This is the archive for the ‘print class’ Category

Printmaking Workshop in Finland

July 4th, 2014

Back from a most fantastic print workshop. It was in northern Finland, taught by Shelley Thorstensen of Printmakers Open Forum in PA and Juha Laasko and Raija Korppila of Grafiikanpaja Aava. I learned so much and am happy with the work I did in the time I had.

People at workshop.
Quite a group —in front of the print shop

I met many great new friends and we were so welcomed by the townspeople—from bringing us special local meals to arranging a tour of the old part of the nearby town of Raahe and even a performance by The Georgies.

cottage
Our cottage on the Bay of Bothnia near the Arctic Circle

Most of us stayed in a little red cottage right on the Gulf of Bothnia. It had a sauna and Max made us wonderful meals. It was a short walk up a hill and across some train tracks, past an old boat named Miina, to the edge of the town of Lapaluoto and the magical print shop of Grafiikanpaja Aava—House of Printmaking.

cottage
Houses are painted the most wonderful colors.

Designed for two printmakers, Raija and Juha, it managed to accommodate 9 students and 3 instructors all working on different projects—preparing plates, exposing film, inking plates, and printing work. We worked from 9:00 in the morning to late at night (the sun doesn’t set in this part of Finland at this time of year).

cottage
This press was very busy this week!

We only had internet connection at the print shop so each morning we would arrive early and sit outside at our own internet cafe connecting with the world. Facebook friends were probably sick of hearing about our trip but we were on such a high we couldn’t help our selves.

I concentrated on learning photo etching using ImagOn, a non toxic method and feel I got 4 good prints, each with an small edition of 2 or 3. (They can be seen on this site on the works on paper page.)

It was a long way to travel for a week long workshop but I would do it again in a second! In addition to my print work I have files of photographs and thoughts and ideas to keep me busy for a very long time. I worked so hard, was so encouraged, and returned with my head spinning.

birch trees wild flowers
Trees and wildflowers across from the print shop

One of my favorite memories involved selecting the wet paper to print on. There is a long porch in front of the print shop and a table was set up to hold the paper which was weighted down and wrapped in plastic to keep it moist. I would be out side by myself, opening the pack and glance across the street where there were birch trees and wild flowers, lit by late afternoon sun—only it was late evening and realize, “OMG, I’m printing in Finland!”

Finland

June 19th, 2014

image
24hours of Daylight

Very excited- heading to northern Finland near the Arctic Circle for a print making class, Priint the Midnight Sun, taught by Shelley Thorstensen of Printmakers Open Forum in PA and Juha Laasko and Raija Korppila of Grafiikanpaja Aava in Finland.

Reasons I’m excited: 1. I always wanted to take a workshop with Shelley, 2. I’ve never been to Finland or this far north and 3. It will be over the Summer Solstice and it will be daylight for 24 hrs. (May have to sleep all day in order to see it…)

However, they are having an unusual cool spell and the highs will be in the 50’s and 40’s at night. Hard to pack for that when it’s in the 80’s and 90’s here.

Print Workshop

February 24th, 2013

printing inks Printing Press

Attended a reunion at Moore College of Art and Design yesterday and took a Relief Printing workshop with Katie VanVliet, founder of BYO Print. Pretty crowded with 16 students in a space with three presses but Katie and her assistants did a wonderful job. They had a number of relief objects to work with—various dimensional textures, old advertising letterpress blocks, letter stamps, etc. We could use any of the presses or print by hand with Japanese Barens. I experimented with both.

prints Print

The first is a study done on the press above. I taped small bits of wood together and inked them with mixed colors. As the presses were in demand, I did my second design by hand starting with a letterpress block showing a print workshop. Other letterpress blocks, bubble wrap textures, and letter stamps added to the happy chaos I felt in the workshop. I like the contrast between the first more orderly and the second more energetic designs.

Tomorrow is the last day of my painting class. I have signed up for the second session as I think the studying by copying existing work is helping me a great deal. I really don’t want to be doing that and having someone expect it of me and be there to crit my progress is important. I’m looking forward to warmer weather and going outside on my own… we’ll see.

The painting and the printmaking complement each other—my painting currently is more representive and the printmaking more abstract.

Print Class: Last Class

August 17th, 2011

It’s been a week since my last post. There was no class last week and that worked out as I had planned to go to Maine with the Garden Gals and visit the Main Botanical Gardens at that time. That’s a post for another day, but needless to say I didn’t get any print making done while I was there. I did pick up my work from Thurs before I left and here are two scans: one of one printed by hand at home and one on press at school. Still a bit rough but improving.

Getting ready to ink Adjusting pressure

Two Tone Green, printed on press and Tan, printed by hand.

When I got home from Maine I reworked my design to include the whole image, scanned it and placed it into Illustrator where I redrew it to get clean lines and to delineate where I was to cut and not. I was able to transfer it to my larger block and begin cutting.

Getting ready to ink

Working on my last print for this class.

Didn’t get it cut in time for class but I went anyway to show where I was and to get some feedback. This was my last class. I will finish it and try printing it by hand but now I am at a point where I want to drop back and hone my skills (I do like the design). I purchased some better paper on the way home and have down loaded David Bull‘s e-book on Japanese woodblock printing, Your First Print. So, the adventure continues!

Print Class: Review

August 6th, 2011

Thurs. I printed my new test block. At home I hand printed it using a single brown I mixed and then in class I printed it on the press to see the difference. In class I also experimented with different colors on the same block. Half was a warm light green mixed with a bit of copper and the other half was a darker cool green. On some of the prints I tried making different areas of the block different colors.

Mixed ink showing warms and cools.

Mixed ink showing warms and cools.

Later in class we had a review of our work at this stage. Work was spread out on the table, artist statements were read and progress was discussed. Now we have a week off and then two more sessions of class. One will have a speaker plus some work time and then the final critique.

Work on table for review.

Work on table for review.

Print Class: Tools 2

August 6th, 2011

Knives and chisels mean sharpening and here we have another learning curve! My dad always sharpened everyone’s knives in my family. He enjoyed this and as he would visit family on my parents yearly trips from their retirement in Florida he carried sharpening stones etc and people from Maine to VA waited for him to sharpen their knives. So, I never learned to sharpen knives let alone rounded and V shaped chisels. Again, out of the basement came an assortment of sharpening stones inc. a Japanese King Combination Water Stone which I have set aside until I master the western stones.

Test result with mallet.

Test result with mallet.

My current favorite tool is a wonderful leather mallet. As I have been testing my mark making with wood blocks I have used my knife and chisels alone. Two days ago I got to the stage where I was trying to carve out larger areas (large is relative as I am working on blocks about 5.5 x 6.5 inches).

After a few hours of very slow going I realized that my neck muscles were speaking to me and this was not working. So I spent a day doing stretching exercises and yoga for my neck and back and working on other projects.

Then the other day I was carving and picked up the mallet. All of a sudden the instructions I’ve read on how to hold these tools etc made sense and the work was much faster, and finer. I have much more control and while I have lots of practice ahead, I can see that this can work. Bob says with all the tap, tap, tapping I sound like Geppetto!