it’s clear I didn’t get it perfect. sad. The print on the right is pretty cool-looking, but not what I’d planned. A couple of things I do realize after this project: I should consistently use good quality printing paper; I think that my too-varied variety (lots of construction paper of different qualities and some very nice printing paper) precluded my getting just one good registration position because some of the paper stretched (I think) and messed me up. etc… Another thing is that I should prepare for the project much more thoroughly, from start to finish. Seems obvious, right? Well, I’ll try. Anyway, I’m still pretty tickled, but I know I have a ways to go before I’m satisfied…
This is the stuff going on in my scene: Here are the paddle fans I’m almost done with; this is what they’ll look like, mostly (I’m still figuring out the heart–a lino stamp, or a block on the letterpress, or maybe a cutout heart of other paper? hmm…). I’m pretty tickled so far, gotta say.
The two prints are from some letterpress practice as mentioned below. The purple one will be a book cover, I think. The blue and mustardy one I think can stand alone–I really like the accretion of ink and textures there and will pursue that effect some this summer.
The little flower picture shows what I was treated to when I opened up the kitchen door this morning–Huzzah! The first poppy on that side of the house. Lovely!
I had a few extra minutes in the printshop yesterday and the type on the bed was for the First Amendment paddle fan I’m working on, so I quickly dug around for a few large letters and some cut-offs from the local university’s copy shop and got to it! It took a bit of time adjusting the spacing, but I find that, just a couple of weeks back in the shop, I’m getting faster and more accurate, comfortably.
Here’s the project I worked on the other day in the printshop: I’m a First Amendment ‘fan,’ myself, so I decided to make fans for the group I spend the occasional noon hour with in front of the Courthouse, advocating for free speech and our political beliefs. Another proof reading is needed and I still have a couple of decisions to make about text placement on the back–a little higher?–and about what kind of heart, and what color, to stamp on the front. It should be done by the time it gets really hot.
Here is the first batch of fans. They’re not quite perfect, so I’ll think on it (and see how they work) and figure out what approach I might be more satisfied with. Anyway, hoorah!
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
“Using brain-imaging and other tools of neuroscience, the new field of neuroaesthetics is probing the relationship between art and the brain.”
Here’s a link to a Washington Post article entitled, “THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON ART.” (It seems to be a re-print from 2017.) It’s a little hard to read (I just hate the format it uses–but it does have some really neat action graphix, so it’s a trade-off, I guess), but it’s very interesting and supports my intuition that art is part of our animal experience. Give it a read!