Monday, August 31, 2009

"Making" Letterpress assignment- now on 100% less newsprint!

I finally shot pictures of my finished letterpress print so I could satisfy my capitalist streak and sling 'em up in the etsy. The bottom one I did with a rainbow light-to-dark blue marbleized roll (which is really easy to achieve on the Vandercooks with the automatic rollers). I already got the rant about shimming and cheating done when I posted the first roughs I did on newsprint, so I'll spare y'all that again. However, I was saving these in the studio so I could screenprint a speech bubble over the text as a nod to Neil's role in comic books, but I just discovered today that I burned the image in reverse, and I took it as a sign that the universe didn't really want me to print it. Also I'm freaking tired of the print dungeon.

I had my last Printmaking and Modern design class on Saturday! We did a print exchange and went to the Wayzgoose festival at the School of Visual Concepts in Seattle. I did both of these things highly exhausted and hung over, but incredibly it didn't take away from the COOLNESS of the Steamroller Smackdown at Wayzgoose. Artists printed huge linoleum and vinyl blocks (think 3x5 feet huge- and the average lino block fits in the palm of your hand) using a STEAMROLLER as a roller and PLYWOOD as a tympan. Here are some pictures I ganked from flickr to give you an idea:

They hung the posters on the side of SVC to dry, which is pretty frickin' brilliant when you think about how hard it would be to make a drying rack that big.

There were teams of artists inking each block. Each team got half an hour to pull as many prints as possible- when you know a little about how printing works, watching them go through the process under those time constraints is HELLA nerve wracking.

They used a carpet as a pusher blanket, plywood as the tympan, and then they put a goddamn steamroller on top of it. It was pretty incredible.

Pulling up the finished prints. Anyone who knows a little about printing- think about the registration on this thing. Just- think about it. I saw more than one HUGE piece of paper ruined by shifting it around to make registration.

So now I'm a little bit freer to work in the at home studio, although I won't be producing work at a furious pace to meet class deadlines anymore. Until metalworking starts up in October, at least!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

More Stuff I Do In My Garage

I made thirty patches for the Oly Seed Exchange. Thirty! And I did it without washing the screen out in between each one, which shows that something Judy taught me about flooding a screen actually stuck. I still wouldn't do a mass run for something like individual shirts, but I'm pretty proud of my consistency here, and I only sacrificed five patches to the aggrieved printing gods.

Other shit that makes my life as an amateur garage studio screenprinter easier- wiping ink out of a screen with a sponge as opposed to the Hose of Doom. I can't believe it took me this long to realize how much less time I would have to spend on drying my screens if I did that.

Tomorrow I have another marathon session in the school studio to wrap up my hella cute linocut card (which is just a bit sappy thanks to how I've been feeling lately), then I'm skedaddling over to the Oly Seeds Benefit with the fruits of my inky labors. Oly folks- COME OUT TO THIS, THERE WILL BE PIZZA.

Thank you.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Stuff I Do in My Garage Part The Millionth

I printed this shirt up for a cutie traveling friend of mine who's passing through Oly at the moment, 'cuz you can't go wrong with bike gears and tearing shit down across your chest. I'm still perfecting that damn bike gear design, it keeps coming out uneven when I pull it for some reason. I've also started experimenting with printing on canvas patches, which I've discovered sucks up my screenprinting ink like a motherfucker and makes everything hella splotchy. Practice, practice, practice- if any Oly locals want a sweet patch (I'm doing everything from bike gears to anatomical hearts) and don't mind my imperfections, y'all should come keep me company in my garage while I bang them out.

Speaking of practice, I'm doing a run of patches and shirts for the Olympia Seed Exchange for their benefit this week (Thursday, 6 PM, Fertile Grounds, delicious pizza and I'll print any damn thing you want with this stencil). This is the first one, with tell tale I-forgot-to-tape-off-my-gutters mistakes, but at least now I know that the screen came out decently. My aforementioned traveling friend who I've pressed into being my sexy shop aide for the moment just cut the rest of the fabric for me, so I'm taking it out to the garage to ravage with inks.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Parts of me were broken long before my heart came into it

I came home from a midnight showing of Inglourious Basterds last night (SO FUCKING WORTH IT GO SEE BRAD PITT KILL NAAAAATZIS RIGHT THE HELL NOW), and I was so hyped on alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, and the usual stimulants that keep me up through midnight movies that I didn't get to sleep until 6 AM. So I started to work into this piece, which I've been rolling around my head since I finished the pedestal one from yesterday. I'm going to have a jagged cut bisecting her chest, possibly some reference to a heart around it, and the title that I'm working under is "Parts of me were broken long before my heart came into it". It's a therapy piece (like, oh, everything else I do), but I'm trying to strike a balance between too needlessly introspective and making work that's appealing to a wider audience.

There is a lot of shading that needs to be done on the chest, and I am not looking forward to it because outside of faces, my ability to shade figures is pretty useless without naked bodies in front of me.

I've been living in the print studio 9-5 (or later if Judy locks me in) most every day this week, so working in chalk pastels was a nice break. My four layer screenprint and letterpress assignment is three layers away from done, and I'm wrapping that tomorrow, hopefully. The fruits of my inky labor are to come.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

On a Pedestal

Mmf, the first thing I've worked on in chalk pastel since getting home (save one shitty attempt that was more to channel angst than make art). I was shooting for a Grecian look, an interpretation of putting women on pedestals. Alternatively, I just couldn't get her legs to look right.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Letterpress assignment (with apologies to Neil Gaiman)

Letterpress is easily the most frustrating way to have fun in the printmaking studio. It requires an obnoxious application of math, forcing your brain to read upside down and backwards, and in my case, cheating shamelessly when Judy wasn't looking to haphazardly shim my type into the press with tiny bits of wood and metal. It's funny- to make something look messy and uneven takes about three times the energy and calculation than it would to make it look neat and even. (unless you decide to just accept that your professor is going to call you out during critique for your godawfully wrong press set-up and cheat, like I did)

The piece up there is the first rough on newsprint that came out like I wanted- when I finish overlaying the screenprinted speech bubble I want on there in the studio, I'll bring home my finished babies and show them to the world, and sling 'em up on my etsy shop.

The whole process- EVEN WITH CHEATING- took me eight straight hours in the studio, running on a cup of coffee and an orange. I'm so bad at remembering to eat when I work in the print dungeon at school, and my bestie who works at the nearest cafe isn't my bestie anymore, so no more surprise food deliveries (that kid seriously kept me alive on more than one marathon printing occasion last year, bless their considerate heart). Life as a printmonkey ain't easy, and I'm off to the studio all day again today as soon as I hit publish on this.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Oly Type

Homework from my summer printmaking design class- create typographically diverse alphabet from local signage. Olympia is a stupidly easy town to do this in- it only took me 15 minutes taking pictures downtown to get all these typefaces. And I left a bunch out because I didn't have time to go into all the alleys and hunt down my favorite murals.

(Props to any Oly folks who can identify where I got more than half of these from).