Skip to main content

Interlochen printmaking: Day 4


Why is that shark attacking the duck? All is explained at the foot of this post.

On day 4 of the printmaking class, we began working on a collaborative print. Two prints from the edition will be presented to benefactors of the ICCA building, at a ceremony in July. After consultation with Matthew, the Director of the ICCA, we agreed on some images that symbolise the Interlochen campus, this beautiful place situated between two lakes in the woods of northern Michigan. As I wandered around the grounds looking for inspiration, two things struck me: the big stones that were used in the construction of the smallest rehearsal studios and the largest, newest buildings; and the green benches that are scattered around the hundreds of acres of the campus. These benches used to be the seating in the giant open-air auditorium, I believe. I found one sitting on the shore of the bigger of the two lakes, which made a great picture with a lot of contrast in it. After all agreeing on the subject matter, we got to work cutting the blocks.

Ava took the image of the stone rehearsal studio, and I took the one of the bench in front of the lake. After a day and a half of setting up, preparing the registration rigs, cutting, proofing, and starting on the edition, we ended up on Thursday night with five prints from each one. Here is Ava's (first stage on the left, second on the right):


Then here's mine. I did a three-colour rainbow roll on each of the two stages, so the image on the right is already at six colours:


On Friday, the last day of the class, we will finish cutting and adding two more layers of colours.

We were so pleased with how this came out that we felt we had to go to Hofbrau's, one mile north of the campus, to celebrate with some toy drinks. I got the 'Rubber Ducky Your (sic) the One', which came with a free rubber duck:

... and Patty got the Sharkarita:


As you can see, the excellent rubber shark was already attacking Patty's straw before she could even taste her drink. It was only a matter of time before the duck became shark meat ...

 Subscribe to Praeterita in a reader

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Brancusi in Plastic

Artist Mary Ellen Croteau is showing these columns made from recycled plastic cartons and lids in the window of the Columbia College bookstore on Michigan Avenue. They are a playful homage to Brancusi's "Endless Columns", with a serious environmental message for our times:

Mary Ellen also runs a wonderful experimental art gallery in a window space in west Chicago, called Art on Armitage. I will be exhibiting a mixed media piece there during August 2012.

Restoring my Printing Press

I've just finished restoring and assembling my large etching press -- a six week process involving lots of rust removal, scrubbing with steel wool, and repainting. Here is a photo of the same kind of press from the Chicago Printmakers Collaborative:


And here is a short YouTube video of me testing the press, making sure the motor still works after nearly seven years of lying in storage:


How to etch a linoleum block

Linoleum as a material for printmaking has been used for nearly a hundred years now. Normally, you cut an image out using special gouges similar to woodcut tools, cutting away the lino around the image you want to print. This is called relief printmaking, because if you look at the block from the side, the material that remains stands up in relief from the backing material. You then roll ink with a brayer over the surface of the block, place paper over it, and either print by hand or run it through a press. You can do complex things this way (for example, reduction linocuts), but the beauty of the process is that it is quick, simple, and direct.


A few years ago, I saw some prints that were classified as coming from etched linoleum blocks, and I loved the textures I saw in them. In the last few months, I've been trying to use this technique in my own studio, learning about it as one does these days from websites and YouTube videos. I've also had email exchanges with several pr…