Posts Tagged ‘printmaking’

April 26, 2013

Dear Blog,

Remember me?  It has been a while, hasn’t it!??  I was able to take a day away from architecture to play today and after being treated to breakfast by a dear friend, I dusted off that tiny press and practiced my printmaking.  The best I’ve done (I think) so far…

little bird

Hope to write again soon!!!  🙂

adventures in dry point

March 16, 2013

If you have read my blog recently, you will have read that when my husband gave to me a Utrecht baby etching press for St. Valentine’s Day, my printing adventures began (although until today, I haven’t been sharing my failures with you).  I have been trying to teach myself how to use this little press for its intended purpose, etching.  Dry point etching to be precise.

I bought some plastic etching plates and an engraving tool today after trying unsuccessfully  to use acetate and the pointy end of an old compass leftover from my hand drafting days.   The plate was rather easy to etch into .  Or engrave.  (I saw one comment on a site that said etching needs chemicals and he/she was not very nice in how they corrected the site’s author.  Please, be nice if you leave a comment.  My feelings hurt easily.)    I etched/engraved Mark Twain and was very pleased when my son said “it’s Mark Twain.”  But etching/engraving is easy, printing is hard.

Here is the first attempt…



I think the paper was too dry.

Here is the second print…


the ghost of Mark Twain, I wiped off too much ink.

Third try…


I left too much ink and was not careful with my handling of the paper, but I did like some of the line work.

I thought this next try would be perfect, but…


I realize I have a long way to go to perfection.

This one was done after I watched an artist online use his hand to wipe off the plate.


I liked the background but I was not very adept at controlling how much ink was left behind.  And my hand got really black with ink.  But this one gave me enough confidence to think I would be able to pull a good print after my next try.

And here is where I stopped.   For today.


With another 100 tries, I may have something I am proud of.

What have I learned?  That printmaking is hard.  That washing ink off your hands about 30 times really dries out your skin.  That a sink in my studio would be really nice.  And that I need a more knowledgeable instructor than myself!

reduction print redo

January 20, 2013

I am lucky to have some friends who like to get together to try various art projects for fun.  Yesterday we played with reduction printing.  I think being a printmaker would be the most wonderful occupation (along with being a weaver or potter).  I do not have a press nor do I have room for one but it doesn’t mean I don’t really really want one.  I want it to go beside my dreamt-about-frequently-but-not-yet-purchased-loom in the dreamt-about-frequently-and-totally-organized-studio.  (I haven’t even broached the idea of a kiln.  Yet.)  We had to use a spoon to print our masterpieces.  To be honest, mine didn’t turn out to be a masterpiece but I kept on going after the ladies left and, using Ludwig Hohlwein’s roses as inspiration, I did this –


I was pleased enough with this to share with you.

You may not know much about Ludwig Hohlwein, I didn’t until I saw and bought the poster with the roses that inspired these. (Really, I’ve copied  the stylized roses, just not the arrangement.  I can’t find a good picture on the internet to link you to the originals)  Hohlwein lived in Germany in the early 20th century and was an established graphic artist by the time the Nazi party took control of Germany.  He joined the Nazi party at some point and even did some art work for them.  (I read he was offered the opportunity to leave Germany in the early 30’s but chose to stay.) This knowledge created conflict in me, should I enjoy the art of someone who had such poor judgement (hopefully that rather than just being an evil man)?  I still have the poster hanging and I still like the episode of Bugs Bunny that plays Richard Wagner’s opera despite the controversy of Wagner’s racism.  The past is flawed as is the present and I am sure the future will be, also.  I recently read In the Garden of Beasts about the American Ambassador and his family at the beginning of Hitler’s regime.  It was a fascinating book.  Hitler’s control crept up on the German people at that time.  If just a few had had the courage to speak up… I feel another book about this time in Germany is a must-read book,  Stones from the River.  Most excellent book.  I think the world would be a better place if everyone read this book.

Goodness, I’ve expounded a bit tonight, haven’ t I?