Hand Pulled Prints, Books, Drawings and More

Sunday, March 20, 2011

May Day Craft Fair

Indie Reno May Day Craft Fair | yourgayreno.com
Last November's Indie Reno Craft Fair sponsored (in part) by Etsy.com was a huge success. This spring the local Etsy Sellers Team - the Handmade Hustlers - will be returning to the VSA, Governor's Lake Mansion on Arlington and Court St. in Reno with crafty items and cheer in tow just in time for Mother's Day!
Sunday, May 1st from 10am- 5pm
There will be all kinds of wonderful things for sale.
Info on this event has been submitted to the Reno News & Review, the Reno Gazette Journal, and the Your Gay Reno website - check out more information there or at our website: www.indiereno.com

Swag bags full of free goodies will be given away to the first 25 people who show up at the fair! Last time people showed up before 9am to get these lovely prizes. Each bag will contain a bevy of gifts ranging in value from $1-5 from earrings, buttons, hats, and cards there were some really creative giveaways.

visit my Etsy shop at velesia.etsy.com
Children's clothing, silver, jewelry, quilting, knitting, and more will be at the fair, including my stuff from Velesia's Bindery and Prints. That means I'll have prints, books, cards, bookmarks and custom orders on sale. There's this thing called the coptic stitch I've been trying my fingers at lately, but it takes more time than basic multi-signature binding and more supplies. However... it does look pretty cool. We'll see what happens, I suppose I could create a test batch of 5-10 or something. If they don't sell I'll just put them on Etsy.
pretty pages - archival quality
lays flat for easy writing or drawing

distinctive patterned stitching
rests flat - cover paper I made myself!

Thoughts? Ideas? Opinions? Comments? I enjoyed making it but it was definitely more labor intensive. Perhaps if I practice on some my talents and time will improve.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Solar Plates - Fun and Frustration

solar plate Relief technique
Last weekend I participated in a wonderful workshop on solar plate technique given by Candace Nicol, the Oxbow Press executive director. Solar plates combines the ease of digital printing or drawing with intaglio and relief printing processes. The steps are fairly simple - print or draw your design on a sheet of transparency (you know, that clear plastic stuff your teacher used with a projector in class?) then take a piece of solar plate, arrange your image on top, expose the plate and the image to light, then wait for the plate to cure in the sun and print! To create my images I used several different media on my transparency. Permanent marker and black India Ink were the most successful "light blockers" and produced very nice sharp lines. Computer printed images worked well also but I greatly increased the contrast and darkness of my images.

creating transparencies on the light table

detail of intaglio solar plate print
I created some beautiful images and the process was so fast it took me more time to decide what I wanted to draw than it did to expose and print my plates. However, one thing I found frustrating was my inability to add to the plate after exposure. Once the photo-sensitive material is exposed to light there is no way to alter it again, unless you carve it out or cut it off of it's metal backing - neither of which provides the beautifully subtle lines that intaglio solar plate features. To create a relief plate you only expose the solar plate once, to create an intaglio plate you expose twice - first with an "aquatinting screen" then your image on transparency. The relief technique allows for bold lines and designs while the intaglio plates afford delicacy, detail, and washes.

this is an intaglio solar plate

Regardless of my frustration I learned a lot and appreciate the technology. For now I think I'll stick to etching and use solar plate on the side. On  that note I will be teaching an Intro to Intaglio class this coming weekend. If you're interested in learning about copper plate etching and aquatint you can sign up for the class here. Otherwise I am also attending the Reno Chamber Orchestra concerts this weekend - Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 2pm. Student and youth tickets are only $5 and this performance will feature some great music.

ta da! the finished print
Hope to see you there! Always remember guests are welcome at Oxbow Press to tour the facility and meet our monitors and resident artists. :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Viscosity +

2nd plate - just a skull, but it was fun to play with for a bit

Candace Nicol, Executive Director of the Oxbow Press, taught a second Viscosity Printing class a couple of weeks ago. This process involves a lot of color, a lot of paper and lot of fun. Due to the way the inks of different thickness (or stickiness) and thinness (or oiliness) interact some beautiful colors can be achieved. Viscosity printing lends itself to playfulness and experimentation. My plates this time around were a bit odd and, perhaps just a bit, macabre but I enjoyed them and hope to print more.

the Gothic Galleon, my large viscosity plate
The one big deterrent for doing viscosity printing is that it takes A LOT of cleanup, literally hours if one had to do everything alone. So in light of everyone's eagerness to print more after the workshop was finished, we organized a Viscosity Fun Day where students could come use the Oxbow Press facilities and supplies and then we all helped clean up at the end of the day. I'd love to do something like this for etching and drypoint, not enough people take up these techniques because they are time consuming but I think they're swell.
On that note my next Intro to Intaglio Workshop will be held March 19th and 20th, there is still plenty of room to sign up! Find out more.
some Thank You cards I made :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Print Events - Spring and Summer 2011

This spring will bring my first chance to attend a printmaking symposium:The Rocky Mountain Alliance Printmaking Symposium. These gathering of educators, practitioners and newcomers to the printmaking world encourage the collaborative and experimental spirit of printmaking. For students and amateur printmakers these conventions provide a way to expand one's education and network with professional individual artists as well as artist co-ops and presses. From a symposium attendees can walk away with supplies, internships, artist residencies or portfolio exchanges as well as offers to appear at the next event.

Print exchanges are fundamental to building a portfolio of work  - the more an artist participates in them the more deadlines, themes, and art they have to produce. For me this system is great. Currently I am involved in three printmaking exchanges with people outside Nevada and two within (admittedly, I organized both of them :D.) The Leftovers print exchange is due in a couple of weeks, this exchange encourages printmakers to get creative with the prints that didn't work out, or did, but left behind a beautiful miasma of paper and printed materials. Next is Propaganda in Print, a poster print exchange where we encourage artists to print on newsprint and other non-archival paper. The show will go up on April 20th, and the work will be pasted to Oxbow Press' Gallery walls, we also are accepting individual work for display in the other gallery space if it is in keeping with the propaganda theme. Then this summer we have 2.25, the print exchange that asks artists to keep it small, 2 1/4 in square prints are already coming in to Oxbow from all sorts of places! In August I am lucky to be participating in the Littlest Print Exchange, a 3in square exchange for which I have to print and edition of 51! Finally (so far as I have planned) I will be carving one of 1000 Woodcuts, as opposed to a conventional exchange this is actually a very large collaborative wood cut that we will receive some other "puzzle pieces" when it's finished and printed.

All of these things cost money, from the symposium's registration fee to the participation fees of the exchanges. It's completely fair for people to charge, the amount of work to corral all the prints, care for and display them in a gallery, then ship them all back to people is enormous. However, it is one more expense. Since I've already paid to participate in these exchanges I probably won't take any more on this year. But that doesn't mean I can't have fun!

I'm teaching an Intro to Intaglio class in March, a beginning book arts class in April, and a few things in July associated with the Reno art festival annually held during that month called Artown. Also, as part of the etsy team Handmade Hustlers, I will be part of a craft fair in May - the Indie Reno May Day Craft Fair is coming soon!