Thursday, November 15, 2012

Oscar Gillespie's Visit

Oscar has been working in the shop all week, cutting away on a large zinc plate that's polished to a jeweler's perfection. He's also taught my students how to engrave and many are cutting away on their plates. Yesterday he presented his work and influences to about 50 students and faculty. It's been a busy week so far.

Oscar is preparing copper plates to so that color can be added to the engraving he's been working on. The proof below is where the plate was yesterday afternoon, but there has been a lot more cutting since then so I suspect that it's much more lush with Oscar's distinctive line work.

Engraving is the practice of incising a design on to a hard, usually flat surface, by cutting grooves into it. The result may provide an intaglio printing plate line work for printing images on paper as prints; these images are called engravings.

Engraving was a historically important method of producing images on paper, both in artistic printmaking, and also for commercial reproductions and illustrations for books and magazines. Partly because of the difficulty of learning the technique, is much less common in printmaking today. However, traditional engraving, by hand with a burin, continues to be practised by goldsmiths, glass engravers, gunsmiths, and Oscar Gillespie!

The works below are examples of Oscar Gillespie's print work that he has shown to numerous students and faculty during his visit. These are only a few of the many prints he brought with him to share. 

This engraving with aquatint (maybe even some mezzotint) has the intense "Oscar-Red" that adds a very unique quality to his work.

The above reductive relief print was a demonstration impression that Oscar created for his students. I was glad that he brought it with him as my beginning students are currently working on relief prints, so seeing other possibilities other than simply black and white was good for them to experience.

This is one of a series of circular engravings created by Oscar, the fluidity of the line work is amazing.

Check back later to see the final impression.

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