Still on the Printmaking Bus
As I discussed over the weekend, I rather impulsively (and smartly) decided to purchase a Gocco printer. At the time I didn’t quite realize that this was just the start of a longer journey back to printmaking.
When I was an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, I was a Fine Arts major – one of 5 in a class of 2,000 (yes, you read that right). Although my concentration was painting, my love was always with printmaking. I really took to etching – something about the whole burning acid thing. Ever since I left Philadelphia, I haven’t thought seriously about picking it up again. Then I got hooked on the whole Gocco concept.
This brings me to this past Saturday when I attended a workshop hosted by the Art Therapy Association of Vermont (I’m both a member of ATAV and a non-practicing art therapist). The workshop was entitled Printmaking as Therapy: Frameworks for Freedom and was presented by Lucy Mueller Young, MA, ATR-BC. If you’re interested in learning more about the use of printmaking as therapy, Lucy has written a book on the subject with the same title as her workshop (read more on Amazon).
I really enjoyed the workshop. We spent almost the entire day playing around with different techniques, some of which I hadn’t used before.
The first thing we did was make collagraphs. We took contact paper, cut shapes out of it, and then stuck them onto mat board.
When we finished our collages, we rolled ink over it, laid paper on top of it, and rubbed – instant print! In the image at right you can see my “plate” at the top.
Next we moved on to monoprints. I really got into the process – you roll ink out on plexiglass and draw right into the ink with various tools. You lay the paper on top of the inked plexi and rub to make the print.
Our room at the Comfort Inn was covered with our work. I’m not sure they would have rented the room to us if had they known what we were doing in there.
After our work dried, we dove into bookmaking. Lucy taught us about maze books – I had never heard the term used before.
You fold your paper into eighths and then cut on selected folds in a T shape. I’m hoping you can see where the cuts are in my photos.
We then folded the paper so that it formed the pages of a book. No sewing was needed. We had the option of leaving our covers as is or we could add mat board to them for strength. I chose the mat board option.
At lunchtime, I had a discussion with Lucy about the value of graffiti – it had a direct impact on my book because I added some line work to my print with color pencils and it had the appearance of graffiti. To finish it off, I added some text in black ink and fuzzy fibers to the top. It was so nice to spend the day making work without the goal of selling it.
Art for art’s sake. I don’t do that often enough.