Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I Started Metalsmithing Today but I Did Not Have My Camera so Here is a Picture of My Pants

See title, pretty much. My first day of metalsmithing was today and I soldered a tiny, abstract sculpture and it was the most exciting experience of my life re: metalwork. Oh jesus god I am so full of ideas regarding metal art right now.

The metal studio is kind of hilarious in how things just disappear into air in front of your eyes. I was sawing some 18 gauge copper plate today and my saw blade completely vanished mid-stroke. It didn't break- it was just there one second, and the next it wasn't. A bit of silver solder also made a break for freedom when I nipped it off a bit too wantonly at the soldering station. I am going to be very poor in bits and pieces of solder and saw blades at this rate.

Since it's getting unpleasantly cold in Olympia now, I finally went out and replaced my art pants (the ones with more holes than fabric) with some that wouldn't leave me with selective frostbite. They were very boring until they were attacked by an OCTOPUS in my screenprinting studio.

(They also suffered a bleach attack to make the octopus stand out a bit more, but it hasn't set all the way yet and isn't that noticeable).

I'm getting increasingly artistically blocked with screenprinting lately. I feel like I've exhausted and/or gotten bored with my little collection of stock vintage images and ephemera, but my digital design skills are craptastic (it's kinda fucking embarrassing to be 21 and an artist and barely know my way around Photoshop and Gimp for digital art purposes). And my traditional drawing style really doesn't translate well to screenprinting- it's too messy and while I'm learning to think in layers, I'm really not all the way there yet. Screenprinting is all about clean lines and graphically interesting composition, and I'm all...yeah.

But holy shit metalworking. I am still with the glee.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I liiiiiiives!

Oh, internets, I have not forsaken you. But I start classes again in two days, and I had to go on several necessary epic adventures before I was chained to Olympia. Also I lost my camera cable.

Also also, my in-house artistic inspiration and studio mate just left our house for a fancy shmancy artist's collective in Oakland. I made this for them before they left.

Das front.

Unt das back.

I'm really happy with it. I think I need to get my bleach out more and play with it.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

I have photogenic housemates, Part the Second

Quick post before I get back to more important matters (read: drinking fauxmosas). This is a t-shirt I deconstructed fer funsies to match the skeleton print I put on the front. It's surprisingly easy to do the back design, took about five minutes total. Now that I worked out the basics of it, I'm going to start experimenting with the holes and placement. Bonus points: requires exactly no sewing, which I'm pretty incapable of anyways!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Rasterbation and Screenprinting, Part the Second: Some Ideas Come to Delicious Fruition


Tell me this doesn't look seriously cool. I'm pretty damn pleased with it- I was going crazy trying to find a blank throw away shirt to test this screen on, but then I remembered my left over Arches 88 paper and decided to just make a quick print. It's dirty- I used fabric ink because I couldn't find my acrylic- but it's gooood. Oh so good.

I ran a couple of shirts today, now that all three new screens are touched up and functional. I used one really nice white tank with the Psyche image:

I like how the image disintegrates over the lace, I might experiment more with that on a negligee I have.

And I worked a skull in white and black (the black version is on a beat up ribbed tank, so not much love there).

PLUS I started experimenting with different parts of the octopus stencil. This is the concept I've been rolling around in my head all along, isolated the tentacles and printing them separately on different parts of clothing.

Poll: More tentacles? Perfect number of tentacles? Less tentacles? (not actually possible on this shirt, but in the foooture, maybe).

Productive weekends FTW, y'all.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

New screen designs, and working out the kinks (in the not fun way)

I burned new screens today! But I've done that before- more importantly, I learned how to fix my fuck-ups on the new screens today. This is an important step, because my training with fine art serigraphy dictates that when you mess up a burn, you rend the fabric mesh asunder with your bare hands and rip your acetate stencil into bloody, floppy pieces for good measure. Which is all well and good in someone else's studio, but here in the land of limited resources (reality), I need to stretch my emulsion and screen shelf life as far as humanly possible. So when I fucked up all three burns today, I got creative with my emulsion, filled in the holes with a paintbrush, and wiped out my mistakes with stencil remover.

I'm not completely in love with the images yet, even less so having spent all day touching them up because I can't afford to wipe the screens and re-emulse. I used the rasterbater to enlargify some icons I've been playing with in gimp (a skull, octopus and Le Ravissement de Psyche for sheer perverse fun to see if I could even make it identifiable- see results below).

I only test printed one run, with the octopus, and it was the one that let me know where all the mistakes are. Thanks, free store clothes! I'm also realizing the difficulties in pushing so much INK through the screen, since these are my first full screen prints. What I wouldn't give for a squeegee that's the actual size of my screen to maintain some consistency- that might have to be where the money from my next etsy sale gets funneled to.

(Do you like this shirt? I am Not a Fan, but I am working with it. It will end up in one of my friend's closets, or the cheap-fuck-up-section of my etsy)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Babyclothes and screenprinting idurrs

My good friend Puck recently had a child (Graciella Holly Adams- happy belated birth day, beautiful), so I printed up a some baby clothes for her before I visited them today. They came out really cleanly, which is nice because I was expected to run into some problems not being able to stretch the fabric over my shirt board. I'd like to start selling kids clothes in my etsy- my new favoritest source for screenprintable items, the Westside co-op Free Store, has them in overflowing boxes, so I'm set for raw material.

I was also planning to print out a bunch of transparencies today at Evergreen, but it's fucking labor day (although- weirdly! we're at the beginning of September, not May. SOMEthing's wrong!) so the library where my beloved photocopier lives is closed. I have IDEARS all prepped, though, so that's the plan of action tomorrow.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Bike Chain My Heart

I've been mucking around with combining images from different screens lately, mostly because I haven't had a chance to print out any new transparencies to burn. This is my favorite one from today- I tried really hard to get the bike chains to overlap just right, and it came out nicely. It's a fun artistic stretch to design by combining a limited number of elements instead of just finding more images to work with.

(This is what it looks like adorning one of my numerous photogenic housemates)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Fuck This Noise: Reducing Chatter in Linocut

Whoever came up with the phrase"Fuck this noise" was almost definitely a dissatisfied blockcutting artist trying to reduce chatter. I guarantee it. Chatter, for the uninitiated who still have all their fingers ungouged, is all those little lines in a block print that make shit look all folksy and old school. I generally declare filthy fucking war on chatter when I do linoblocks because I like the crisp look of positive impressions, but this also makes my life about 5 hours of work harder because you can carve away for ages and still not get all the noise. My finished piece still has some messy lines, but I'm okay with it to this degree. (also Steve the Studio Tech was about to kick me out)

The video slideshow I threw together up there is a fun little tour of about six or seven hours I spent inking up my block, cursing, carving away the chatter, inking up my block, printing, cursing, and rinse-repeating. I kept all my newsprint copies for funsies to track my progress, and it looks pretty spiffy in stop motion, plus I threw my original sketch in the beginning so y'all can see how it gets translated (I lost the "Hi" in the speech bubble because I carved it right reading, and everything gets flipped in linocut land so I just cut it out. Mercilessly.)

Here's the finished piece:

But oh wait what's this!

Oh yeah, the final assignment was for a card.

A card that likes you!

I vacillated over the sentiment for awhile, but I decided that having a nonverbal way to alert crushes that I liked them was pretty sweet and it makes me look all sensitive and adorable. The figure on the front is me, if you can't tell from the hair mess and glasses.

And of course, I slung it up on my etsy for capitalist gain. Of course.