Saturday, March 30, 2013

Collagraph Printing without a Press

Well, it isn't easy but it can be done. Printing a collagraph without a press I mean.

After my printmaking class I was a little depressed to think I wouldn't be able to continue with what I learned in my class because I didn't have a press.

But I tried a little test using one of the plates I made during my class and it seemed to work even without a press.

I made some small plates using styrofoam and masking tape. Of course, the prints won't be as deep and crisp as they would if I had been able to use a press, but it is do-able.

I like the way I can change the colors and keep getting different results each time. I am using a baren to press the paper onto the plate and I am still learning about how much pressure to use in order to get a decent print.

I think when I get a few of these I will bind them into a book form and perhaps add a poem!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Another Accordian Book

The poem is by Anna Ahkmatova, a Russian poet. This was written in the early 1900's.

Here is the full poem:

"Now Nobody Will Want to Listen to Songs"

Now nobody will want to listen to songs,
the bitter days foretold come over the hill.
I tell you song, the world has no more marvels,
Do not shatter my heart, learn to be still.
Not long ago, as free as any swallow,
you rode the mornings out, you braved their dangers.
Now you must wander as a hungry beggar,
desperately knocking at the doors of strangers.


Beautiful poem.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Gelatin Prints and Bookmaking

Well, it looks like I have finally found a use for many of my gelatin monoprints!

These accordian books are just the right venue for showing some of the jewel-like parts of the prints. Many of the prints I make have a few lovely areas and some not so lovely. So collaging and cutting them up can still save them and make them even more invaluable in the work.

I am working on a book now with copy. After so many years of being a textbook designer I find it nearly impossible to consider a book complete without text. I know it can be done, but for me, I like words in my books.

I am not a writer. I am not a poet. So I am trying to find poems and words that are meaningful to me. Something I would have written if I could write!

I am currently working on a book illustrating a poem by Anna Akhmatova, a Russian poet.

There is a lovely poem/story written by Eavan Boland and illustrated by the book artist, Charles Hobson. See the video here

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Chine Colle

Collagraph #1 by Roberta Warshaw
Collagraph #1, a photo by Roberta Warshaw on Flickr.
My printing workshop this weekend was really wonderful. It felt so good to take a class again even if it was only for one weekend.

I had never been in a real print room before with actual presses! After being in my tiny studio all the time it was quite invigorating to be in such a large space with room for everything!

There were only nine of us in the class so it was really a perfect size. We all had a space to get messy, (inks are very messy) and there were multiple presses so everyone had plenty of opportunities for printing.

There really is nothing like taking a class at an art school. It is very inspiring and made me want to take more classes. I am going to keep an eye on their catalog to see what is coming up, if anything, in the summer.

On the first day of class we walked over to the MFA and had a private showing of some pretty incredible prints by Tara Donovan, Francisco Clemente, and Edvard Munch, among others. They were set up on tables around the room (this was not a gallery setting but a print room/library).

I can tell you it felt pretty special to be viewing these works up closely and in private like that. It was most definitely a highlight of the class.

The piece you see above is called a chine colle. I first carved a plate from foam core, inked it, printed it and then ran it back through the press with the small greenish leaves you can see that are very subtle.

I was surprised at how nice the foam core carves and prints. The first print came out much darker but lovely just the same. I was happy with my first prints and would love to take more printing classes.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Another Gelatin Print X-Book

This X-book is a bit brighter than the last one. These are a great way to use up all those extra gelli prints! I am looking forward to trying other book forms with my extra prints.

I am taking a workshop this weekend called Experimental Monoprinting at Mass College of Art. I have been hunting and gathering my materials which is no easy task. The list is quite a laundry list of supplies. Most of which I already have but of course, some of which I don't. So off to Dick Blick today to gather up the remainder of items on the list.

I am looking forward to the class. I haven't taken a class or a workshop in quite some time due to my surgery and other matters. I never know when I will be free to take classes. But I signed up for this one and it looks like I will actually be going!

I'll let you know next week about all the new things I learned.

Monday, March 11, 2013

X Book with Gelatin prints

In this style of book, both sides of the paper show. Since I don't usually paint or print on both sides of the paper (unless one side is horrible and won't show) I decided to iron two sheets of gelatin prints together.

I did this by coating the reverse side with gloss acrylic medium and letting it dry completely. I then placed them back to back and ironed them with my Jonathan Talbot heat setting iron.

I haven't shown the cover here because I decided to add a bird to it and the medium is not dry yet. I will show it again when it is totally finished,

I will try this again but I will make my gelatin prints with the book form in mind. These were done portrait style and I think it would look better with a landscape style print.

This is a simple book to make really. The pattern can be found in the book Making Handmade Books by Alisa Golden on page 32. It is called the X-Book.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Post Vacation Work

Bookbinding models by Roberta Warshaw
Bookbinding models, a photo by Roberta Warshaw on Flickr.
I have been thinking lately of putting some of my latest art work into book form.

This is partly because I am running out of room for all my artwork. It sits in piles all over the house. Under the beds, in the closets. You name it. Anyone who has been making art for over 40 years will know what I am talking about.

A few years ago I took a bookbinding class at the local high school and created some interesting books.

At the time, since I was a graphic designer, all my books were done electronically. There is nothing wrong with that, it is just that I want to make my new ones all by hand including the artwork.

I have yet to figure out how I want to do the type setting. I am not crazy about my hand writing but I really don't want anything electronically produced going into these books.

I found a wonderful book this week called Making Handmade Books by Alisa Golden. I am making many models from the book of a variety of shapes and sizes to see what appeals to me for my work.

I am also labeling all my models with the title and page number. There are many, many binding styles in this book. And the directions are well laid out as well. Although you really have to read them and then read them again to be sure you don't miss any of the details.

This has been an interesting project for me since I returned from my vacation somewhat refreshed.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Back From Tucson

Untitled by Roberta Warshaw
Untitled, a photo by Roberta Warshaw on Flickr.
I am back from my vacation in Tucson. It gets harder and harder for me to leave every time I go there.

There is something about the desert that really has a hold on me. I know it is hot and relentless but the way the plants "hold" on in spite of the adverse conditions inspires me.

This photo was taken at Tohono Chul Park. We visit there every year and never tire of it. It is as beautiful and peaceful a place as I have ever seen.

I love this Saguaro. The birds poked holes right where the eyes would be. And oh that hair!

There is always an art exhibit in the gallery there as well. And was I in for a wonderful shock. The exhibit was about art and collages  made from handmade paper as well as artists books which were just wonderful. It turns out that there is a group in Tucson called Paperworks and many of their artists had work in the show. If you are in Tucson be sure and go see the show. It is there until April.