Friday, April 18, 2014

More papermaking at Magnolia Editions

Just finished up another workshop at Magnolia Editions - this time, a focused class in pulp painting. The class set a new record for me in distance traveled by a participant - this time it was Florida!

Above, you can see the entire class took place under the very intense gaze of Chuck Close in tapestry form.

Jenny (pictured above) has made paper with David Kimball, and brought along a pouring mold he'd made for her many years ago. Here she is experimenting with incorporating doilies into the poured sheet.

The class only had six students, all of whom worked pretty much nonstop. My assistant Heather and I had to switch off for lunch, since the students wouldn't slow down. Some of them stopped and had a quick snack, but I'm not sure all of them did.

Don introduced an interesting technique. Using a piece of gampi that had been digitally printed with one of his and Era's images, he laid it under a screen that he'd gotten from a commercial paper manufacturer. The printed image was visible through the screen - although I think a thin pellon would work just as well. Students in the class played with painting some pulp using the image as a guide.

We tried pulp with formation aid and without. You can see the difference above - the yellow is without formation aid, much clumpier. Whereas the black pulp paint has formation aid and appears much more smooth, controlled, and linear.

After the class was all done giving it a try, a sheet of paper was pulled and couched on top of the pulp painted design.

The whole thing was pressed in the group pressing at the end of the workshop. A close up is below.

I'm not sure I've ever had a class go through so much pulp, make so much paper. I was kept so busy these are the only photos I took.

On Saturday, May 3, Magnolia will be offering the workshop "Creating Paper Sculptures," Rhiannon Alpers, a highly recommended class. For more information or to arrange payment, please email

Thursday, April 17, 2014

SGCI 2014 Photos

March was also so busy due to the Southern Graphics Council International Conference here in SF. I was on the Steering Committee, in charge of the Vendor Fair. We had 60 vendors, from the USA, Canada, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, and France.

During the event, I met the gentleman who had been in charge of the fair for 25 years. When he started, the fair had six vendors.

Click on photos for a larger view.

Below, Conrad Machine company helps convert another printmaker:

Wee little barrens for sale at Graphic Chemical!

Maddy Rosenberg of CENTRAL BOOKING at the fair:

An intriguing vendor, Halfwood Press. Elegantly built, and you could plug in a USB into some models.

The second evening of the conference, the Friends of Dard Hunter had a meetup in the hotel bar. As the photographer, I'm not in this picture, but you can see Eli, Rhiannon, Rebecca, Jen, Peter, and Colin. Not pictured, but John and Anne were also in attendance.

I didn't get to attend as many panels as I would have liked, but I did see Paul Mullowney's talk about multi-panel prints assembled with wheat starch. Below is a slide from a 16th century diagram of how to assemble a map. Despite sounding completely esoteric, it was fascinating.

One of my favorite things about SGCI is always being introduced to printmakers whose work I'm unfamiliar with. Three artists received lifetime achievement awards, Don Farnsworth, Juan Fuentes, and Silvia Solochek Walters. I didn't know Juan or Silvia's work before, so glad I got a chance to see some of it in person.

Didn't manage to get a shot of Silvia receiving her award, but here are Juan, and below him, Don. A little blurry due to low light.

The whole conference ended with a dance party. Break dancing, conga lines, and even printmaking-based dance moves ("whipe the plate" etc.) made an appearance.

This was the first SGCI on the West Coast. The Bay Area held up as a great region for printmaking, naturally. And these pictures are only a fraction of everything and everyone I interacted with. Fingers crossed I can afford to go to Knoxville!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

"Now. Here. This."

March was a busybusybusy month, so much that I'm still in recovery, I think. Now. Here. This. came down the first week of April, here are a few shots of the show and opening reception.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Upcoming Workshops for Spring 2014

Pulp Painting Techniques at Magnolia Editions
Saturday, April 5, 10 AM - 4 PM
Oakland, CA

Handmade paper can act as more than sheets - finely beaten paper pulp can function like paint! When dried, the pulp painted imagery is a part of the actual paper, which can stand alone as a work of art or be transformed further with printmaking, photography, collage, painting, becoming an extraordinary mixed media creation. This class will cover various pulp painting techniques, such as direct painting, stencils, and collage inclusions. Students are encouraged to bring items for inclusions, such as fabric, old photographs, thread, lace, or other items that will not bleed when wet.

Please reserve your spot by emailing, and don't hesitate to pass this info on to anyone you know who might be interested.

Handmade Paper from Plants
Pollinate Farm and Garden, Oakland, CA

Sunday, April 6, 1-3 PM

In this fun workshop, students will learn the basis for Western-style paper making, using edible and ornamental plant fibers. The hands-on portion of the class will cover basic paper sheet formation as well as fiber preparation and artistic embellishments. Participants will leave with several wet papers to be dried at home. This is a wet class! Please bring a new roll of paper towels and wear clothing and shoes that can get wet. This class is appropriate for children over the age of 8 when accompanied by an adult.

To register, please visit here. For more information on Pollinate Farm and Garden, please visit here.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Printing with applewood

Juha, after reading this, observed on the event page for Now. Here.This. that he prints with a small piece of appletree wood (image above). He sanded the branch, and says that the more he prints with it, the better and better it gets. I find my old wooden spoon does the same thing - printing and my hand burnishes and burnishes the wood to a finish unlike anything. I've commented on here before about the hand in print. Still, I'm blown away by the hand in print that has made its own tools.

Perhaps a better way to phrase this: tools become an extension of the body, even more so when made by hand.

This connection between the artist's or maker's body and the work itself is probably rather overlooked in art history. I've worked for master printers, printing the perfect print, when the goal is the almost the disappearance of the body, going for a handmade but machinelike perfection. Yet, when I first learned printing with Shelley, she often surmised that that the incidental marks - double plate registration not perfectly lining up, for example - become a signature, a suggestion that the body is more than the machine.

This is not in support of sloppiness, more a appreciation of wabi sabi. As a lone artist in my studio, I often feel the ache in my back and hands, the limitations of my height and strength, particularly when working large. (Alternately, while working in a master shop, I often felt that the key was just have a third hand to borrow at times). When I look at the finished pieces, I can feel them in my body, and feel my body in the work itself. Printmakers know that prints are made more than just by eye, process becomes a part of body memory and knowledge - for instance, when rolling up, I barely think about the little wrist twist to adjust the roller for even inking.

This is why I choose to work in processes that involve the hand directly. I've experimented with digital incorporations, and probably have not abandoned them entirely. However, I feel it is important that my hand and body have this presence - maybe only apparent to me - in my work. My body is part of the process. My body is a matrix.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sneak Peak: (Re)Appropriate at Market Street Gallery

Last night was the opening for the California Society of Printmakers exhibition (Re)Appropriate at the Market Street Gallery. Above is a panorama of the show.

Colleen Terry of the Achenbach Foundation for the Graphic Arts curated the show. She states, "Re/appropriation" can be read in myriad ways, and...speaks to historical as well as contemporary concerns with the creation of artistic content (whether by the first artist or by subsequent artists)."

My piece, Leap, was selected. In this piece, I was trying to bring some of the design impulses I've developed in my recent collages into an editioned form - breaking an image up into registers, playing with patterned elements (the blue bars in the image are fabric inclusions), as well as reduction blocks.

Actually, the most impressive thing to me about the gallery was their cat, Mo, who, despite the door being open all evening, does not leave the gallery.

The show is up till March 30, with a closing party on March 29, from 5-9 PM. It was also be part of the number of exhibitions during the 2014 Southern Graphics Council International Conference in San Francisco!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Chaos ensues

The final preparations for my show, "Now. Here. This." As Katie pointed out recently, during crunch time, it gets messy.

I've been carving this big board for the past two months or so.

It was too big for Rocinante, so I had to print it by hand with a spoon. I'm not sure how long that took, but I listened to 2-3 podcasts of Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me while spooning.

The final print:

We hang the show on March 3, and it will be up till April 4. The UC Berkeley Art and Design Extension Gallery is located at 95 Third Street in San Francisco. There will be a reception on March 20, during the Third Thursday Yerba Buena Gallery Walk, from 6:30-8. The exhibition will also be open during the Southern Graphics International Conference (although the link lists it as part of the East Bay exhibitions, despite being in San Francisco.)