Hand Pulled Prints, Books, Drawings and More

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Workshops at the Nevada Museum of Art

Sneak a peek into my workshops for the Fall/Winter Class Schedule at the E.L. Cord Museum School - check the Happenings tab!

Stay informed about upcoming classes, workshops, shows and events by regularly reading up on my Happenings.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Old books make for great inspiration.

Over a year ago my friend, Katy Govan, was still finishing her Master of the Arts degree in Book Arts and felt that Reno deserved a quality book community. Between the great number of students that Bob Blesse has taught through the Black Rock Press over the years and the new popularity enjoyed by book arts as a craft Katy gathered a nice group of people. Our "Book Club" met about once a month. There was no formality - everyone brought their own supplies, there was a nominal fee to help Katy purchase supplies for the group and reimburse Bob for our use of his beautiful space. It was even collaborative when it came to teaching and learning different techniques! From creating and altering paper to learning new and old book bindings and box structures there was a different concept every time we met. To keep things lively we would choose a theme out of a hat every time we met, then work on our project in the month or so between meetings and bring our item, or another project, for show and tell.

However, as Katy came to the big finish with her Master's she obviously had less time to eat, sleep and do things besides creating books, boxes and a thesis paper much less run our club. Semester end is a busy time for most people in any case and we took a bit of a break.  We soldiered on in our studios, living rooms and second-bedrooms with thoughts of new binding structures dancing in our heads. "Book Club" was missed.
Book Club Member hard at work
our new techniquue
A free and open learning environment is truly priceless, especially when it connects you to other local artists, crafters and creators. Though I had a lot of other projects and demands on my time last year I always made sure I would be able to attend "Book Club." I need the kind of boost that comes from a collaborative and pressure-less working environment as much as I need the inspiration and stress of deadlines for my print exchanges.

Megan instructing us
This month Megan Jewett came to the fore with the initiative and commitment to send out emails, consult with Bob and organize a meeting. What bliss - what joy - what a horrible time! Summer is quickly coming to a close and school is just around the corner for students of every age. Unfortunately only a few of us were able to make our first re-meeting, but we definitely had a nice time! Megan brought a book idea, supplies and information for us to learn from and pretty soon we were all creating beautiful little ornament/bookie/things and in my opinion there is nothing better than something both ornamental and book related. Still hashing out thoughts for the next meeting.
What would you do with an old book?
What kind of group would you start if you had the time/money/venue? Are your goals and ideas realistic? Could you be making things too complicated - all you need to do is call a few friends, gather a few supplies and clean your living room!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Nevada Museum of Art 2D Workshop

Recently I took part in an interesting two day workshop at the Nevada Museum of Art. Igor Burk, a graphic and product designer and owner of Protein Design, taught our workshop about moving from two dimensions into three. The concept, while simple, was also very vague. To be perfectly honest I was a bit disappointed and befuddled the first day of class, especially when the most inspired object was created by a 10 year-old.

What was I to do - despair over time wasted and a lack of inspiration? Could I compare myself to a pre-adolescent who was obviously more talented? Should I re-think my entire aim of being an artist based on such limited skills and knowledge? Of course! Artists are better at "agonizing self-scrutiny" than they are anything else. But after the despondence I surfaced with a warm, cuddly thought that greets me almost any time I am in an artistic quandary - just make a book.

Thus a book I did make, and stand, and "closure" device.
With images of fantastic book structures dancing in my head I took off for class on the next morning totally undecided about what I would do. Luckily time was a major factor. Not only was the class on it's last day, but at the end of the evening we would be displaying our works in the NMA lobby for the next four days! If I know one thing about myself it's that I am excellent on tight deadlines, as long as you aren't expecting magic. While I was expecting magic for myself I realized that I was not, actually, a witch so I decided to do an open-face double accordion structure. Disregarding all of my original ideas I busted out this strange monstrosity which I cannot help but love. It looks wonderful. It's not archival, it's not even really pretty in the traditional sense, but it is a great beginning and a fantastic conceptual starting point.
what do you see?

Thanks to Jill Jensen Mayorga for this photo.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Viscosity Monoprints

Happy accidents and experiments often yield great results.
Awhile back I posted about the amazing relief viscosity technique taught by Candace Nicol. This method was originally a metal plate intaglio etching process which Candace has altered and experimented with to create an entirely different application for the concept. Instead of etching metal plates we carve a relief plate made of Borco Board, a thin but sturdy and flexible plastic plate, and use ink of a different viscosity in several layers to produce a beautiful multiple color image.

Each print is very different even with the same color scheme.
This weekend past she had a fantastic class and was so generous as to allow me to participate for a few hours. Because the image is different every time it is printed, it's incredibly difficult to control all the variables introduced in this technique enough to create a faithful edition. To this end most viscosity prints are unique. You might recognize my plate if you read my first post about this method, but I think you would agree that this is not the same print though the image might be the same.

Thanks again to Candace for allowing me to take part in her workshop, and also to Tia, Lynn, Penny, Carol and Sue for welcoming me into their space for however short a time. See images from the rest of the workshop here on Candace's Blog.