Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Exploration Complete

I am back from my week long vacation to MPLS and MCAD. I am totally not sure where the week went. I woke up early last monday, 4:30 a.m., for bloods then off to the cities for the 9 a.m. class start time. It was like being shot out of a cannon and the next thing I know it's friday evening and time to head back home. I was so exhausted by the end of the week I wasn't sure I could pull myself out of the car when I got home, but it was so worth every minute.

We learned a great deal this past week, starting with mono type prints, that was the first exploration and I pretty much didn't care for it, but that was because it took me a few days to come to a conclusion on how I could make it work for me and be creative with it, like painting. So, it became my friend. We then learned collagraph, basically taking a piece of masonite and glueing all sorts of textures to it. Once coated with clear glues and sprays it is then used in the press to create embossings, and or you can add ink to it and do an embossing and print, or you can go one step further and add pieces of other paper that are then glued on during the embossing/printing process and that is called Chin Colle. Are you following this?
Monotype plate after print


Printed Collagraph Embossed/Inked

Then we learned lithography Intaglio and this is where I was most excited and apprehensive. This is where you create an etching on a copper plate, in this instance, give it an acid bath, cover it in ink, remove the ink and then run it through the press, this then pulls the ink out of the etched lines and on to the paper. It took me over an hour to come up with a drawing, another three hours to scratch in the drawing, an hour and 15 minutes to soak in the acid bath before I could even print. That is all while hoping the whole time I have not over or under soaked it in the acid.
Lithography (copper plate etching)

Monotype with Chin Colle, embossing, and Lithography

In the end I spent my time combining all of these processes into my concept. It was friday afternoon before I really got down to business and there wasn't much time, especially when you have to leave things dry before you can do the next process. I think I calculated it took me 12 minutes from the time I put the ink on the plate until I was able to print. I wish I had a video or photo of me cleaning the plate but I didn't think of that.

It really was worth every minute and the exhaustion I felt, it was an 'I accomplished something and had a good time' exhaustion. I also met some really nice people, all of whom are educators and that allowed for some good discussions on how to do some of these projects in class/school rooms on a budget and without the expensive and bulky equipment in the printmaking labs.

I also can't forget that this was a week I got to spend with my brother. The last time we spent this much time together was when I was in the hospital and before that probably when we both lived at home. I felt very much at home at their place, my brother and sister-in-law made me feel very welcome and took me to some great places to eat, went on walks with me, and even when he was dead tired he helped me out by taking me to see my dearest friend so I wouldn't get lost on my way home.

Tony on the press
I feel very fortunate to have had this experience, I hope the energy and inspiration I received from it will stick with me and help propel me forward as I continue to explore art in my world.

(I do apologize for my less than great sample photos. However the one of Tony is quite nice.)