Today's postings

  1. [Baren 34946] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V42 #4214 (Feb 1, 2008) (Lana Lambert)
  2. [Baren 34947] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V42 #4214 (Feb 1, 2008) (Lana Lambert)
  3. [Baren 34948] why printmaking? (Barbara Mason)
  4. [Baren 34949] Re: why printmaking? (rsimola #
  5. [Baren 34950] Re: why printmaking? ("steffan ziegler")
  6. [Baren 34951] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V42 #4213 (Jan 31, 2008) (Sharri LaPierre)
  7. [Baren 34952] Re: Baren Digest (old) V42 #4214 ("Marilynn Smith")
  8. [Baren 34953] Re: why printmaking? (Shawn + Elizabeth Newton)
  9. [Baren 34954] why printmaking? (Barbara Mason)
  10. [Baren 34955] Re: why printmaking? (rsimola #
  11. [Baren 34956] Re: why printmaking? (Reneeaugrin #
  12. [Baren 34957] Re: why printmaking? ("Barbara Carr")
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Message 1
From: Lana Lambert
Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2008 07:25:27 -0800 (PST)
Subject: [Baren 34946] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V42 #4214 (Feb 1, 2008)
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"My question is, what is the trick to getting larger
black areas on the keyblock to print solidly. I have
found if I print a second time with black it works but
it is slowing me down. I have tried using more paste
but that doesn't seem to completely solve the problem.
Do most of you all get success with the first
application? If I use so much paste to overcome the
graininess then it looks to me like paint/paste is
building up in the recessed areas. So I also blotted
the plate a few times along the way through my stack
of prints. I belatedly counted the number of people
on the exchange and found it was nearly 60 so I'm
going to be printing a bunch more and would love to do
a better and more efficient job!


Your troubleshoots sound like they're working but just
time consuming. Therein is the difference between
loading a chase into a Heidleburg and flipping the
switch and us Moku Hanga printers. The press will
crank out prints in somewhat rapid succession via
automation but we must be the machines to ensure a set
of prints in an edition of Moku Hanga are relatively
the same. At first, I used to be frustrated at all
the little techniques I had to pull to get a print the
way I wanted and I would think, this is so tedious!
But, after sticking with it and being able to
recognize how a block will react during printing
(wether or not it's the weather conditions or my paste
to pigment ration), I now approach printing with a
different mind set. I get everything together the day
before and set aside a whole day for printing so that
I have some time anticipate all the process's
potential capricities. (Also, once you get the block
warmed up, those 60 will just fly right out!)

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Message 2
From: Lana Lambert
Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2008 07:25:26 -0800 (PST)
Subject: [Baren 34947] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V42 #4214 (Feb 1, 2008)
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Repeat of above post
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Message 3
From: Barbara Mason
Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2008 08:04:25 -0800 (PST)
Subject: [Baren 34948] why printmaking?
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Good morning bareners,
I am taking a little poll this morning, so I want you
all to tell me why you think printmaking is important.
What is it that makes it necessary in our world?

This is not just a random question. I am writing
grants for my local non profit printmaking
organization and I can make great cases for almost
every other thing, our worthiness as an educational
organization and our longevity (26 years).

Why printmaking? What makes it necessary as an art

The more thought provoking the answers the better...I
feel like an art student staring at a huge blank
canvas with no I have been personally
wrestling with this question for months.
My best to all
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Message 4
From: rsimola #
Date: Fri, 01 Feb 2008 08:32:56 -0800
Subject: [Baren 34949] Re: why printmaking?
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I am sorry to disagree with what seems to be your basic premise, but
printmaking is not necessary. It is no more necessary than the flowers
of spring, the smell of lavender or an antique rose, or seeing a rainbow
after a rainy day. It is not necessary that anyone spend an hour
carving a block of wood for every tea-spoon of resulting shavings. It
is ridiculous to even consider such a thing. And consider. . . it is no
more likely that a printmaker will be able to make a living at the craft
than it is that someone will be able to make a living playing basketball
or baseball or football. There is no reason for carving a block and
pulling a print from that block. There is certainly no necessity for
anyone to buy the resultant print. It is simply, merely, good for the soul.

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Message 5
From: "steffan ziegler"
Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2008 10:37:12 -0800
Subject: [Baren 34950] Re: why printmaking?
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Politically, printmaking is very necessary.

Take a look at the political histories of some latin american countries.
Some of the best printmakers of all times were working on the streets in
those places. Look at Posada's work regarding the Zapatistas, or Frasconi's
early career against the dictatorship in Uruguay.

Printmaking in particular, can play a big role in the resistance to
oppressive regimes. Mostly because printmaking, alone among the arts, lets
people efficiently take a message to the street and to the people, in the
midst of a dictatiorial or totalitarian regime that locks down the
mainstream media, or does not allow dissent or opposing views. One person
with a press, (or a screen print rig) can be a huge thorn in the side to a
dictator. They can start underground, and stay underground for years, with
very little support. Messages can be delivered as broadsheets, quickly and
in multiples, using on-hand materials, without a huge investment. The
audience need not be literate, since imagery can be compelling and powerful
without the printed word. Printmaking and other street arts can be a
rallying point for resistance, and a morale booster for the oppressed.
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Message 6
From: Sharri LaPierre
Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2008 11:00:49 -0800
Subject: [Baren 34951] Re: New Baren Digest (HTML) V42 #4213 (Jan 31, 2008)
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I'm sure I'll be corrected if I'm wrong, but I don't use paste with
the sumi ink. And, yes, if it is a large black area I do print it
more than once. I have learned to only use the sumi for line and not
for larger areas. In fact, I've been known to cheat and do the
colors using paste & pigment and then doing the black with oil
etching ink modified with gel reducer. After doing that for one
print I learned to just use the sumi on lines and smaller flat areas,
and then printing the smaller flat areas twice. Have I been
confusing enough? :-)

Cheers ~
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Message 7
From: "Marilynn Smith"
Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2008 11:48:40 -0800
Subject: [Baren 34952] Re: Baren Digest (old) V42 #4214
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Just an observation. We have been talking about how different woods carve,
etc. I am busily carving 2 small blocks for exchange 36. (it will be a 4
block print if all turns out right) They are my wood of choice, the myrtle
wood. It is indeed a nice carving wood. Yesterday carving around my image
it felt like butter, carved like a dream, did not splinter and left me with
some nice fine points to my design. Today it feels like I am shoveling snow
with a teaspoon. This piece is harder, the grain is darker and it is
resisting my cuts. Some parts of this piece of wood are dark, some light.
I got around the image, no splinters and nice fine points again, but how
very different. With this said, look at the wood you buy and try for the
clearest grain you can get in your wood of choice, it makes it easier.
These were from the scrap bin, where I buy a 5 gallon bucket for five
dollars, so I will not whine! One must realize there are many variables with
wood, just because it is cherry or pear or whatever does not mean it is a
good piece! Also, remember to keep those tools sharp! Once a tool slips go
to your sharpening tool and resharpen it because that is usually when it has
dulled down.

Hope everyone is having as much fun carving as I am.
Marilynn in sunny Baja Sur, Mexico
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Message 8
From: Shawn + Elizabeth Newton
Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2008 11:48:56 -0800 (PST)
Subject: [Baren 34953] Re: why printmaking?
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And I am sorry to disagree with your statement
that printmaking is not necessary, SIMPLY,
MERELY, good for the soul. What a load of

I agree with the other fellow who spoke of
political motivation to create multiples of an
image or text. What would education be without
the invention of the printing press? Would we
still be copying books by hand? Printmaking has
been very important in the history of mankind,
not simply, merely, good for the soul (if there
is even such a thing). I make art prints because
I enjoy the cutting. It provides me with a means
to relax, to almost meditate and lose myself in
the process.

And there are plenty of people who make a living
at the craft, just as there are in basketball or
baseball. Sure there aren't many in proportion
to the population of the country, but so what?
To say that it's ridiculous to consider it as an
occupation is ridiculous. I've never read such
garbage. Your INTENT may have been positive, but
it didn't come across that way to me.

Shawn Newton
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Message 9
From: Barbara Mason
Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2008 12:13:56 -0800 (PST)
Subject: [Baren 34954] why printmaking?
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Thanks to those who responded so far...all ideas are
helpful as I am asking foundations and businesses for
money to support our organization. I know why art is
important but appreciate the more specific ideas about
our discipline. Keep thinking and send me more stuff.
Best to all
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Message 10
From: rsimola #
Date: Fri, 01 Feb 2008 12:16:30 -0800
Subject: [Baren 34955] Re: why printmaking?
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Shawn + Elizabeth Newton wrote:
>And I am sorry to disagree with your statement
>that printmaking is not necessary, SIMPLY,
>MERELY, good for the soul. What a load of
Yep. Irony doesn't come across very well in printmaking, does it.

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Message 11
From: Reneeaugrin #
Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2008 15:42:57 EST
Subject: [Baren 34956] Re: why printmaking?
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What a great question Barbara, thanks!

IMHO, I have been involved in printmaking for about 25 years, and there are
many aspects that I really appreciate and admire. One is the democratic
aspect, prints are an affordable way for the general public to purchase original
works of art, without the investment of buying a one of a kind work, a
painting or sculpture (nothing wrong with that if it is within your means). I also
like the idea of knowing that when I sell an entire edition (or almost,and
this can take years) and know that there are twenty or thirty people out there
who have something in common, whether they are aware of it or not. I was
showing some of my own work to an art class and one of the students had just
seen that same print at a friends home -- small world, and yes Portland is a
smallish community -- but I like these threads of commonalities and interests
and serendipity. Our exchanges are another example of this community bond, we
all have various prints/sets of prints from our fellow printmakers and can
appreciate the wondrous variety and styles. The prints themselves also serve
as an educational tool, style, variety and individual's take on a theme, are
all valuable to the instructor as well as students. I certainly love and
appreciate exchanging prints, the exchange of ideas, political climate,
concerns, passions and the inventive responses to a theme.

Happily printing for X#36!

rainy, rainy and cold -- excellent studio weather.

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Message 12
From: "Barbara Carr"
Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2008 12:57:12 -0800
Subject: [Baren 34957] Re: why printmaking?
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There's history to consider, too, and not just Japanese history. I was just
shown some woodblocks that the Shakers used to print ads for the washing
machine they invented and produced. Then there are Indian textiles, the
broadsides, the early German stuff, etc., etc. And a kid can get started
with a potato.Barbara C