Wednesday, October 20, 2010

MAPC Conference

It has been such an exciting week. I just returned back from Minnesota from the Mid America Print Council Conference. It was well worth the trip. Every day was packed to the max with demos, lectures, exhibitions and of course hanging out with friends. One of my favorite things is the sheer amount of prints that you see in such a short amount of time. There is so much creativity out there and it is so much fun to see all the exciting ways in which printmaking media are being stretched. It will take me a while to digest all the things I learned and all the artwork I saw.
Before it gets too late, I wanted to share as much as possible with you, and then it'll all go to the back burner for slower processing. I uploaded the better photos to my flickr site so you can see exhibition and event photos there. I did not realize it until afterwards, that I didn't really take pictures of people, just all the exciting things I saw at exhibitions and events. But I am sure you'll get the gist of it.

So here are shorter and longer excerpts of demos and lectures. The first video is from the Moku Hanga demo by Preston Lawig. Some people stayed after the demo, and Preston showed us how the plastic plate prints compared to a traditional shina plywood. I had never seen this plastic used for printing before, so that was pretty cool. I am pretty sure it was high impact poly styrene. Someone correct me if I have that wrong.

The second video is from James Ehlers engraving in the 21st Century demo. He had some new engraving tools that I had never seen before, so those were pretty cool. I had to break the video down to 3 sections, you can get all of them on YouTube. I also learned a new way of transferrign images to plates. James demonstrates that in the third video. You print with a lazerprinter on parchment paper and then rub that on your plate. the image is transferred and then you heat it up to adhere it better on your plate. you could use a hot plate, a torch or even a lighter. I have to try that out now.

Here's two pictures of what a traditional and the newer model of an engraving tool look like. You can tell the older is bent and longer and the newer is straight and shorter. The newer one is also made with a really tough metal, so that it lasts longer, but on the down side (or up depending on the way you look at it) is that you need a diamond honing stone to sharpen it. You can buy the modern version of the engraving tool online for about $33.

One of the keynote speakers for the conference was the young artist Swoon. She had an excellent talk on Friday morning. I was running out of time on the camera, but wanted to capture at least a couple of bits of her talk. I have been a fan of her work for a while now, so it was awesome to see her in person and hear her talk about her work. There are two separate videos I loaded of her, so go to You Tube to see the other one.

The Unevenly Distributed panel was also a joy to listen to. They discussed how old and new techniques and print and mixed media works all combined together in the art making groups that they were parts of. There were books, collections of paraphernalia, audio components, and all kinds of things that these groups were incorporating with prints. It was very exciting!

The three groups work that were discussed were Florida State University's Small Craft Advisory Press, Preacher's Bisquits Books and Impractical Labor in Service of the Speculative Arts (ILSSA). All of these organizations have great websites with lots of resources. The panel chairs were Denise Bookwalter and Chad Eby, and members Kristen Merola, Tate Shaw, Emily Larned and Bridget Elmer.

The video is 6 parts long, here is the first one, and the rest of them are on You Tube on my channel as well.

Whew, and if you haven't seen enough about printmaking yet, how about some chine colle. You can't have a print show with some one doing chine colle. Here the technique is tackeld on the enormous scale by Cole Rogers and Zac Adams-Bliss from Highpoint Center for Printmaking. I don't know if I will ever settle down and have a chance to print anything this large, but their technique is worth noting. It is very accurate and easy enough to do. You will also get some pointers on how to make chine colle paste and efficient application even on tissue-thin papers. This demo also two parts, see the other one here.

Last there is a short video of the "Let the Machines do all the Work" demo with Robin Schwartzman. I missed most of it, but they did another short run at the end of their time slot. The beginning of her video has a quick shot from the art building court yard, where they were doing a print extravaganza. It was already winding down, but looked like a lot had been going on during the day. I missed some of the fun things going on, they had a printing system, where they put a bed over the print and you would pull the proof by jumping on the bed. The bed gets moved over, and voila, your print is done!

This is a lot of info to cram into one post. Hope you find something interesting in one of them, and consider coming to the next conference. The next print conference will be the Southern Graphics Council one in St. Louis in March 2011.

Oh, and before I completely space out, I added my new work to my website, Just click on the new works tab...

Soon to follow, exhibition news, catalog for sale (oooooh) and upcoming events!