W. Eugene Smith in his darkroom.
Another new year and another attempt at posting more often and keeping this blog current and up-to-date. Maybe this is the impetus that I need to start again.
Traditional blogs might have swung out of favor, as we all discovered the benefits of social media and aggregating platforms, but we think they’re about to swing back in style, as we all discover the real costs and problems brought by such centralization.
— DHH writing for Signal v Noise.
I have a new and improved shop that’s now online! Here, you can, or will be able to, purchase aquatint screens for the polymergravure process as well as small, special print editions.
What I’m really excited about is the small range of ready-made portfolio boxes that I’m going to start offering. These I’ll make in standard print sizes but without any stamping or customisation. For this reason they’ll be priced lower than my custom-made boxes but they will be one-offs, so once a box is sold, that’s it, it’s gone. So if you see one you like, don’t hesitate! As time goes on I’ll keep adding to the number available.
© Nigel Henderson/Tate Gallery
Another of the small shows that I happened upon was one in the basement archives of Tate Britain showing the work of Nigel Henderson. The Tate holds his archive of approximately 3000 photographs, made between the late 1940s to the mid 1950s in Bethnal Green, around London’s East End and the jazz scene in Soho. I wasn’t familiar with his work before, but these were beautiful.
Letter from Eduardo Paolozzi to Nigel Henderson
— 20 September 1949
In this letter Paolozzi details the photographic enlarger that he would bring back from Paris as a gift for Henderson. (No way around the shadow, I’m afraid.)
This summer’s been a pretty good one, but school’s started and it’s time for show and tell!
In July we flew back to London to see our daughter graduate from Central St Martins with a degree in Fashion Journalism, while at the same time our son and his girlfriend were heading in the opposite direction to Denver, CO, to start new jobs. So proud of them all!
For the three weeks that I was in the U.K., London was in the middle of a heatwave. I’m well old enough to remember the heatwave of ’76, which is the summer everyone compares hot weather to, but this was far hotter in my mind. Most days were in the mid-80s with a few in the low 90s. And remember, buses, tubes, houses and flats aren’t air-conditioned… But it was a good trip, seeing lots of friends, lots of museums and galleries and having so much fun staying with our daughter and her boyfriend in their new flat.
There were several outstanding photography shows — Vanessa Winship and Dorothea Lange, both at The Barbican, Tacita Dean’s Landscape at the Royal Academy and The Shape of Light at Tate Modern. A small show of work by C.R.W. Nevinson, Prints of War and Peace, at The British Museum commemorates his gift of 25 prints to the museum in 1918. They span his time in the trenches of Flanders as a war artist during World War I, as well as prints of New York, Paris and London.
C.R.W. Nevinson — Looking Through Brooklyn Bridge, New York, 1921, Drypoint
Ed Ruscha — Parking Lot series
Alison Rossiter — Gevaert Gevaluxe Velours
After three weeks of family, friends, art and walking, all sustained by copious amounts of flat whites, I returned to Minneapolis and went straight into teaching a week-long polymergravure workshop at Highpoint Center for Printmaking. And if that wasn’t enough, the following week I was teaching Kerik Kouklis the process. Kerik travelled to Minneapolis from California especially for a one-day, one-on-one workshop, at the end of which he had made 3 perfect plates and about a dozen prints!
If you’re interested in learning the process, sign up for my infrequent email newsletter for details of upcoming workshops.
© Kerik Kouklis
I’ve just finished printing my first broadside! The image was made at Sissinghurst Castle and hand printed in polymergravure on Somerset paper. The text is an excerpt from the poem Sissinghurst by the English poet Vita Sackville-West and written about her beloved home, Sissinghurst Castle in Kent, where she lived with her husband Harold Nicholson, a British politician and writer. It was letterpress printed in Garamond and Colonna typefaces.
Sackville-West was part of the Bloomsbury Group, a group of writers, poets, painters and artists who lived in or around Bloomsbury Square in London and who spent weekends in the country at Charleston Farmhouse, the country home of Virginia Woolf’s sister Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, both post-impressionist painters.
The broadside was printed at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design on a Vandercook 219AB press. Big thanks to both Dana LeMoine and Sarah Evenson of MCAD for helping me get back into letterpress printing again!
Printed: Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2018.
Edition: 25 numbered plus proofs.
Description: 9.25 x 13″ single sheet broadside on Somerset paper.
Medium: Polymergravure image with letterpress printed text in Garamond and Colonna.