Sunday, March 24, 2013

Teaching, Letterpress, Solvent-Free Sunday and my 1st Litho in 3 Years!!

Hello folks! A million things have been going on since I last wrote. Yes, a MILLION!
When I left off, I was about to have a second opening for the show at Venue 222 at the end of February. We had wonderful attendance and great success with laying artwork out on tables.

Susan Naylor's table

My table. I'm sooo messy!

But look, people are actually coming to shuffle through the work!

My big lesson is that it is a lot less intimidating to look through work and buy it next to you on a table than to ask for something off a wall. Oh yeah, sale prices help.

Afterwards we went to a great show at MOTR- Jeecy and the Jungle from Detroit. Apparently they had even come and seen our show- how cool!

Back at Tiger Lily, I've also been doing lots of individual instruction. Some of my advanced students, Pam and Kathleen, have come back for continuing classes.

Showing Pam how to use color ink


Wait, no- do it like THIS!

Pam does some really nice work with cut-out figures on a plate

Comparing with an earlier proof

Wow, very cool technique!

Kathleen reworks an old plate

and tries chine collé

nice reworking of a triple aquatint

Next we finally get to try out all our letterpress equipment at a fabulous workshop with April Foster, who teaches at the Art Academy.

figuring out a paper tab registration system, as we don't have grippers

everyone gets a drawer of type to set a line

this was mine

and Tiger Lily's

inking up all our lines together

some enthusiastic printing!

looking over the proof

and here we are- fun times with type!

Amazingly, in May Tiger Lily will be getting a lot more letterpress equipment, hooray! Thanks to my dad's amazing bidding skills at a little-known auction during a snowstorm in PA, we got us some great stuff for cheap. So stay tuned for those details!

Next, I get to work with the wonderful folks from Visionaries+Voices in Northside. They work with and provide studio space for artists with disabilities. Here Samantha Charek brings in Braxton Thomas to try out his hand at etching.

Braxton inking his plate


time to crank it!

Here is the first proof

really nice- a map of Ohio with its towns and cities

Braxton comes back the next week after we clean up the edges of the plate and get ready to pull some nice proofs. To my delight, he digs right in and seems to have memorized the whole printing process. He's practically ready to run his own shop!

Braxton gets into green today (he's excited about St Patty's)

the black, then the green proof on the right

In the middle of all this, I also start up Solvent-Free Sunday at Tiger Lily. Some of my favorite students have sensitivities to chemicals and I wanted to make sure they would have a chance to come and work in the studio. Plus, it's a great excuse for me to finally do R&D on water-soluble inks and acrylic grounds.

Valerie does some viscosity printing on a collagraph with Akua inks

pulling the print

very nice- 3 colors!

She also tries Akua on zinc and copper plates, getting some nice results

Amy gets into the viscosity printing by rolling Akua overtop a wiped plate

then she removes ink and paints in the background

ready to print

voilĂ ! looks nice!

here is my arsenal of Lascaux grounds and resists- my first round was highly unsuccessful as I had it on way too thick and really did not like the white ground covering. It was very chippy and took hours to come off in the washing soda bath.

So I tried mixing in green coloring with the clear hardground. I purchased a new, soft hake brush to apply it thinly. It still wanted to separate and puddle. It was also a little chippy to draw through but not nearly as bad as the first attempt.

close-up of the plate after it's been etched

The proof. It etched pretty well, but oh man- look at all that foul biting! So obviously it was too thin in some areas. Although- I'm a little paranoid now that some of that was already on the plate. Whoops!

Tory gets ready to make some transparencies for water-based screenprinting

Joe etches a previously-grounded plate in the Saline Sulfate Solution (almost non-toxic)

Pulling the print

looks good!

We will continue our 'green' experimentation every Second Sunday at Tiger Lily. We have just gotten in a big order of Caligo Safe Wash inks to try (and a DVD I just purchased- I also grabbed two tubes of the stiffest Charbonnel Aqua Wash on sale at SGC). Plus, as recommended by Liz Chalfin of Zea Mays, we are trying out some BIG ground, which comes all the way from Wales (funny as Caligo is from there as well!). So we will have lots of experiments to share after April 14th!

We have also added other new Open Studio hours on Fridays and Saturdays (always check our blog and calendar for the latest schedule). Lots more great work has been happening on these days as well!

Rick comes in to try out more letterpress

a possible business card with our halftone copper plates?

but oooh, we've GOT to try out this guy!

locking him up

here he is!

we have crowned him, 'Studio Dad'. Every shop needs one!

I actually get a little bit of work done

 Our artist-in-residence, Jack-Arthur gets rolling on a linocut


transparency ready for T-shirts. It's serious!

Tory pulls the squeegee on a new image

nice work!

Joe returns

a new plate with multiple etching times- very nice. let's do more!

in the meantime, we got our own lovely can of Printeresting black for supporting the Hamilton Wood Type museum. It's very nice and blue-toned

I also found out I'm a 'real' printmaker as I've started carting hardground around in my cup holder : )

Lastly, I've been working for a month on a stone as I am a visiting artist at Miami University in Oxford, OH. I was lucky to have Professor Ellen Price ask me to work with her class this spring by editioning a litho.

I place my drawing over top of iron oxide paper to transfer to the stone

here comes the transferred drawing

now putting gum arabic on the border so my smudgy fingerprints won't show up all over the place

 the drawing, moving along after a couple weeks

and here it is- finally I'm about finished! let's hope she prints alright!

So yes, this is tomorrow morning that I go up to Miami to etch and roll-up the stone and work with the students. Wednesday I should be printing all day then giving a talk to a letterpress class. I'm also busy editioning for several artists, most likely adding a fourth to the roster. Tuesday I have an interview!! (I will tell you all about it if it goes well) and I start teaching another intro class this week. We are also extremely busy planning our conference at Tiger Lily Press- the Ohio Print Gathering 2013. It happens on May 31st-June 1st, so be sure to check the conference blog for updates and details!
Oh yeah, and speaking of conferences, I JUST got back from SGC in Milwaukee. Wow, what an amazing time! So there will be another post with those stories.

All the best and writing you soon!

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