Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Karen Kunc demo at Sev Shoon, Seattle 12/20/2009

For those fans of printmaker Karen Kunc here is a new video demonstration (in 6 parts) recently done at the Sev Shoon Arts Center in Seattle. This video gives a great insight into the artist's mindset and technique. Videos courtesy of Mirka Hokkanen at YouTube.
Click on the "Continue Reading" link below to see all six parts.
Part 1 of 6
Part 2 of 6
Part 3 of 6 Part 4 of 6 Part 5 of 6 Part 6 of 6

Friday, December 18, 2009

Gustave Baumann - Hands of a Craftsman

One of Americas great craftsman, Gustave Baumann's color woodblock prints are masterpieces of meticulous craftsmanship and artistic vision. Occasionally interrupted by those pesty puppets, the narrative for this documentary is composed of excerpts from Baumanns own unpublished autobiography. This film presents an unparalleled insight into Baumanns artistic mind and creative process and presents superb photographic tour of his beautiful woodblock prints. He used hand ground pigments, exact carving and fine papers to create flawless prints. Each print is a simple and elegant study of the customs, people and landscape of New Mexico.

Here also is a short time lapse view of the Historic Santa Fe Foundation's restoration of the exterior of Gustave Baumann's house in Santa Fe, NM. The exterior has been returned to its original tint, which complements the hand-painted wood on the home's windows and entrance.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Carving tools - video

Okay, so here's another video clip from my studio, this time is about the tools I use to carve wood blocks.
Note: You will see a small handcrafted box where I keep my tools after use and where I also save a few wood chips from every block carved. This is my way to pay respect to the wood.

David's e-book "Your First Print"

Came across this article on David's new ebook at "eBooks Just Published".
"Remembering back to the days when I was first exploring this craft, I have created the book that I desperately wanted back then, but which didn’t exist - a book that included everything that I needed to know. I have tried to create a highly practical and focussed guidebook that will take you - step by step - completely through the process of creating your first print, answering (hopefully) all the questions you will ask along the way.”
Rich Media: The eBook contains approximately 60 ‘pages’ (each one actually a wide-screen ’spread’), as well as many photos in high-resolution format. In addition to the standard text+illustration material, it also contains numerous audio and video clips showing every important stage of the printmaking process.
Click here to visit David's e-book site:"Your First print"

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Printing setup and proofing

Here is a short video clip of my setup for printing woodblock prints. The work is being done on the bed of my very old Vandercook Model 01 proofing press...probably built back in the 1940's or 1950's. It may not be clear in the first video clip but for printing the block is prop up on a downward angle against the edge of the press to aid with the printing posture.
Make sure to leave me a comment if you have any questions or if you have some recommendations for improvement.

This next clip shows me proofing the first impression for a background color. (Note wherever I mention the word "ink" I am really referring to color pigments of the watercolor variety).

Proofing continued.....

Saturday, November 21, 2009

IFPDA Print Fair 09

The International Fine Print Dealers Association's (IFPDA) annual show, Printfair 09 in New York is considered to be one of the largest and finest in the world. The show ran November 5-9, 2009. See a full show review including photos and print prices.
Note. The Art of Japan offered a superb selection of color woodblock Orientalist prints, including two works by Hashiguchi Goyo; "Woman Applying Makeup" from 1918 that was priced at $39,500, and "Combing Her Hair" from 1920 that was marked $79,500.

Make sure to visit the IFPDA's What's On page to see a list of worlwide exhibits and workshops featuring fine prints & printmakers.

Monday, November 16, 2009

White Heron in Snow

For my latest print I wanted to include some of the traditional Japanese techniques. Here is the background block which will later be used for three more impressions. Note the traditional kento registration marks. Image size is about 3 X 9.5 inches.

The first color impression shows a very beautiful wood grain pattern for the background color. The block is made of birch plywood and Japanese hosho was the paper selected for these prints.

The baren flattens out the paper in the color areas leaving behind whites areas with a light embossing (karazuri) effect. Actually what we are seeing is the natural thickness of the paper !

For the next impression I tried a "double" gradation (bokashi). Using the same background block as before a little pigment and paste was applied to both the top and bottom of the block. First I brushed in the gradation at the bottom of the image (pigment area on brush toward the bottom) then carefully turning the brush around (pigment area on the brush now towards top) I brushed on the gradation at the top. Proper brush alignment is key during gradation to keep the paste and pigment areas from messing up. The impression was then taken with the baren. Although not traditional the white cardboard pieces are used to keep the edges of the print smudge free, they flip out of the way while applying color to the block and then flip back in place just before placing the paper on the block.
Here is the before and after photo for the "double" bokashi.
Proofing for the desired amount of bokashi turned out to be as tricky as getting the same results on every print. Eventually I settled on one of the darker tones near the right of the photo. In case you are wondering the sharp metal tool in the photo was used to cleanup the small crevices from accumulated pigment.

A third and darker gradation was applied at the top of the image for additional contrast. The key block was next and a black/blue tone was used for the branches, tree trunk and legs. Not happy with the original heron beak I had carved it was removed from the block and I went ahead printing what you see here. Then the final color impression for a new beak and eye. For the last impression no color was used. The still moist prints were placed back on the now dry background block and heavy embossing (kimedashi) was obtained by carefully pushing the paper into the carved out crevices (tree branches, trunk and heron body). The moist paper expands and takes the shape of the carved out area. The tools I used for pushing the paper were a popsicle stick and for tight spots the tip of a golf tee. This last photo shows the verso side of the print. Note the feather and wing pattern on the heron's body. As the paper dries the embossing remains. Thanks for checking out my work.....Julio

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Giovanni Berio Ligustro - Printmaker, Italy

Came across the website of this Italian printmaker who works under the pseudonym of Ligustro and was born in Imperia (Italy) in 1924. Since 1986 he has dedicated himself exclusively to the study of Japanese coloured woodblock printing and the Nishiki-e techniques in use during the Edo period, creating hand-prints on highly prized paper produced in Japan using traditional craft methods. He gives lectures and practical demonstration to bring this artistic technique and its fascinating history to the general public.
The main website is here: http://www.ligustro.it/
Here is a link contributed by David Bull with more information and larger images: click here for more images . Right click to download pdf.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Paul Jacoulet - on late night TV !!!

Not quite. Earlier this week while switching channels late at night I randomly tuned in an "adult" theme movie....to my surprise hanging in the background was a print by Paul Jacoulet..."The Miraculous Catch" from 1939. A cameraman's closeup of the couple making wild love framed the print just so that it looked like these guys were 'enjoying' the show. I laughed and could not help think if Mr. Jacoulet would have approved and if he had a good sense of humor ?

Anyway this lead is a good excuse to post these photos of Jacoulet taken in January 1946 by famous photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt for Life magazine.

more photos....

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Angelo Aversa - Woodcuts

Angelo Aversa 21 June 2009, New England
When I was very young, I began to have a natural predisposition for art but I certainly didn't imagine that one day eventually it would, and should, become my job. It's not an easy row to hoe. The so-called art system--critics, galleries, curators etc.--can be the biggest enemy for an artist. I'm not convinced that a good part of gallerists, curators and critics today do their job well. To be an artist is fantastic because it is a profession where freedom is fundamental.....
Sometimes this freedom gets blurred by the art marketers who promote certain banal themes and artists that are easy to sell. My relationship with the art system is distant because I believe in the excellence of good art over what's fashionable so I will never accept the political and tired reality of the art operators. My biggest wish and ambition was and is to be a great artist mainly for myself. Nothing is more adrenalin-inducing and emotional than to create something from nothing. When I started with the woodcut technique I never thought for a moment I could make a living from it. My main artistic formation was in a bottega darte as an apprentice to a master artist. Trained in this Renaissance way, I needed to have a patron of the arts. In fact my first patrons where and still are my family in Italy and my wife, Mary, who sustains our family and encourages me in my art. In a world where meritocracy is not always recognized, where the economic imbalance is more and more acute and where everything runs at an intolerable velocity, I thank God because there are still some people who look to the future with eyes of goodness and infinite patience. Angelo Aversa 21 June 2009, New England

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Firecracker Press, St. Louis

The Firecracker Press opened shop in February of 2002 as St. Louis, Missouris only graphic design studio and letterpress printshop. They combine antique printing technology with new thinking to design and produce objects that people enjoy seeing and feeling. They use computer design software to conceive ideas but still carve woodblocks and print by hand to produce event posters, business cards, party invitations, advertising and more.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Nick Wrobleski - describes printmaking process

Midwest based woodcut artist Nick Wroblewski describes the printmaking process before Art Fair on the Square in Madison, WI (2009). For more on Nick go to: http://nickwroblewski.com

Karen Kunc at OSU Dept of Art

Karen Kunc visits Oregon State University as part of the Visiting Artist & Scholars Program sponsored by the OSU Department of Art. This documentary features her woodcut print show titled "Printedness".

Karen Kunc was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1952. She received her BFA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1975, and her MFA from Ohio State University in 1977. She is a Cather Professor of Art at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she has taught since 1983. Her recognitions include: the 2007 Printmaker Emeritus Award from the Southern Graphics Council; a Fulbright Scholar Award, 1996; Mid-America Arts Alliance/National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, 1996 & 1984; Nebraska Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship Master Award, 1992; Individual Artist Fellowship, Ohio Arts Council, 1982. She has taught numerous workshops around the world and served as a visiting artist to over 100 institutions. She has curated exhibitions of American art for Finland, France, Egypt, and frequently serves as a juror for national competitions.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Karen Kunc Reduction Workshop 2008

Karen Kunc Reduction Woodcut Workshop at Cape Cod Community College.
This workshop was sponsored by the Printmakers of Cape Cod. It was organized by Mildred Smith and Alice Galick under the leadership of the President of the Printmakers of Cape Cod Robert Cunniff. It was held in the fully equipped printmaking studio at CCCC. This movie is a short summary of three full days of learning the techniques of reduction woodcut. All participants came away with successful editions of their prints, many ideas to try and an increased appreciation of Karen Kunc's process and exquisite woodcut prints.
For more information about Karen Kunc visit her extensive website at www.karen-kunc.com or visit Davidson Galleries.
This video has been created by Sara Ringler, a member of the Printmakers of Cape Cod and Visual Arts Coordinator at CCCC. You can see the original posting at tiscali:video

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Daniel Kelly's "Highfire" 2008

Idaho born printmaker/painter Daniel Kelly resides in Kyoto Japan since the 1970's when he was a student of Tomikichiro Tokuriki. Back in the early days of "Baren" Daniel was a frequent contributor to our discussion group and now once again via Friends of Baren Forum on Facebook.
Using a mixture of old and new techniques in the making of this print Daniel shares the step-by-step process (woodblock, chine-colle). See the video of making "HIGHFIRE"
For more info visit Daniel's website at: http://www.danielkellystudio.com/

Friday, September 4, 2009

A "whale" of a print

Check out this work by artist Julian Meredith. Julian is doing his residency at The Northern Print Biennale International Printmaking and Events which takes place across Newcastle – Gateshead – June to October 2009.
"I am printing the Blue Whale at the moment and have made three prints that are currently hanging in the hall. Each one takes a full day to complete and I expect to have finished five by the end of the residency. The Whale will be created from 25 Elm planks from a tree brought from Alnwick, Northumberland, ten years ago. This is the biggest woodcut print I have produced and the Elm is virtually extinct in Northumberland."
For more details and pictures on the making of this gigantic print and other related work check the residency website.

Monday, August 31, 2009

New tool to aid in wrapping baren

David Bull alerted me of a new tool available from Matsumura-san. It is an ingenious device to aid in holding down the baren pad while wrapping a new bamboo skin. You'll find these in the Baren Mall under the 'Printing Accessories' section ...
Here are some videos of the tool in action courtesy of the Woodlike Matsumura website.

Part 1.

Part 2.

Part 3.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tsukasa Yoshida Year of the Ox print

Anyone familiar with the Yoshida family of printmakers knows of founder Hiroshi Yoshida (1876-1950) and son's Toshi (1911-1995) and Hodaka (1926-1995). Besides the men, the women artists in the family also have carried on the family legacy.
The Yoshida family studio and enterprises is currently run by Toshi's son Tsukasa Yoshida (b. 1949) a well known printmaker on his own right. I was looking over Matsumura-san collection of Year of the Ox prints when I came across this wonderful image by Tsukasa. For more info on the Yoshida family visit this link at Artelino.com

Friday, July 31, 2009

Kathe Kollwitz (1867-1945)

Käthe Schmidt Kollwitz (July 8, 1867 April 22, 1945) was a German painter, printmaker, and sculptor whose work offered an eloquent and often searing account of the human condition in the first half of the 20th century. Her empathy for the less fortunate, expressed most famously through the graphic means of drawing, etching, lithography, and woodcut, embraced the victims of poverty, hunger, and war.Initially her work was grounded in Naturalism, and later took on Expressionistic qualities.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

911 Barenforum.org Portfolio

The Artist's Registry at the National September 11 Memorial Museum, is a gathering place and virtual gallery for art created in response to the events of 9/11. The artists range from seasoned professionals to novices inspired to express their reactions to 9/11 through painting, drawing, writing, music, and more.
It was John Center's idea that the Baren group undertake the creation of a portfolio theme "Remembering the Firemen of 9/11". The portfolio traveled across the U.S. in 2002 and thanks to the efforts of Carol Lyons it was included in the 911 Artists Registry above and also in the permanent collection of the New York City Public Library.
Image by Lezle Willliams (2002)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Social Networks & sharing info...What's the fuzz all about ?

Although our members come from all corners of the world here at barenforum.org we have always prided ourselves in being a very close-knit community of printmakers, a real family. The latest forum threads about the Baren group expanding to Facebook and the real need to upgrade our way of sharing information has brought some really animated discussion to the group.
These very short and to-the-point videos from the folks at Commoncraft explain some of the new ways people and groups are now sharing information online. While the examples given may be off-topic, think of how we as printmakers and artists can use these new tools to share & promote our cause.
What if some of these same tools and concepts were available to us here at Baren ? Some of us here are of the opinion that the future of Baren lies somewhere in this direction. The Baren experience grows !

Social Media in plain English....

Social Network in Plain English......

Blogs in Plain English.....

RSS Feeds in Plain English......

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tom Killion Workshop

As I mentioned last week I had an opportunity to visit with Tom at a woodblock printmaking workshop offered by Columbia College in downtown Chicago. Tom was gracious enough to invite me to attend the workshop and although scheduling conflicts would not permit me to attend the two day class I was able to drop in for a few hours on Sunday morning talk with Tom and take some photos.
The workshop was preceeded by a Friday night lecture/slide presentation at which Tom talked in depth about his printmaking technique and his passion for the California landscape.

"Mt. Tamalpais from Bulkley Ave., Sausalito". Multi-block reduction cut with 13 color-layers, printed Fall 2008 in edition of 165, image size 13X14.5"
You can read more about Tom's technique (mix of western/oil/reduction and Japanese traditional moku-hanga) and see his extraordinary prints at his website. Tom Killion's website is at: http://tomkillion.com/
(Click on any photo to bring up a larger image)
Friday night presentation...woodblock print step-by-step from sketch to final color impression.

The photos below are pretty self explanatory as Tom is mixing ink, registering and proofing student's blocks on a large motorized Vandercook press.

More photos below.......

Saturday, July 4, 2009

2009 Chinese New Year OX prints Gallery now up

The 2009 New Year Ox prints are up on the online gallery. Many thanks to Carole Baker for scanning and uploading the images to the Baren website.
You can see the prints received so far at: http://barenforum.org/new_year/index.html
You can also go to the participants list to see who has delivered prints (name/info in green). Approximately half has sent prints so far. The rest of us better get going and get the Oxen prints done and mailed asap.
Prints by Lynn Starun and Joseph Beery.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Baren Cairn María Arango Monterrey México exhibit

Photos of the Baren Cairn at First International Printmaking Collective 2009 Monterrey México. Centro Cultural Abasolo of the School of Arquitecture of Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León.
http://www.printsforpeacemexico.blogspot.com/ Arte Desarrollo Humano Second International Prints for Peace 2009, Second International Printmaking Collective 2010

Baren CAIRN María Arango Coordinator

I would like to share these photos of the Baren Cairn coordinated by Maria Arango. Maria was one of the 10 printmakers participating in the First International Printmaking exhibit 2009 at the Centro Cultural Abasolo School of Architecture of the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Léon. Please see the invitation with the prints of the other participants at: www.printsforpeacemexico.blogspot.com . Six international and 4 Mexican artists participated with 3 prints each. The prints with passpartout were mailled and I framed them all with 40 x 50 centimeters acrilics. I am very gratefull to all the participants for this exhibit.
I invited Maria to exhibit the Cairn in this same exhibit as coordinator. The comments were very positive in general for the exhibit. For the Cairn specially there was much interest for this inovative initiative. The Cairn besides beeing beautifull is an excellent educational and inspirational piece of art for our students and artists here. Thanks to all the 84 international printmakers that participated in the Cairn. You can see the artists names of the Cairn at: http://1000woodcuts.com/projects/cairn/index.html Second International Prints for Peace Juried Exhibit México 2009 -deadline July 15 2009 Dra. Guadalupe Victorica http://www.printsforpeacemexico.blogspot.com/ Arte Desarrollo Humano Segunda Convocatoria Internacional Grabados por la Paz México 2009 IMNRC Segunda Colectiva Internacional de Grabado 2010 Second International Prints for Peace 2009, Second International Printmaking Collective 2010

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Baren Ads & Ops June 15, 2009

Welcome to the Baren Ads & Ops Newsletter
Moku Hanga DVD In depth instructional video. This DVD is playable on your Computer or a Video player attached to the TV. The information and instructions shown on this professionally made DVD is over an hour long and is second to none. It is the accumulation of 18 years of hands on experience by Graham Scholes who has created over 100 print images, carving 600 plates and printed approximately 55 thousand sheets of Hosho Paper. Full details are available at... http://www.woodblockart.ca/how-to/ e-mail to: graham@woodblockart.ca
New Directions in Printmaking: The Technical Side Nik Semenoff produced DVD - which contains the following: § Toner in All Media: General information on how toner can be used in print media. § Waterless Lithography: Explains how to use common caulking silicone as the ink rejection surface on the plate. § Toner in Intaglio: How toner is used with photo intaglio plates and using electro-etching for safer etching. § Copper sulfate Mordant: Using inexpensive copper sulfate and common salt to etch metal plates. It can be converted to cupric chloride for etching copper plates. § Order on the Internet by using PayPal: http://www.ndiprintmaking.ca/?page_id=60

Japanese Woodblock: Moku Hanga SANTA CRUZ Classes are in the traditional water base woodcut technique of Japan, printed with watercolor and sumi ink. This refined woodcut technique offers rich, light-fast color, precise registration, non-toxic cleanup and printing without a press. It is the same technique used by the Japanese ukiyoe masters in the 19th century, made accessible for western artists. These workshops include an historical overview and focus on how the technique can be useful for contemporary printmakers.
Class dates (Class #01CAMH1-05) are: Sat. & Sun., August 23 & 24, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Registration: $200, plus $50 materials fee at class. (This includes wood, paper and color, and the loan of printing and cutting tools. Block size will be 6 x 8 inches, image size approximately 5 x 7 inches.)
Cabrillo Extension and Community Education 6500 Soquel Drive, Aptos, California 95003 The class is in room 5010 in the horticulture area at the top of the hill, overlooking Monterey Bay. Cabrillo main office: 831-479-6331 fax: 477-5239 e-mail: ce@cabrillo.edu Register on line at: www.cabrillo.edu/services/extension

Marketing Tools
ART FESTIVAL GUIDE Making a living as an artist, the brave way! Entertaining and thorough account on how to launch a career as an art festival artist. A book for brave artists who embark on the treacherous and most wonderful adventure of selling artful creations in art festivals and generally directly to the public. What you will need, how to choose shows, sales at the booth, marketing and promotion, setting goals for continued success, display tips, tricks of the trade, staying healthy and much more. http://www.1000woodcuts.com/projects/artfestivalguide/book.html

Artist Opportunities Four Oceans Press: North due October 15, 2009 Cardinal Directions will be taking sign-ups soon. http://www.fouroceanspress.com/exchange.html
Southern Winter Northern Summer Solstice 2009 Print Exchange You are invited to join an international group of printmakers who hold a print exchange at the time of the two yearly solstices. Here are the details for our next exchange. We remind you to please be mindful of the deadlines. Sign-up deadline: June 21, 2009 ... sign up by sending private email to: CharlesGMorgan@ yahoo.com

Exhibits To See
Waves, Waterfalls and Ripples: Water in Japanese Art, a small exhibition of classic prints is showing at the Allentown Art Museum through July 18. It includes 17 prints, mostly Hiroshige and Hokusai, with a couple by Hiroshige II. The Hokusai prints are all from the waterfall series and are posthumous. The Hiroshige prints are mostly from the 36 views of Fuji series. http://www.allentownartmuseum.org/exhibitions/japanese.html

Graphic Chemical and Ink http://www.graphicchemical.com
McClains Printmaking Supplies http://www.imcclains.com
Stephen Kinsella Paper – Fine Art Papers http://www.kinsellaartpapers.com
Whelan Press Printmaking Etching Press http://www.whelanpress.com/

Ads & Ops is published on the 15th of each month send your ad or opportunity request before the 13th to: ads@barenforum.org Newsletter coordinator: Mary Kuster Mail Mary Kuster

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Mike Lyon - Exhibition

"Figuring it Out: Mike Lyon Prints and Drawings." Exhibition runs from April 14 through July 19, 2009 at the Beach Museum of Art in Manhattan, Kansas. Includes large pen and ink drawings and prints by Mike Lyon plus selections from his collection of Japanese woodblock prints.

For more videos showcasing Mike's work please visit his YouTube page at http://www.youtube.com/user/aizurie or directly at Mike's website: http://mlyon.com/

Bill Ritchie & Halfwood Press Studios

Any Baren members going back about ten years may remember Seattle printmaker Bill Ritchie a frequent contributor to our forum discussions (and the creator of Emeralda World !). Bill runs Halfwood Press Studios in Seattle and is also currently making some nifty presses which he assembles by hand. Check him out in this video as he gives a new press a trial test.

Bill was a featured contributor to the Barensuji newsletter in May 2002 with an article tittled Art Dealers and Digital Defenders
For more of Bill's videos, printing demos, etc... please visit: http://www.youtube.com/user/omemeralda

Beginning Relief Printmaking

Here is a 4.5 minute introduction to relief printmaking covering the main topics of creating western style prints.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

"Dale Phelps - A Tribute" Exhibition

The Baren family has lost a dear member. Dale Phelps of Waterloo Iowa died at home on April 13th after battling prostate cancer since 1993. Dale, an active member of barenforum.org discussion group and of Baren's woodblock print exchanges since 2005 was a retired orthopedic surgeon, printmaker and along with his wife Dianne a huge supporter of the local Arts. Dale's voice and work will be sorely missed at barenforum.org.
The University of Northern Iowa Gallery of Art is currently presenting an exhibition titled 'Dale Phelps: A Tribute,' which will run from Monday, April 27 through Saturday, May 9. Dale was a 2005 graduate of UNI with Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in printmaking.
The exhibition is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday; and, noon to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. The gallery is located at the corner of Hudson Road and West 27th Street, on the main floor of the Kamerick Art Building. For more information, call (319) 273-3095 or visit www.uni.edu/artdept/gallery/

For a closer look at Dale's prints visit his personal website at: http://www.phelpsprints.com/
For more info on Dale's life and his support of the Arts read: WCF Courier - Article 1 WCF Courier - Article 2
"George W. Quixote" by Dale Phelps

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Interview with Mark Mason at Printsy ...

Over on the [Printsy - Printmakers of Etsy] blog, an interview with [Baren] member Mark Mason was published last Sunday. Read it here.
It included this nice snapshot of his workspace ...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein - 1966

A few weeks back the barenforum.org discussion turned to such topics as the current trend of appropriating other's images (commercial, graphic, computer altered, etc.) in the name of creating Art. These two videos from an USA Arts program from 1966 focus on two leaders of pop art and their preoccupations as the "movement" shifts to newer trends. To some critics both artists 'borrowed' from other commercial or Graphic work to certain degrees. While not exactly a printmaking topic I think this rare footage is worth a look.
The Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997) video shows rare footage of the artist at his studio working on several pieces and the artist describes at length his technique, comic book ideas and other themes.

The Andy Warhol (1928-1987) video is quite humorous in a sense as we see a 'younger' and quite distant Warhol. There is a clip of screeprinting at the Silver Factory and some rare footage of Warhol's inner circle.

For more info follow this link

Saturday, March 21, 2009

100 Foot Long Print

100 Foot-long steamroller print......Great music too !
This video shows the creation of a 104-foot print on October 14, 2006 for Northfield Minnesota's first Day of the Dead Celebration. Over a dozen Latino artists were assisted by a 20,000-pound, 50-year-old "Buffalo Springfield" steamroller. In steamroller printing, a.... relatively recent and infrequent occurrence in the world of visual arts, a design is drawn on a large block of wood (typically a 4'x8' sheet of particle board or press-board). The design is then carved out using routers, chisels, rotary drills, etc. At the printing site,
the wood block is set on sawhorses and inked. Then, it is laid into a template that has been devised on the ground to hold the block steady and in place while being printed. Next, a sheet of paper is carefully lowered onto the ink wet wood block and a piece of carpet is placed over the paper. As the carpet is stretched tightly in place, the steamroller is very slowly driven over the whole affair, taking care to not to turn the rollers in any way. The smallest mistake in this process leads to a smudged or creased print. For a 100' banner you multiple the whole affair by 13 artists and woodblocks and numerous helpers. All designs must be printed in a line and fairly quickly before the ink can dry. And instead of needing a dozen folks to make the process work, you need sixty or more to finally pull the banner off the wood blocks, walk it off the 100' long template, turn it, and weight it on the ground. A long, hard undertaking, the Northfield Day of the Dead prints and banners are wonderful to behold. Thanks to HDMG, Grupo Soap del Corazon, and the artists. Further documentation on this wonderful series of events can be seen at the http://artorg.info/ website. A very limited number of individual steamroller prints are available.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Chinese block printing for book making

Here is a clip on Chinese block printing for making book pages. After a bit of a history lesson we see what it takes to carve and print very fine Chinese characters and the special tools and printing setup involved.

Bareners Ray Hudson and Bea Gold are influenced by and practice the Chinese printing technique which differs quite a bit from the Japanese process. Here are a couple of references courtesy Dave Bull.
Chinese printing technique description at barenforum.org
DaZhao Village artists at work - video

Block Printing: Woodblock printing on paper, whereby individual sheets were pressed against wooden blocks with......
the text and illustrations carved into them, was first recorded in China in the Tang Dynasty, although as a method for printing patterns on cloth the earliest surviving examples from China date to before 220, and from Egypt to the 6th or 7th centuries. In the Tang Dynasty, a Chinese writer named Fenzhi first mentioned in his book "Yuan Xian San Ji" that the woodblock was used to print Buddhist scripture during the Zhenguan years (627~649 A.D.). The oldest known surviving printed work is a woodblock-printed Buddhist scripture in Chinese of Wu Zetian period (684~705 A.D.); discovered in Tubofan, Xinjiang province, China in 1906, it is now stored in a calligraphy museum in Tokyo, Japan. The oldest surviving documented printed book, a copy of the Buddhist Diamond Sutra, is dated 848 AD, and a recent excavation at a Korean pagoda may have unearthed an even earlier Buddhist text dating to AD 750-751.In the modern Chinese historiography, printing is considered one of the Four Great Inventions of ancient China.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Indian Printing Block

After seeing the interesting videos linked by Julio yesterday, I headed down into my storeroom to dig out something that looked familiar ...

I picked up a couple of these blocks some years back, but never got around to exploring what they were, or how they were used. But yesterday's video shows exactly what they are!
Here's a view of the pattern:
And a couple of shots of the carving ...
They are all slightly warped, so I suppose were discarded at the end of their useful life. They are a very heavy wood, and although it is difficult to tell, I think they are carved on the end grain, as there is a faint concentric ring pattern visible on the back.