Chine-collé. Plate: 4" x 5". This is one of three pieces that I'm considering "finished" and "good"! Click on any image in this blog post to enlarge.)
On Saturday I took a one-day drypoint workshop with Steven Chapp. It took place at if ART Gallery, just around the corner from my studio. I was a little worried. I don't generally DRAW anything. Each person was to come prepared with a design and ideas for shading/cross-hatching! There were about ten or eleven people enrolled. Most were working, professional artists with at least some experience in print-making. There were two architects and one guy who isn't an artist at all. Fortunately, none of this mattered. The workshop was great and everyone was both challenged and successful!
I decided to attempt an image of a boll of cotton. After all, I've picked three bags of them and recently finished stitching hundreds onto 16' lengths of waxed linen thread. (These are headed to an upcoming installation.) Thus, I really know what they look like ... even though I sort of "cheated" by drawing one from a photo found on-line! LOL!
The workshop was excellently prepared. In front of each seat was a "kit" with everything needed, including a detailed hand-out, a gallon Ziploc bag of moistened printing paper neatly between plain piece of newsprint, a 4" x 5" piece of plexiglass, and other items. First, we used metal rasps to bevel the edges of the Plexiglass. This prevents the paper from tearing under the press' pressure. Then, we used a variety of provided tools for scoring our Plexiglass plates ... drawing and cross-hatching into the surface ... transferring our image. Soon, we were learning how to ink and wipe these plates and making a "first state". In the photo above Steven Chapp talked about my cotton boll. He recommended adding texture around the the edges ... increasing the contrast. There was a variety of sandpaper. I used these. He also recommended additional work in several areas ... to achieve a more balanced look and a better overall result. Every idea improved the piece.
Finally, we were introduced to making a Chine-collé. This was awesome! Acid-free photo-mount was used to attach the cut piece of thin, tan paper to the surface. I ended up with a nice edition of three prints. One I'll keep. One will be a gift for a special friend who is providing the opportunity for my Cotton Boll installation. One ... well ... I don't know yet! In any event, I also have several other, less successful pulls (including the one in the photo above). My plan is to fuse fabric to the reverse and stitch on them. Sounds like fun!
By the way, this workshop only cost $65. It was very, very well worth every penny. I highly recommend Steven Chapp for both experienced print-markers as well as total novices!