Monday, December 16, 2013

End of Semester

The fall semester wrapped up really well for the printmaking community. During our final critique, there were a lot of good comments in response to 'which piece from this semester do you feel is your strongest and why?' I thought it was a good and revealing dialogue. This was the beginning class, who also printed over 600 impressions for our group project, a 2014 Calendar. I was sorry that it did not get accepted into the student exhibit because I think we were all pretty proud of that collaboration.

From the beginning class, Christina, Ashley, Katie White, and Tre (2) all had prints accepted into the student exhibit. The advanced group of acceptances are Chasson, Rebecca (2), and Alex. Alex also had his work accepted into an exhibition at the Mellwood Art Center in Louisville that will open in January.

Friday night was the opening of the Graduating BFA seniors at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft. The exhibit looked great with each of the disciplines in our program represented. Besides the 'printed' impressions on glass, paper, acetate, and contact paper, Alex also presented a performance with a follow-up installation. He started the performance with a sort of grungy attitude and appearance and finished looking like "Clark Kent", as one audience member described him. He received a nice round of applause.

One the last day of the beginning class, Maho created 'Bonbons', with six of them having a strong resemblance to me, or maybe it was my imagination. They were very sweet and she was very sweet for bringing us treats.   

Our 2014 Collaborative Calendar. Eventually printed with a red cover and back page, and black and white month and colophon pages. Almost thirty more have been ordered which will keep Donna, Amelia, Katy, and Alex busy over the holiday break. They are using the calendar to raise funds for travel to the SGCI conference in San Francisco.

Have a wonderful holiday!!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Alex's Pursuits

Alex continues his investigations of making via his body, clothed and unclothed, covered with graphite, oils, printing inks, dry pigments, and in the case above, silkscreen drawing fluid. After spreading the fluid over his torso, he pressed his body against a screen for eventual printing. Although the resulting impression was not what he expected, very flat and lacking detail, he will revisit the process with some adjustments in the risks he takes. Alex says, "For an artist to take risks, I feel that they must step out of what they know and feel they have an understanding for, and move into a realm of emptiness and infinite possibility."

Thursday, October 24, 2013

New Intaglios

The beginning print class completed their first intaglio prints of the semester. This collection of impressions explored a variety of techniques and processes, and many took on some pretty complicated approaches. The result being a strong and impressive group of intaglio prints.

Amelia impression was a combination of a progressive line etch and an open bite marble etch. Printed with black ink and a transparent yellow surface roll.

Ashley utilized line etch, aquatint, spit bite, and chine colle. She tried a surface roll, but the logistics of that and the colle proved to be more of a challenge than it was really worth, so she added a color to her intaglio ink to resolve the issue.  

Christina made use of aquatint, marble etch, line etch, and then using a glassine stencil after inking and wiping the plate did a selective surface roll. 

Dustin used aquatint, line etch, and some roulette work to 're-create' this image from The Eye.

Kathleen combined line etch, aquatint, soft ground, lots of scraping and burnishing to create this portrait of her soldier husband.

Katy's rooster was some pretty intricate line etching and spit bite.

Kaitlin employed line etch, aquatint, soft ground, and marble etch, and a little bit of soul.

Tamara's impression was inspired by her quilting experiences, and she used line etch, aquatint, chine colle, and then sewed lace onto the print.

Zane pulled this fantasy image from one of his sketchbooks, and then used line etch, aquatint, marble etch, roulette, scraping and burnishing.

Tre 'recreated' this image of Daft Punk in dinner jackets instead of leather studded outfits to explore the intaglio process of line etch, aquatint, dry point, and blended surface roll.

Maho's interests in childrens' book illustration is evident in this line and aquatint etching where she also employed water color.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Solar Plate Demonstration

Alex presented a solar plate demonstration for my beginning class on Tuesday evening. Rather than working with a traditional transparency, he created a mylar pocket that was filled with string, hair, clear contact paper with graphite offset, and other odds and ends. He placed the mylar pocket on the exposure unit glasstop and then taped the plate on top of that. The plate was then exposed three times, and in between each exposure, he carefully lifted the plate and added more string into the pocket. 

After applying ink to the exposed and 'etched' plate surface with a brayer, Alex pushed and pulled the ink around using a squeegee.   

Working the ink in multiple directions insures that ink will be deposited into the recessed areas. 

The plate is wiped with tarlatan and then followed with phonebook pages to polish the plate surface.

The plate before printing.

Alex and his print.

The impression shows all of the subtleties of the accumulated materials that were added to Alex's transparency pocket. His experiment resulted in a beautiful print. He'll continue investigating some quiet surface rolls on subsequent impressions. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A Good Read From Highpoint

A Brief History of Printmaking
Compiled by Highpoint Center for Printmaking
Printmaking has shaped culture in all parts of the world. Originally used as a form of communication, printmaking is now valued as an artistic medium with unique technical qualities. To make a print, the artist typically creates an image on a surface made out of metal, stone, wood, or other materials; the surface is then inked, and pressed onto paper to create an original print. By repeating the printing process, the artist is able to create multiple original works of art.
Printmaking has its roots in prehistoric times, when humans placed their hands on cave walls and blew pulverized pigment around them to create images. In approximately 500 BC, Sumerians carved images on cylinder seals that could be pressed into wet clay, thereby creating multiple imprints to indicate the ownership of goods. Chinese scholars created rubbings from carved texts around 200 AD, an early form of printing that could be done on paper and silk.
The invention of paper set the stage for printmaking throughout the world, because paper was affordable and well-suited to printing. As papermaking knowledge spread from China to the rest of Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, printmaking became more widespread and technologically sophisticated.
Printmaking initially flourished as a form of communication, for it enabled artists to make multiples that could be disseminated to a large number of people. Starting in the eighth century, Japanese artists used printmaking to make multiple editions of Buddhist manuscripts. In fourteenth century Europe, woodcut prints became a popular way to distribute Christian images to the common people. In the fifteenth century, Gutenberg’s printed Bible ushered in a whole new era of literacy.
From the Renaissance onward, individual artists became known for their spectacular use of printmaking. Albrecht Dürer dazzled fifteenth century audiences with the exquisite detail and consummate craftsmanship of his paintings, woodblock prints, and engravings. Two centuries later, Rembrandt’s mastery of the intaglio medium enabled him to create an influential group of over three hundred printmaking plates. About the same time, Japanese artists such as Katsushika Hokusai took the art of woodblock printing to new heights. Over time, the “toolbox” of printmaking techniques expanded to include etching, mezzotint, and eventually lithography, silkscreen, and monoprint. As processes became more complex, more artists began to work in printshops with professional facilities and the expertise of a Master Printer.
The late nineteenth century saw the rise of the artist-printmaker in Europe and the United States. Whether working independently or collaboratively with Master Printers, these artist-printmakers helped to firmly establish their medium within the artistic canon. Seminal figures within the nineteenth century include Turner, Whistler, Blake, Degas, Cassatt, and Goya. Artist-printmakers in the first half of the twentieth century include legends such as Chagall, Matisse, Munch, Picasso, Miro, Arp, Ernst, Dali, Kollwitz, Beckmann, Barlach, Kandinsky, Klee, Hopper, and more.
In the same time period, artists all over the world carried printmaking to new heights. Japanese artists, for example, worked within the established tradition of ukiyo-e printmaking to create lumious woodblock prints depicting scenes from mythology and everyday life. In Mexico, artists such as José Posada flocked to printmaking for its graphic beauty and potential to effect social change. The famous Mexican Taller de Gráfica Popular (Workshop for Popular Graphics) provided access and inspiration for an entire generation of artists.
Contemporary artists continue to use printmaking for its unique visual qualities. As today’s artist-printmakers work with time-honored hand processes, often in communal printmaking workshops that foster collaboration and innovation, they build on the rich traditions of their artistic forebears.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Advanced Printmaking

The advanced print group is well on the way exploring many avenues of expression. Alex is body-stamping on curved sheets of glass and contact paper; Angie is looking at photoploymer plates for both intaglio and relief; Chasson started with intaglio and plans to move into monotypes and possibly relief; Emily is printing relief and then pasting the images around town, and Rebecca is getting her feet back into the process after a two year hiatus, starting with intaglio. Here are their beginnings:






Fall 2013, Printmaking Basic Media

A new semester has started in the printshop. We started the learning process with three-color separation monotypes, getting everyone acclimated to the shop, the press, and the idea of building imagery with layers. There were some strong responses to the process and some engaging explorations into color, texture, line, and value. Some examples: