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Showing posts from October, 2017

From the Archives

I've taught a lot of classes in the past two years showing people how to make different kinds of artist's books. Two of my own small handmade books recently made their way into the Joan Flasch Collection at the School of the Art Institute, Chicago. For me, this all started in 2010-2011, when I embarked on an extensive project: a 100 page accordion book of lithographic prints, each page printed in up to 5 colours.

Closed and stacked, the book measured 6 x 5 x 4 inches:

Extended to its full length, it was about fifty feet long:


To store it securely, I made a clamshell box for it:


And so it sits on a shelf in my studio, occasionally unwrapped to show to visitors, waiting for the time when it can be added to another collection. It's still the best artist's book I've made.

He Killed Her Father

He killed her father, right there in the street outside her house, at night. She was inside at the moment that it happened. No-one knew for sure who the murderer was because he was wearing a mask, and besides it was pitch dark.

When she found out, the grief erupted from her body in wild cries. It was too much to bear, and she fainted. Later, she vowed she would take revenge on whoever had committed the terrible act.

Now, some days or weeks later, she knows who did it, who it was that took a knife and cut him down without a second thought. With the help of two friends, she is going to a public event where she is sure she will be able to confront the murderer, unmask him before all the world for the ruthless man that he is.

And then, just before they enter the building and embark on the final mile of their struggle for justice, they pause, suddenly hesitant, filled with doubt and a little afraid, and ask the heavens to protect them and to avenge them:



If you haven't guessed already…

Soft Ground Etching with Baldwin Intaglio Ground

This is another post where I talk about my own research into how to obtain the best results from non-toxic etching materials -- specifically, the Baldwin Intaglio Ground. This is a form of etching resist developed by printmaker Andrew Baldwin, from the UK, as a non-toxic alternative to the nasty chemicals contained in traditional hard ground and soft ground resists. It comes in a tube, and when you squeeze some out onto an inking slab it looks like etching ink. You roll it onto the copper plate with a brayer, as if you were inking a relief block, in contrast to the traditional hard grounds, which are either melted onto the plate or poured on as a liquid hard ground. Applying the BIG to make a hard ground is relatively easy. Using it as a soft ground can be quite tricky, and it has taken me many tries and many failures to achieve a satisfactory etch.

The main problem, unfortunately, is the lack of specific instructions in preparing the BIG soft ground. Andrew Baldwin has some excellen…