Friday, February 3, 2012

Semester 2 (Electric Boogaloo)

Sorry. I can't help but make a Breaking II Electric Boogaloo reference whenever possible.

A lot has happened since my last post. The year ended with a few more big projects, including an introduction to photo plates, converting those plates to waterless, and a big three color reductive stone. 

Before arriving at Tamarind I had never seen or used photo plates. We did a four color separation on the computer and printed out films for cyan, magenta, yellow and black, exposed those mylars to the photo plates and printed each plate individually. The real challenge came in perfectly registering each mylar, and printing a correct ink film- too lean and the image looks spotty; too heavy and the image feels weighed down.

Overall though, they turned out beautifully, and I felt comfortable enough using them that over the winter break I took a trip up to Fargo and did a workshop at MSUM for a few students who were still around.

However, what I really loved was the three stone reductive method. I've come to realize reductive work is one of my strengths, and I was eager to try Barnes's method again at a larger scale (nearly full sheet). For this process three primary color runs were printed and overlapped to create a variety of colors, including browns and black.


Yellow first, then red, then blue. I prepared a stone, reduced all the areas I wanted to keep white, and all the areas that didn't have yellow in them (purple, pure blue and pure red for example). I pulled the whole edition in yellow, then altered the stone, removing all the areas I wanted to keep yellow or that didn't have red in them (like green), and added areas that had red but not yellow and printed red over the yellow. The same was done with the blue. It may sound a little complicated, but with some planning on what needs to stay and what needs to go it was fairly straightforward, and the result was beautiful.

So this was the last project of the semester. Spring semester has been much different than the first. First semester focused on demos and techniques, and the second involves working with and printing collaboratively with graduate (and a few undergraduate) student artists from across the street at the University of New Mexico.

In December Rodney interviewed interested students, and seven were chosen to work with the seven of us printers. So for two to three weeks we're paired up with an artist and print an edition with them, up to four runs. Since this entry is getting a little long I think I'll save my next post for my first and second collaborations. Til then!

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