Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Visual Language 07





Multi Color (multi block) Print you can do at home


I made this tutorial for my printmaking class so they could have something to review outside class meeting time.  I have found that some of them are more productive during evenings or weekends, and wanted to provide them with a guide.  Also, one of my goals this semester was to introduce printing techniques that students can do after graduation.  I remember suddenly not being able to print after graduation because most of the methods taught required heavy, expensive, unique machinery.  While the imagery in this tutorial is far from spectacular (it had to be kept simple enough to make sure focus was on technique and not the art itself), block printing can produce wonderful works of art in a basement or garage studio.

I added more videos to the playlist to demonstrate reduction block printing (using only one block).  At the end of the video I decided to create a new key block to tie everything together and act as a trap for overlaps and layer that did not fall into registration as they should have.  Here is a direct link in case it does not play embedded into this post.

The image below is a chart of the reduction process used in class.  It shows the stages of the block as it is reduced and printed.  Click on the image to make it larger.

I had made a reduction print for the printmaking class last year, but not a video. Here is a link to that print. It is a bit more precise than the small one in the video.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Developing a personal visual language with standardized blocks (printing)

Teaching printmaking (relief) this semester, I assigned two major projects in the first half of the semester.  The first was a series of skills-building exercises designed to familiarize the students with the tools.  But, instead of tedious drills, I asked them to develop their own personal visual language through trial and error.  The second was an essay about visual communication and the impact that movable type had on the expansion of human communication and thought.  I asked them to place it in historical context and consider the larger world view that we have today. 

The two prints displayed above and below this text are made with 3" x 3" blocks.  Some of the blocks were cut in class during tool demonstrations.  Some blocks were made at home for larger series that I have been developing (and some were just for that simple reason that making images is fun).

Below is the first group print from class.  It contains every block made in the first two weeks (by every person who was present that day).  The work is underdeveloped but showed signs of experimentation, which demonstrated learning within those first couple of weeks.  I had inserted some of my blocks to round out the print, but must mention that I decided to participate in this project as a sign of solidarity with the students.