Today's postings

  1. [Baren 25153] Re: Simply simple (Mike Lyon)
  2. [Baren 25154] Re: Trip to Toronto (FurryPressII #
  3. [Baren 25155] Re: Simply simple ("Maria Arango")
  4. [Baren 25156] Re: Simply simple (Barbara Mason)
  5. [Baren 25157] Re: Simply simple (FurryPressII #
  6. [Baren 25158] Re: Simply simple ("Diane Cutter")
  7. [Baren 25159] Re: Baren Digest (old) V27 #2667 ("Claudia G. Coonen")
  8. [Baren 25160] Re: Baren Digest (old) V27 #2667 (Mike Lyon)
  9. [Baren 25161] Re: Baren Digest (old) V27 #2667 ("marilynn smih")
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Message 1
From: Mike Lyon
Date: Sun, 30 May 2004 12:22:10 -0500
Subject: [Baren 25153] Re: Simply simple
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Marilyn wrote:
>But on the flip side it is more perfect than what a hand carved piece
>would be, not hand done, so therefore more precise.

Not true, Marilyn, not true -- the blocks are the same (so far, at least)
and do not differ in their design from previous -- the marks are the same
and the shape of the marks are the same -- only the method for scooping out
the non-printing areas is different.

Mike Lyon
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Message 2
From: FurryPressII #
Date: Sun, 30 May 2004 13:58:44 EDT
Subject: [Baren 25154] Re: Trip to Toronto
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Don Black is where all my loose change went. very intersting place.

i did rather enjoy going to the top of the CN tower (got to be a tourist
some times)

john f. how is the work going?

john center
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Message 3
From: "Maria Arango"
Date: Sun, 30 May 2004 11:05:13 -0700
Subject: [Baren 25155] Re: Simply simple
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I think we all struggle at one point or another with the thought of
"farming out" the tedious tasks of printmaking. Funny thing is, until we
"get there" we don't know what we would do when we get there. Then a
choice has to be made, and sometimes we surprise ourselves with our own
choice, given previous method. An artist progresses (technically,
artistically, creatively, financially, etceterally)...or not, by choice.

Speaking from my own experience, about 2 years ago I would laugh and
mock at the thought of having anyone else touch my stuff, even be in my
studio. It wasn't long before I got tired of framing the "little stuff"
and had my mom help me with that. Seemed harmless enough.
As I progressed into the world of making more prints, I struggled with
matting and framing at all. Heck, I want to be knee deep into wood chips
and ink, not figuring out how many mats to put on what frame and when to
order more glass.
But, being a very private person, I would rather do the tedium myself
than have someone--even part-time, even on-demand--in the studio.
Nothing but a choice.

During the many tasks of printmaking, now I struggle when sanding and
preparing blocks (why not just buy the ready to carve boards?), when
cutting cherry blocks with hand chisels (I have a nice Foredom with
reciprocating attachment now!), when running 100 prints through the
press (really, once everything is set correctly, a chimpanzee could ink
and print), when matting, framing (I could now easily afford to pay
someone to do that) and even when sitting out in the elements peddlin'
with the ignorant masses (mom would LOVE to do that for me).

BUT! In a sort of masochistic and weird Gestalt way, I really really
enjoy every single tedious, painful and annoying aspect of being a
printmaking artist in business. From planing boards to explaining to
some moron what a "slice" is. And truthfully, it isn't that I can't see
myself farming out some of those tasks to mechanical or human aids, the
truth of the matter for me is that I have arrived to a conclusion: I
don't want to. A choice.

I sort of envy Mike's resources and I sort of not; if I had the same
resources, I'd drive myself nuts trying new things all the time and
progressing at a pace that even I couldn't keep up. I sort of envy the
traditional discipline of "the Davids" and I sort of not; if I had the
same discipline I would die of boredom.

I'm simply comfortable with the way I do things, a la Maria. Sometimes
fast, sometimes slow, sometimes the pool has to be cleaned and the weeds
have to be pulled and if I were tied to filling orders for subscribers I
would hate that. Sometimes there are five good festivals in a row and if
I were tied to the framer's schedule I would hate that. Sometimes I want
to produce 8 little quick engravings in two weeks by taking photos,
transferring them to a block and cutting them with the rotary tool, and
if I were tied to a slow traditional process, I would hate that.

I would encourage everyone to find their own way of doing things and
learn from everyone else, both as to what to do and what not to do.
Seems like a lot of us are doing just that and sharing with everyone
else what we learn. What a group we are!

Maria...the landscaper, working on the back yard these days
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Message 4
From: Barbara Mason
Date: Sun, 30 May 2004 11:17:37 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: [Baren 25156] Re: Simply simple
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David, Mike and all,
I think there is something really wonderful about having the tool and the wood and not much else. I can see that if you need a lot of production, the CNC milling machine is a gift as it can do what a person cannot. Carve with no mistakes (assuming what you put into the machine is correct) and very fast. It doesn't need coffee breaks or time to rest it's arm or hand.

Still, I vote for working by hand. You are not just carving, but thinking and pondering at the same time. There is something very Zen about the old way. I am sure the printers and carvers in Japan are thinking about production more that I am, but just working along at my snail's pace has a certain joy all its own. After all, I know I am not in this for the money....if I were I would have to be doing something else as I will never get good enough to make money, just lots of friends!

This does not mean I am not above making a relief plate photographically if I am under the gun to get it out and my arthritis is acting up and I cannot carve that week.....we all do what we have to do to meet deadlines. I am promising myself a break from these deadlines...none for a year or so. Remind me of this at the next exchange signup!

I like the idea of students learning traditional printmaking in school at a young age. Even if they do not go on, they will have an appreciation for prints and will be potential customers.
Best to all,
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Message 5
From: FurryPressII #
Date: Sun, 30 May 2004 14:23:14 EDT
Subject: [Baren 25157] Re: Simply simple
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I like to carve wood i want to do it by hand funny though i don't
like to print by hand do like my iron object for that though

john center
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Message 6
From: "Diane Cutter"
Date: Sun, 30 May 2004 14:24:36 -0300
Subject: [Baren 25158] Re: Simply simple
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I was mulling over an answer to the previous posts and you quite literally
took the words out of my mouth. You were just more eloquent that I would
have been. We all do what we feel most comfortable with.

I find, speaking for myself, I most like the creating and the cutting. I
can't wait to wake up in the morning and begin with good music in the
background. But I often find that I make a drawing the wrong size. After
working it up I find that I just don't like the format. Wisdom (for me)
says, scan it and reduce it, because I don't want to spend my hours working
with a grid when I could have the pleasure of cutting instead. If I could
find that monkey, I would gladly feed him all the bananas he wants. The
weather, being extremely humid here, makes pulling the entire edition at
once problematic since mildew is my enemy. But that works to my advantage
once again, because I can justify more designing and cutting.

Fortunately, what we all do is so very different and the medium has so many
variations. This leads to an appreciation and curiosity for what the others
do even if we were never to work that way...

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Message 7
From: "Claudia G. Coonen"
Date: Sun, 30 May 2004 08:58:39 -1000
Subject: [Baren 25159] Re: Baren Digest (old) V27 #2667
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in reference to April and any others going to Japan ...Yes travel can be
expensive, you can get a round trip on the bullet train for about 200$
Tokyo/Kyoto, or for about 225$ you can get a Japan Rail Pass good for a week on
all the bullet trains and other lines. This is only for visitors so you have to
buy it before you go. I tried the Japan Visitor Bureau web site, but a couple
weeks ago it was 'under construction ' when you went to the Trains page. I bought
mine through the travel bureau here in Honolulu.If you look around you can find it
for sure(maybe even a travel agency) Lucky you. (April) the Nagasawa Program
looked sooooo fun. I applied and I was rejected, probably for my work, but I was
also 3 yrs over the age limit, but I tried anyways,,, who knows why not! at least
I got the best letter of recommendation ever!
Happy Trails!
P.S. Hey Mike Lyon, still saying wow from looking at your new work a few days
ago!!... where do you get the formilon(sp?) you put in the paste to keep it good
for a mo.?
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Message 8
From: Mike Lyon
Date: Sun, 30 May 2004 15:44:38 -0500
Subject: [Baren 25160] Re: Baren Digest (old) V27 #2667
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Claudia wrote:
>Hey Mike Lyon... where do you get the formilon(sp?)

Hi, Claudia -- it's "formalin" and I get mine at "Brookside Toy and Hobby"
a couple of blocks from my home. They sell models and kits and chemicals
and preserved bugs and kites and all kinds of interesting stuff.

I pay quite an inflated price and buy a pint at a time, but you can get a
whole liter (YEARS of fungus-free printing) for < $30 here:

I imagine that formalin may not be the 'best' fungicide or bactericide
today, but it's the only one I know, has been used in moku-hanga for a long
time (since the 1920's?), seems effective, and seems not to change the
paper or pigments... There are some health issues, though, so read the
MSDS carefully before using. One of the reasons I was thrilled to get the
CNC machine is because of severe cracking and irriation of my hands -- I
thought this was a reaction to oils in the wood I was carving, especially
the Spanish cedar and the lacquer thinner I was using, but now I think it
was more likely to have been a reaction to formalin (contact
dermatitis)... I still use formalin and I no longer have those painful
sores and cracks all over my hands, so... Read a short-form MSDS

-- Mike
Mike Lyon
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Message 9
From: "marilynn smih"
Date: Sun, 30 May 2004 21:36:27 -0700
Subject: [Baren 25161] Re: Baren Digest (old) V27 #2667
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And Mike I had this fab printmaking prof that could not carve without using
a dremel. And his work was so gooood. If you need a tool to make your work
happen than use it.

I do preplan work, I am for this next print is it #21, whatever, I have
several blocks planned and my design ready.

Buttt, I really like to be able to carve as I think it. To let it come
about. No machine can think for me.

For the preplanner your machine would be heaven. For the the person who
plans as they go it would never work.
Nothing with wrong either way, just individual.

I like the feel of tools in my hand, I like slivers and dirt under my nails,
and I am female. I want my hands on everything I do, it is me. But you ,
you are special in your way and the machines you create to make stuff are
amazing and I am in awe of that in itself. Jusst be yourself, that is wonder