Baren-suji is the newsletter of [Baren], The International Forum for Woodblock Printmaking. The official internet site of [Baren] is http://www.barenforum.org
Baren-suji are the marks left by the baren when printing. Similarly, this newsletter assumes the role of recording the marks left by the woodblock printmakers that constitute [Baren].
Comments and contributions are welcomed.
Baren and The Encyclopedia of Woodblock Printmaking were created by David Bull in 1997 to promote the art of and share information about woodblock printmaking.
Baren activities include an international discussion forum, a network of woodblock printmakers, workshops and get-togethers, and the very successful Exchange and Exhibition Programs.
To join [Baren], simply point your
ISSUE 2: JULY 2000
NOTE! To return to this Table of Contents from anywhere in the Newsletter, just click on the barens scattered about.
The Unofficial Skokie Report by Julio Rodriguez
Worthwhile Books on Printmaking, reviewed by Barbara Mason
Workshop Fever!, by Jean Eger and John Amoss
Print Conservation Part
II, by Jack Reisland
Opportunities for Printmakers compiled by Maria Arango
A WORD FROM DAVE
Just look at the activities that this [Baren] group has been up to recently: print exchanges with participants from every continent ... exhibitions in Chicago and Uganda ... the 'Swapshop' getting under way ... and of course this 'Baren-Suji' newsletter, now publishing its second issue. What a wonderful thing this Internet is turning out to be - to be able to bring all this activity together!
Very little of this could have been foreseen even just a year ago, and it makes one wonder just what is coming up for this group in the next year. Whatever it will be, I'm sure that it will be interesting, and of course, you'll be reading about it right here in 'Baren-Suji'. Stay with us, as the [Baren] adventure continues!
Founder, [Baren] forum for woodblock printmaking.
Here we are already! Baren-Suji #2. A very busy
exhibition and exchange season has followed our first issue
with more to come. Everyone's comments, praise and
suggestions from the first newsletter were greatly
This issue will include an article on net issues, as well
as much anticipated additional information on how to take
care of your prints. Book reviews again by Barbara Mason and
updates on our very busy exchange and exhibition programs. I
am also including a list of resources and venues started by
Baren members, for those who like to print, print, and
Pictured on left is Peony and Sparrow, Isoda Koryusai, from David Bull's Surimono Album 2000. Visit often Dave's Surimono Album Web Page to learn more and view more of the Surimono Albums, including a section on step by step creation of these beautiful prints.
Maria Arango, Editor of Baren-Suji
Please direct letters to the editor and comments to: Editor@mariarango.com
Remember that your contributions will continue to make this newsletter interesting and palatable for all. To contribute a feature article or an item of interest, please contact: Contribute@mariarango.com
MEMBERS DON'T COMMENT (but I guess no-news is good-news)
Please send your comments for this section anytime to email@example.com.
EXCHANGE AND EXHIBITION NEWS
General information and links to all exchanges can always be found here: http://barenforum.org/exchange/index.html
Exchange #6 is an open theme exchange. Details for this exchange can be seen here: http://barenforum.org/exchange/exchange_6/exchange_6.html
Sign up closed very quickly for this smaller format exchange. Prints are due on August 1st to the coordinator, Gayle Wohlken. Please show your good printsmanship by sending your prints in time.
Exchange #7 is a themed exchange. Details for this exchange available through the main exchange info page. Enrollment opens today, July first! Baren members who have not participated in the previous exchange have a full week to sign up before the rest of us. Midnight July 7th Tokyo time is open season for sign-ups for all members. Sharpen up your Submit buttons.
The Baren International Swap Shop is officially working, James Mundie presiding. The first batch of prints is on the way back to the participants. For those of you who wish to participate in a smaller and less pressuring exchange, go to the woodblock site and read all about this new Baren program. We hope that you will also encourage non-members to participate so that we can promote the traditional exchange of prints among printmakers throughout the world.
The Kampala National Gallery exhibition was a success thanks to Gregory Robison. Participants in Exchange #5 exhibited their prints, as well as other artists throughout Uganda. More details in a future issue.
Member Arye Saar is in the process of organizing an exhibition in Israel. We will hear more details later ...
Many Baren members are also participating in the Sacred Tree Exchange and Exhibition organized by Josephine Severn, an Australian crusader for printmaking. This exchange welcomed other media as well as woodcuts and will be a guest exhibit in Josephine's upcoming solo exhibition at project centre for contemporary art in Wollongong NSW Australia in November 2000.
Thank you Josephine for setting this up on your website, Print Australia, and organizing the exhibit.
Yet another source for exchanging prints with Baren and non-Baren members is The Printmaker's Web Site and List, started by Baren member Brad Schwartz. So far we have exchanged self-portraits and 'money' in a slightly larger format than the Baren exchanges. You can view previous exchanges and sign-up for upcoming ones in Brad's website: http://www.baschwar.com/printmakers/
If you are missing out on the exchanges and exhibitions, be sure to tune into the Baren forum and take a gander through the Encyclopedia. Opportunities abound and await!
Jeanne Norman Chase and the Open Studio
One way to get exposure is to have an Open Studio.
It takes a certain amount of work and planning and not too much expense. I usually hold an Open Studio once a year. It is getting to be an event that many of my customers look forward to. Galleries take a certain percentage of the sales, this way you can make more money and get to know the people who collect your art. It is a very rewarding experience.
I have 3 friends help me during the opening; one to act as a hostess, one to keep the liquid refreshments coming and one that I can count on to sell my art. While this is going on I am busy talking and demonstrating. This was the first Open House in which I featured my Graphic Arts.
I am lucky as I have a wonderful old house, just for the studio alone. The entrance room is, if you live in Florida, called a Florida Room. It is usually a room with lots of windows. I had a large bulletin board put up in this room to show my prints. The press is in the center of the room and I did some demonstrations on the press during the event. The garage is converted into my woodblock studio. This way the chips can fall where they may without getting dust on the work. It is my carving room and I also have my light table set up in the workroom.
I did Hand embossing demonstrations during the Open House. For some reason that seems to really fascinate my customers.
The main gallery is hung with my drawings. It has a ten foot ceiling and is very large. Once a living room and dining room combined. My paintings are stacked in various places in that room. I call it my allery.
The back rooms are for storage and one is my office. My computer and art books and desk are in the office, along with a few more of my paintings. The customers are allowed to wander in all of those rooms. Many times they love to look through old stacks of paintings, thinking they might find a bargain.
To have an Open Studio is simple. Everyone has a list of customers or potential customers and sometimes a list of people on Symphonies, Operas, or any cultural organizations. I make the labels (this takes the longest time). but once you have them they can printed out again and again. I usually just type out an invitation on the computer, insert a print of one of my art works and mail it in an envelope. It helps to add a little personal note to your special customers. Buy stamps, clean studio, and you have an Open Studio.
Since I am in a residential area, I always put lots of balloons on the mailbox and gate so it is easy to find. It is helpful if you do not have a gallery in your own home town, then the Open House is very special to those who follow your career.
Jeanne Norman Chase can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Her wonderful website is: http://pages.prodigy.net/studiojnc
The [Baren] Exchange Print Exhibition - April 3 to May 3, 2000
Skokie Public Library
Exhibition of over one hundred and thirty woodblock prints representing the work of seventy-five international printmakers.
So what leads a person with no previous experience in the business of curating a print exhibit and limited overall experience in printmaking to take on such a large project as the Baren Skokie exhibit? (Be kind!)
Certainly the many hours spent on Baren, the many emails that have crossed my screen and the many wonderful friendships made during the last three years had an impact on my decision. In a small way, I felt I could give something back to Baren and its members for the wonderful times shared. But I also look back and take comfort on a Readers Digest article written by James Michener in 1962 as a source of inspiration. While the whole article can be found at David Bull's home page, I will quote here the line that continues to serve as motivation:
"Men and women who wish to accomplish anything must apply themselves to tasks of tremendous magnitude"
While the idea of mounting a local print exhibit in a public location did not seem to be such a challenging task at the time, in retrospect and in lieu of my lack of experience and lack of local Baren support, it must have seemed an overwhelming job to David and other Bareners. I will admit to a bit of fear for the unknown! The amount of support and advice offered and received by the many Baren members involved was truly a godsend. With their support and the go-ahead from the library staff for an April date, planning for the exhibit started.
One of the most important tasks I found was that of clearly defining your goals and expectations for the project. In the case of the Skokie exhibit my goal was to promote [Baren], the artists and woodblock printmaking. Possible sales while desired, took a secondary role due to the public location and the fact that most of the prints formed part of my private collection. The not-for-profit status of the library also made it very difficult to advertise and promote sales. During my preliminary discussions with the library staff, I indicated my enthusiasm for including at least one print from each of the artists involved in the exchanges, but somewhere along the way, the exhibit grew and grew and grew ... from one print per artist (sixty prints) to Opening Night with all four of the Baren Print Exchanges, the Dragon Exchange prints, a tools and woodblock display case and an introductory grouping of prints from invited artists that showed the viewer possibilities and variety within the woodblock technique on display. Overall, close to two hundred items were on display.
You can follow the Baren archives on the 'putting together' of the exhibit and other miscellaneous information found on my many posts made to Baren during the months of January through May, 2000. Also photographs and a full list of all participants can be found at the following web sites:
Click on any image to enlarge it ...
Here is a list of suggestions which may come in handy if you are thinking about putting on an exhibit:
- Carefully choose the exhibit location based on your agenda. Public places (libraries, banks, etc) while freely accessible to many and exposing the work to a large number of people, may not necessarily return many sales. Galleries and school art departments may attract an audience more receptive to the works.
- Keep your eyes open for public and commercial institutions in your area that may be open to mounting a print exhibition (especially if all they are providing is the wall space). It never hurts to ask!
- Bring samples of your prints (or the Baren Exchanges) with you when meeting with the contact persons. Perhaps suggest a display of tools, woodblocks and even a how-to demonstration.
- Plan well ahead and write down all your key tasks. Make a timetable to make sure time-critical jobs are done on time.
- Shop around for frames, framing services, etc. Even within a small community you may be able to find businesses willing to sponsor or give you a reduced price in exchange for a little name-dropping at the Exhibit.
- Contact all the local art groups, colleges, galleries, etc. well ahead of time and send them an announcement card. Also your local media (newspapers, art magazines, radio, etc.). Handle all media contacts yourself if possible.
- PROMOTE, PROMOTE, PROMOTE
Many thanks to:
- the Skokie Public Library staff (Carolyn Anthony, Allison Trimarco, Gail Shaw and Barry Johnson) for their terrific help.
- Maria Arango and Sharen Linder for their invaluable support and the loan of woodblocks and prints.
- my brother-in law Vince Guerrero and my nephew Vinci for their help with installation and during the Opening Night reception.
- David Bull, the force behind Baren, for his undivided support, his generous loan of professional quality tools, and for always finding time to respond to my many emails.
- my wife Maria and my sons Jorge Luis and Julio Andres for all their help, for putting up with their crazed father and for three months of a living room full of prints, frames and other exhibit paraphernalia.
But most of all, my thanks go to all the printmakers involved with the exhibit, for it was your hard work and dedication to this wonderful discipline that made the prints possible, en fin, making the exhibit a wonderful reality.
I enjoyed immensely working on this project and the support and thanks of many bareners made it a very worthwhile and rewarding experience for me. For those considering such an event.I say don't put it off prints are made to be seen and shared. GO FOR IT!
CUT, PRINT! Julio
Currently has a woodcut print in the Long Beach Arts 96th National Exhibition. This show runs until the end of June, and is at the Long Beach Arts Gallery, Long Beach, CA.
Daniel Dew reports:
"I had two of my reduction block prints accepted in a national juried competition here in Tampa. Didn't win any awards, it was just nice to have some work accepted in a multi-media show. Usually the relief prints are overlooked, but ..."
On an unrelated note, Dan's Print of his daughter was chosen for the cover of The Chileda Chronicle. You can view the entire cover if you click on his lovely print below.
This from Judy Mensch:
"I will be in a show at the Hammond Museum, Devean Road, North Salem, NY 10560, Phone: 914.669.5033. The name of the show is International Prints & Japanese Fans. I will be represented by an intaglio image I did for a Japanese Dance Fan. I did the image in the US and then it was sent to Japan to be made by a master fan maker. The opening is July 29th, 2000."
The mad printmaker Maria Arango has gone truly mad:
Art fests have been very very good to me, so I'm all booked up for the fall. If you happen to come to Las Vegas, Utah, or Arizona anytime this fall or winter, please stop by my booth at any of these locations.
4th Annual ARTS & CRAFTS FEST Meadows Mall Las Vegas, NV presented by M&D Creations
FRIDAY, JULY 21 through SUNDAY, JULY 23
Springdale, UTAH ARTS CELEBRATION LABOR DAY WEEKEND
SEPTEMBER, 2 and 3 Located in beautiful Springdale UTAH at the mouth of ZION NATIONAL PARK
BOULDER CITY, NEVADA ART IN THE PARK! OCTOBER 7 & 8 Downtown Boulder City, Nevada presented by Boulder City Hospital Auxiliary
Celebration of the Arts The Hills Park in Summerlin Las Vegas, Nevada
October 14 & 15
Marketplace Art Walk Wild Oats Marketplace Las Vegas Nevada
December 2 & 3
Scottsdale's Art Fest 2000 in Scottsdale, AZ presented by The Events Group, Scottsdale Civic Center Plaza,
November 18th and 19th
[Baren] is a virtual group; we communicate, meet, and get to know each other through the wonderful internet. [Baren] has over 200 members! When you post, 200 people are 'listening'. Dutch has come up with a humorous guide for newbies and oldies alike on how to get along in the virtual world.
Kindergarten and Cyberspace
Kindergarten may have taught you everything that you needed to survive, in fact thrive, in Cyberspace. In Robert Fulghum's book "All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten", he points out the fundamental rules that you learn in kindergarten that give you the foundation to function in life. In other words, this is the etiquette for living.
1. Share everything
2. Play fair
3. Don't hit people
4. Put things back where you found them
5. Clean up your own mess
6. Don't take things that aren't yours
7. Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody
8. Wash your hands before you eat
10. Warm cookies & cold milk are good for you
11. Live a balanced life-learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some
12. Take a nap every afternoon
13. When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together
14. Be aware of wonder
Let's look at these rules as they apply to Net-Etiquette. One of the first rules of cyberspace is:
- Remember that there are people on the other end of the Line. When you communicate through a keyboard, it's sometimes difficult to remember that there are people on the other end. This is where Share everything, and Play fair come in. If you remember that you are sharing, the tone of the message will be much lighter than if you are telling the other person the way things are. (which is part of playing fair.)
- NEVER TYPE THE WHOLE MESSAGE IN ALL CAPS.. In the world of e-mail this is considered screaming, so the next rule might be Don't hit people. In the cyber space world, this is the same as verbally hitting people. Screaming or verbally imitating the other person is not nice or necessary.
- Respect other people's time and bandwidth. This goes along with Don't take things that aren't ours. Another way of looking at this is that people are busy and yours is not the only message they are getting. Be considerate; don't include stuff that doesn't need to be included . For instance, when replying to a message, it is not necessary to include the complete message that you are replying to, especially if you are on a mail list and it is going to many people. Copy only enough to let them know what you are replying to. Typically, that could be a sentence or less out of a message or request that could be twenty or more lines. A little more work but well worth it for the sender and receiver. Remember that as often as not you will be the receiver and this courtesy will make reading your mail much faster and fun.
- Share expert knowledge. When you know something that could help other participants, Share everything; it will make life easier for you and will help keep everything running smoothly. Always give complete link addresses for the computer/internet novice; for example, address given as http://printhousegallery.org or printhousegallery.org when the real address is http://www.printhousegallery.org . Remember the newbies that don't know or yet understand all the www's or http's or //'s of a web address.
- Make yourself look good online. Nothing wrong with good healthy discussion but don't post Flame-bait (stuff intended to aggravate someone); as in all endeavors in life, not everyone agrees with us nor do we agree with everyone. If it adds to the discussion and brings up a point, feel free to contribute; if you just want to argue for the sake of argument, don't touch the keys.
- Help keep flame wars under control. The obvious way of controlling these is to not participate. Next, if you inadvertently do flame someone, Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody or somebody's feelings.
- Respect other people's privacy. Just because someone told you something doesn't mean that you have the right to tell or pass that on to others without asking. Sometimes things are given in confidence or are just plain gossip and we all have experienced the damage that gossip can do. In other words, Don't take things that aren't yours this also pertains to verbal communication.
There are an endless number of things that each of us should know about sending and receiving e-mail. Each of us will learn as we go along; all of us should remember the we were once the newbies and someone tolerated our idiosyncrasies.
A few other things to remember; not all computers are created equal. To accommodate everyone that might be reading your e-mail, set your line length between 60 to 65 characters and send messages in unformatted text. Many of the fancier styles and font settings that look great on your machine lose their artistic qualities once they reach the other end .
Remember not all mail readers can handle HTML or other formats. It also doesn't usually work on mail lists that have digest portions.
I have taken some liberties with Mr Fulghum's book but I hope you have enjoyed them..
If you remember the golden rule - Do unto others as you would have them do unto you - you can see where the rest of the rules fit in to the day-to-day communication that we call e-mail. Make sure that you live a balanced life learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
When you go out into the world watch out for traffic hold hands and stick together.
Remember Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you! grab some sit down and enjoy reading and writing your e-mail. Be aware of the wonder.
"Evolving Techniques in Japanese Woodblock Prints," Gaston Petit and Amadio Arboleda
Published by Kodansha International LTD, Tokyo, 1977 IBSN 0-87011-309-7
Members of the [Baren] forum know and appreciate the difficulty of doing all the steps of woodblock printmaking. Design, carving, printing and promoting are no longer done by four people but by the individual artist. This is also now true in Japan and this book addresses the way contemporary printmakers in 1977 have approached their art. They are developing their own individual style while drawing on their rich artistic legacy.
The book follows 12 artist-printmakers in their studios as they demonstrate their techniques and individual interpretations of age-old process and their excitement with innovative new developments. The most emphasized of the creative processes is certainly the printing.
Looking back from the year 2000, many of these 'new' techniques do not seem new to us, however I was fascinated with the way these printmakers changed the surface of the wood to print different textures. Some of these plates were now collographs and bore no resemblance to woodblock plates except for the substrate. I also enjoyed the chapter about different types of pigment used in Japan to create different effects on the prints.
This probably isn't a book for the dyed in the wool hanga woodblock artist, but being the process junkie that I am I enjoyed it from cover to cover. And I learned quite a few things, maybe even a few that I can apply to hanga.
An outstanding growing collection of resources for woodblock printmaking can be found in the Woodblock Encyclopedia Library, where you can download books, print them and learn at your leisure.
Re: April Vollmer's Kala Workshop
by Jean Eger
April Vollmerreally is a master teacher. I unexpectedly showed up because I was not sure if anything unexpected would be expected of me from the student teaching program at San Francisco State that weekend. So I could not commit in advance for that weekend. We had been in communication about the date of the workshop, so it probably wasn't a complete surprise that I came over to say hello, and stayed. It was the best choice I could have made. What a luxury to have such a small class and so much attention from the teacher. April kept saying, "You're doing OK, Jean. You're doing that well, Jean..." and I could feel the tension slipping away as I blindly drew my key block (against her advice) and cut, cut, cut all afternoon.
The first day of the two-day workshop, we had Kala all to ourselves. For those of you on other continents, Kala is the premiere printmaking workshop in Northern California. It has great location and many presses. There are many classes available from master printmakers.
The second day, Kala was filled with printmaking demonstrations by Judith Rostow of Aqua Color teaching monoprint and Mark Zaffron of Zacryl Etching teaching non-toxic etching. There was a little lecture which, of course, we could not attend, because we were cutting and printing. We were part of the demonstration and show! There were many printmakers in attendance, some of whom I knew from the California Society of Printmakers. The occasion was Kala's 25th anniversary celebration and symposium in connection with the Oakland Museum.
April Vollmer really ranks up there among the best printmaking instructors. She gave clear directions, demonstrated techniques, gave printed handouts and personal attention to each participant, and was generally optimistic and encouraging, bringing out the best each artist had to give. The printing techniques that April taught will be a big help in my editioning.
Here is a photo of April with one of the workshop participants
Thanks for a weekend well-spent, April!
Report from John Amoss' Japanese Woodblock Printmaking Workshop
by John Amoss
I have just finished teaching my first hanga workshop at the University of Georgia in Athens. It was a great success and I hope to have inspired several budding southern woodblock artists. The class of seven students was held on Tuesday nights for seven weeks in which I introduced them to the history and practice of the craft.
Here are some pictures of Sam, Bob and Catherine at work along with instructor John doing a printing demo (can you see the sweat?) (click for enlargements):
As for equipping the class, it was a little difficult finding the right tools - especially knives and chisels. I decided for the sake of economy to use low-end tools that I sharpened myself. After working with these, the students were soon eyeing McClain's catalog with renewed interest! As for barens, David Bull fortunately came through with the some plastic ones from Woodlike Matsamura and April Vollmer helped me locate several items including horsehair shoe polishing brushes. The washi we used for the final printing was shin-torinoko from Hiromi Paper and the wood blocks were basswood planks. The whole package: 5 knives, 3 woodblocks, brush, baren, non-slip pads, baby food jars, paste, mixing/paste sticks and paper all contained in a fine wooden cigarbox came to a mere $25.
Most of all, I want to thank Graham and Dave. The techniques learned from the workshop and Baren website were invaluable. Thanks for all the help!
Here are a couple of prints that I wrangled from students Ellen and Brooke (click for enlargements):
I was surprised to find most of my ambitious students designed their prints using 4 to 6 colors. The last night was 'printing day' and we stayed until almost midnight drinking tea, eating homemade cookies and enjoying the wonderful results!
If anyone is interested in teaching a similar workshop, I would recommend it highly. Please write to email@example.com me and I'll try to pass on what I have been given.
And now...April Vollmer's Upcoming Workshops for 2000
July 10-15, Frogman's Press & Gallery, South Dakota, Phone/Fax: 605-763-5082, a week long print extravaganza http://www.bmtc.net/~frogmans/
July 29 and 30, Dieu Donne Papermill, New York City, 212-226-0573, Saturday and Sunday, intensive weekend class, focus on paper http://www.colophon.com/dieudonne/
August 14-20, 2000, Elderhostel week (ages 55+) Horizons Craft Program, Sunderland MA, 413-665-0300, http://horizons-art.org/
September 9 & 10, Brookfield Craft Center, Brookfield CT, 203-775-4526
Fall 2000, dates to be announced Connecticut Graphic Arts, 203-899-7999, six weeks
April Vollmer 174 Eldridge St, NYC 10002, 212-677-5691 Don't miss April's website! http://www.aprilvollmer.com
The Care and Preservation of Prints, Part 2
Last issue we looked at the causes of deterioration of prints, all those things that work separately and in combination to shorten the life of your prints. This issue we will see how to take all these factors into account in planning for the optimal handling, display and storage of your valued prints.
Obviously, prints are made to be looked at and enjoyed, and to most people, that means framing them up and hanging them on the wall. In light of the different causes of deterioration, is that always a good idea? In particular, considering the factors leading to deterioration of the paper and the fading of the pigments, the prolonged display of a print in even moderate light will indeed shorten its life, and in some cases, quite quickly change its intended appearance. Because of these factors, many collectors have decided not to hang their prints up for display, instead opting to store them in easily accessible cases to be taken out and enjoyed for much shorter periods of time. Another alternative is to display the prints in frames for only short periods of time. You can either permanently mat them and change the prints, mats and all into the frames, or have them temporarily matted and change the prints.
A convenient system for temporarily matting prints is to have heavy acid-free paper channels that extend a short distance over both sides and the bottom of the print. These channels are attached to the backing board in the matting system, and allow the prints to be slid in from the top. Of course, this only works if the prints are all the same size.
For permanently matting prints it is best to use pasted paper hinges. Mounting tape, even if it is labeled as archival, cannot always be easily removed, and may leave some residue on the prints. In choosing paper for hinging, use an acid-free Japanese paper and always choose a paper that is lighter in weight than the print. The idea is that if the print is caught and pulled the hinges will fail before the print tears. Use freshly made wheat or rice starch paste made with de-ionized or filtered water. Mix the paste used for the hinges rather dry, and use it sparingly, to avoid introducing excess water into the print. If you do decide to frame your prints, make sure to use only acid-free materials throughout. Don't scrimp and use a cheaper backing board and an acid-free paper on the back as some framers do, as the acid can easily migrate through the barrier paper.
It is also a good idea to use UV protective glass on the front. The UV glass is a better choice than UV plastic, as the plastic can generate a static charge that can lift pigments off the print. Also, the UV protective property of plastic has a limited life span. Anything else you can do to limit your print's exposure to light while on display is also a good idea. Don't hang them in areas of bright sunlight or constant interior lighting. Also be careful not to hang them in areas that may have higher temperatures, such as exterior walls, over a fireplace or heater, or areas that may be exposed to high humidity, such as basement or bathroom walls. If you have your prints on permanent display, be sure to examine them occasionally for damage such as fading or foxing. Don't assume that just because you see it on the wall all the time that you would really notice any change, one of the shortcomings with permanent display of a print is that we get used to the piece and don't really see it anymore.
In making storage decisions, all of the factors discussed in the deterioration of prints must be considered, except of course, light. Prints must be stored in acid-free environments. If they are stored in drawers, make sure they are surrounded by acid-free board. Some collectors choose to store their prints permanently matted to minimize handling damage. This is also a good alternative if they are occasionally framed for temporary display.
If you choose not to store your prints matted, it is a good idea to store each print in its own Japanese paper folder to separate it from the other prints. This keeps pigments from transferring from one print to another and may slow down the spread of fungus from one print to another. It should be noted that it is not a good idea to store prints in plastic folders or envelopes. Although this may protect them from handling damage, the plastic can build up static charges that may lift pigments from the paper. Also, the plastic may form a micro-environment trapping humidity against the print surface.
If prints are not stored in a specialized print drawer, it is best to store them in specifically constructed print boxes. These should be constructed entirely of acid-free materials. Although clam shell type boxes are quite handy and sometimes quite adequate for many environments, collectors living in areas that may have insect problems should consider boxes with separate telescoping lids that seal against insect infestations better than the clam shell boxes. In any case, regular routine examinations of all the contents of the print storage cases should be scheduled. This way, any damage either through insects or fungus can be detected early and quickly treated. A good source for print mounting and storage supplies is Light Impressions Direct.
Repair of Prints
The repair of a work of art on paper is a very complex issue. Each piece must be considered individually, and all the components of the print must be taken into account. The fiber base of the paper, the process by which the paper was made, additives used to process the fibers and size the paper all affect what can be done in cleaning and repair. The pigments, binders or modifiers used, and how they were applied are also important considerations in choosing treatment techniques. The current condition of the piece can greatly limit the procedures to which the piece may be subjected. Finally, although it has no direct bearing on the procedures that can be used, the value of the print can affect decisions about procedures involving some risk to the piece. Because of all these issues, the initial training for a paper conservator can last several years, and must be continued as long as the conservator is in practice, as new information and procedures are constantly considered.
Because of all these factors, it is quite impractical to state specific procedures for the repair of prints. In fact, I would point out that even several books available on the subject of the repair of works of art on paper cannot possibly cover all the possible factors involved in each repair being considered. Neither can they possibly be up to date with the most current procedures.
If you have a print that you feel needs repair I would strongly suggest that you consult a professional paper conservator. Check with local art galleries specializing in prints of the kind in your collection to see who they use for their print conservation. Also, you can sometimes check with museums that have print collections for conservation information.
Also, the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works has an informative site, with a section on selecting a conservator, as well as a section on caring for your works of art.
Remember, although you may 'own' those prints now, you could actually consider yourself as the current curator of your collection. With the proper care, the prints that you now enjoy should easily outlive you, and be enjoyed by others for many generations to come.
Jack Reisland is a [Baren] member and a Conservator in private practice in Hawaii.
Japanese Water-based Woodblock Printing taught by Takuji Hamanaka, Monday through Friday, 10-4pm, July 10-14, 2000. Cost$390.
The course description reads: Learn the basic techniques in the Japanese tradition of woodblock printmaking with water based inks. This tradition is associated with the extraordinary lessons of design and color passed on from the earliest Ukiyo-e masters. All aspects of the process will be introduced: proper care and use of the carving tools, preparing and carving the wood, color registration, use of paper, and hand printing using the baren. This is one of the oldest printing methods, but relatively new to Western artists.
Contact Judy Mensch at firstname.lastname@example.org
ORGANIZATIONS FOR PRINTMAKERS:
The History of the Florida Printmakers Society
Current President and Baren Member: Daniel Dew
The Florida Printmakers Society was formed in 1986 by a group of Orlando area artists led by printmaker David Hunter. Hunter wanted to organize his fellow printmakers to establish a forum for discussion on how to better educate the public on handmade prints. Many in the original FPS group were showing in outdoor art markets and found that most of the buying public didn't know the difference between an offset reproduction 'print' and an original hand pulled print. After a few meetings the group agreed they needed to publish a pamphlet to give away at their exhibition venues, defining what an original print was. This informational service led to the idea that a state-wide printmakers organization could serve other purposes for artists, dealers and collectors. To most everyone, there was no knowledge of a printmaker's organization ever existing in Florida. Considering the large number of printmakers in the state it could be a valuable service. In 1986, elected as the 1st President, Hunter led his group in the decision to incorporate, forming the Florida Printmakers Society.
EXHIBITIONS AND CALLS FOR ENTRIES:
Jul 29, 2000 *NEW* THE MANHATTAN GRAPHICS CENTER OFFERS A SCHOLARSHIP FOR ITS FALL TERM which begins in September 2000. Any artist who has not previously worked at MGC is eligible to apply (printmaking experience is not required). To receive an application, send an SASE to: The Scholarship Committee, Manhattan Graphics Center, 481 Washington St, New York NY 10013
Aug 15, 2000 EXPERIMENTAL DRAWING & PRINTMAKING EXHIBITION Theme is Making a Mark. Artists should expand beyond the traditional discourse or 2-dimensional media. Contact: University Art Gallery, Central Michigan Univ WI 132, Mount Pleasant MI 48859 OR http://www.ccfa.cmich.edu/uag
Jul 12, 2000 *NEW* ANNUAL OPEN JURIED EXHIBITION for women artists only, October 5-27. Media include oil, watercolor, pastel, graphics, acrylics and sculpture. Paintings, drawings, sculptures and prints will be juried by slides. Over $8,000 in awards. Entry fee. For a prospectus, please send a #10 business size envelope SASE to: Sheila Lavovith, Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club Annual Open Juried Exhibition for Women, 33 East 35th St, Paterson NJ 07514 OR 203-426-6654
Sep 01, 2000 *NEW* CALL FOR ENTRIES - ON / OF PAPER A National Juried Exhibition. October 30 - November 21, 2000. The Cloyde Snook Gallery of the Art Department at Adams State College is requesting submissions for an exhibition of works made on or of paper. All 2d and 3d works made on or of paper are eligible. Works must be completed within the last three years. All artists 18 years or older and residing in the United States may enter. Artists may submit up to three slides of work and a non-refundable fee of $20.00. Juried. For a prospectus send an SASE to: ON - OF PAPER, Art Department, Adams State College, Alamosa CO 81101 OR 719-587-7823 OR http://www.art.adams.edu OR email@example.com
NOTE: Date given is deadline for entries. Be sure to request the prospectus. Editor highly recommends subscribing to Art Calendar and Art Deadlines if you find these useful and will be entering competitions.
If anyone would like to take over the compiling of this department, it is up for grabs! I usually just gather the upcoming printmaking competitions and some promising works on paper calls for entries, and make a text file. Let me know if you are interested.
Sources this issue: Art Calendar, Art Deadlines, American Artist, direct e-mails to editor
Darrell Madis writes: "I have a dozen hardbound blank books, 212 pages, 8 1/2 by 11, blue lined paper. Handy for printmaking records, etc. Anyone who wants one can have it for bookrate postage which is $2.00. Contact Darrell