26 July 2009

Workshop On Lyman Road

When the moku hanga workshop was canceled at Zea Mays Printmaking and director Liz Chalfin asked me if I'd like to work privately with a couple of the students who had signed up, I jumped at the chance. My experience has been that the people who attend Zea Mays workshops are usually practicing artists, many of whom have already had some printmaking experience, and are really fun to work with. Wendy and Martha were two such people.

The three days followed the three basic stages of making a print, with the first day being devoted to design and color separation, the second day all about carving, and day three dedicated to printing. As anyone who has made a moku hanga style print knows, that's a whole lot to cram into three days, so it was a full-on experience with barely enough time to grab some lunch.

Working with Wendy and Martha confirmed for me that there are a lot of ways to make a print. Each approached moku hanga in their own way and allowed the process to guide them as they became accustomed to all the variables involved -- the amount of paste, water and pigment, the personality of each wooden plate, the effects of baren pressure, the interactions of colors as they build.

WendyCarving

Nasturtiums

Artist and sheep farmer Wendy Ketchum of New Hampshire worked with a very graphic image she had developed of nasturtium flowers and leaves. Her plans for color seemed to work right off the bat, so once she had pulled a few proofs, her task was to refine her four blocks rather than focus a lot on color balance. She left with a small edition of proofs that she plans to continue to refine back home in her studio.

MarthaPrints

Painter/printmaker Martha Ebner of Rust Avenue Studios in Northampton worked with a landscape design of a heron and a bridge. It was a challenging design for a single day of carving -- she used 5 blocks for 7 basic color areas. She was disappointed with the colors she chose for her first set of proofs, which drove her to drop her plans and begin experimenting.

HeronVariations
HeronVariations2

She began working with more painterly approaches, adding some bokashi (gradations), and ended up with a varied group of proof prints that she will take back to her studio and continue to work with.

StudioDog

Ty the yellow lab loved having a workshop here in our home. It's a good thing Wendy and Martha both like dogs, because Ty insisted on being right where the action was!

Many thanks to Wendy and Martha for a fun and jam-packed three days.

11 comments:

Belinda Del Pesco said...

What an absolute treat to "attend" the workshop through your photos and description. I'm amazed at the lovely prints your two "students" created - right out of the gate! They're beautiful! Thanks so much for taking the time to share. If only I lived closer...

Daniel L. Dew said...

Me too, I would love to have that type of one on one teaching, maybe then I would understand.

Pistoles Press said...

I bet Ty would love a visit to the sheep farm! You guys look like you had a great time. Lovely colors!

David Harrison said...

Thanks for sharing the process (and to your students for letting us see their work). That's a lot to have conveyed in only a couple of days. Any plans to teach in the GMT+0 timezone soon? :-)

Debra James Percival said...

Wonderful workshop results, wish I could have been there also.

Martha Prints said...

Annie,

Thank you so much for the wonderful workshop! I am so inspired to do more. You are a great teacher. Thanks, again.

Leslie Moore said...

It looks like you all had a great time, including Ty, the studio dog! I hope you'll do more workshops like this. I'd love to attend one.

Kit said...

Wow, your students accomplished a lot! It must have been great to have such personal attention!

Anita Thomhave Simonsen said...

this looks so wonderful....and I´m so amazed by the very good work of the participants....very good prints...

Sue said...

What a satisfying time was had by all, including Ty!

Downstairscreator said...

I just discovered your site and it's wonderful. I saw Matt Brown at an art and craft show many years ago, and have been interested in woodblock and lino printing ever since. Thanks for all of the great information.