Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Wood Engravers Network (WEN) Workshop Part 1/2

I'm  a member of the Wood Engravers Network and enjoy our group tremendously. To be able to participate better, I volunteered to organize the 2016 summer workshop in Bryan at the studio where I teach my weekly classes.

Here is a little glimpse into what we did. All the photos are courtesy of Tony Drehfal, fellow WEN member, unless otherwise noted. (I meant to take lots of photos, but as it turns out, I barely had time to sit down, or pull the camera out.)

For each workshop, we usually have a visiting artist. I wanted to bring in something special, and invited Inari Krohn from Finland to join us. She is one of my favorite Finnish graphic artists most often combining etchings with Japanese style wood cuts. Her work has a dreamlike intuitive quality, that I thought would be inspiring and something that you don't see in American graphic arts in general. She uses a very simple method for printing her engravings, which is fascinating to me since she has been making prints longer than I've been alive, and I will be making a separate post about that.

On the first day after a little bit of a meet and greet, Inari had an informal lecture.

 The tools, prints and books she brought with her.

In the afternoon we had some time to talk and carve in the studio. We had two beginning students who were being taught by Jim Horton simultaneously with the rest of the workshop.

Jim with beginning students. 

Letitia Alston carving her first block. 

Jim's collection of carvers is quite enviable. 
Sylvia Pixley working on her block.
The second day we had a trip to Houston to visit the Museum of Fine Art Houston Works on Paper Study Center and Hirsch library. We saw some wood engravings and relief prints from the permanent collections. So many of the prints were gorgeous, so its hard to pick my favorite, but I really enjoyed the J.J. Lakes engravings, and it was really interesting to see Moby Dick illustrated by both Barry Moser and Rockwell Kent.

So here is a smattering of nice prints. Of course I can't find the slide list with all the info for them, but will update it if I find it.

In the paper study center admiring the prints. 

Body Dick illustrated by Barry Moser. 

Some nice J.J. Lankes engravings

A closeup of one of the J.J. Lankes

Tour of the Hirsch library. Note the other Moby Dick on the table on the left side.  (middle black cover)
Page from Kents illustrations.
Whale by Barry Moser
Whale by Rockwell Kent
After the tours we had a little bit time to walk and browse the museum collections before heading back home to Bryan. I enjoyed this immensely since I don't make it down to Houston much, and haven't been to the MFAH in years. 

One of the cute things from the museum exhibition. Ambrose Tardieu, 1788-1841, Printmaking tools plate from a french 19th century printmaking manual by Aristide Michel Perror. 
A little 19th century miniature painting of bugs. It was very endearing and I love the way they've been painted 3-dimensionally.   
Front Inari Krohn and her husband Pertti,  back Michael Ferguson and Jon Hinkel having a lunch break in between tours. 
Great company and great prints. The day was well spent and we all headed back to Bryan enriched and filled with new ideas.

The next day was just as exciting, if not even more... Read about it in the next blog post.  

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