selected print: awagami factory


I recently found out that one of my prints was selected to be shown in the upcoming Awagami International Miniature Print Exhibition 2013 in the Hall of Awa Japanese Handmade Paper to be held in Yoshinogawa City, Tokushima, Japan.   Nearly 1,000 prints from 39 countries were submitted to the (A.I.M.P.E.)  The print I submitted was made with the pronto plate technique that was shown to me by Curtis Bartone during the printmaking workshop at Alberta Printmakers Society. (see previous post)  After struggling with other images, this one seemed to work for me.  It had enough black toner laid on the plate to pick up the litho ink and to print with the richness that I was looking for, however to increase the depth, I printed it twice, once on the support paper, and once on the thin semi-transparent Kinpai mulberry paper.  By using the chine colle process of using a paste to glue the two together, the image came together with a slightly deeper richness and almost ghostly appearance.


Having this piece in the exhibition is such fun news, as this was said to be the birthplace of washi paper (the japanese word for the traditional papers made from the long inner fibers of three plants) and since nearly all of my prints use a type of mulberry paper it is quite fitting.  I once attended a talk by Wendy Tokaryk, a printmaker living and working in Banff, who spoke about making some paper at the Awagami Paper Factory and you can visit some of her pictures here in her scrapbook section of her website.  It is quite the process to make the paper and makes one appreciate the added beauty of a print using the paper even more.

One great reason to enter into a juried exhibit like this, is that you get to see the cream of the crop of printmakers rise to the top.  I have discovered many new printmakers through these exhibitions, and this one in particular drew my attention to Alexandra Emberley. Perusing through her website you get lost in the gauzy images that are slightly haunting but certainly not disturbing. Her delicate and careful draughtsmanship is inspiring.

You can see some images of the prize winning prints here.  Recently the organization just found a venue to exhibit all of the prints submitted, so I am sure that making visiting would be a real pleasure.


postcard show at Alberta Printmakers’ Society

collection 01Just completing my set of postcards for Alberta Printmakers’ Society’s annual fundraiser.  These little prints are a great way to explore new ideas or techniques without investing too much chance for failure.  Over the years, these postcards have served as a new direction or spin off for new larger projects.  This year I played with the pronto plates and added silkscreened card stock behind the translucent rice paper and then stitched them together with a pattern of embroidery.  The embroidery is something I have been trying at for a while, but with little success.  I have been watching a fabric artist from New Brunswick, Anna Torma, with a certain relish, wondering how I could incorporate the lush colour that she uses and her sense of expression.  I think, with these little prints, I have started.  I have been able to express what I have been working at for some time, and I can see myself now going out and filling a bag of coloured embroidery thread.07  05 04 03 02


garnet detailI have been playing around with silkscreening and colour and produced a few products out of some of my sketches and musings.  Little blots of ink and line drawings of knitting that I usually place into my larger etchings have come out as playful musings for silkscreens.  So I have opened a little shop on etsy, BlotsandBlooms, where some of these images  can be found on cards, postcard sized prints and calendars.  

peacock bluegarnet

“blooming” errors

Working away at the little pronto plates, trying to get a batch of consistant prints was driving me a bit mad.  I have since learned, from Curtis Bartone, a printmaker and professor at the Savannah College of Art and Design, who introduced me to this technique with his lickity-split, easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy demo, that some of my errors are caused by adding too much ink on the plate and not adding enough magnesium, well actually, not adding any magnesium to the litho ink that I was using.   Apparently I need to add enough to let my ink break off from the palette knife after 2 inches and not have it pull up like ooey sticky taffy.  If the ink is too sticky I will get what is called “blooming”, and I believe that is what I have in the very front image.IMG_1090

experimentation with pronto plates


Create New Board

Yesterday, I spent the day experimenting with pronto plates at Burnt Toast Studio.  I have joined on with Burnt Toast Studio in the last couple of months and have been trying to get in to work on, at least, one project a month.  The first was my 2013 calendar.  This was my first “real” adventure in playing with the technique of silkscreen.  This was a fun little project for me and I was able to play around with colour and line.  Sometimes my etchings come out a little dark, in both colour and subject matter, so this was a refreshing start to the new year.  Playing with all of my small drawings of knit patterns that I have been incorporating into my etchings surrounding ideas that pertain to the design of the mind and body, and its relationship to happenings of internal and external factors, etc… these knits sketches, I have discovered are delightful on in their own simplicity.  For those interested, you can see the calendars and prints here, at my new little etsy store where I will post the lighter side of me.