I’ll be teaching a polymer photogravure workshop at MCAD this summer; the first in over two years!
The last workshop was only a couple of weeks in when the world came crashing down and the workshop cancelled. But, I’ve been asked to teach it once more this summer and I’m so happy to do so. This class is always such fun and I have some great ideas for this one.
Note: Unlike previous classes this class will have limited access to the Printshop outside of class. Students will have open studio work time ONLY on Saturdays from 12.00 – 5.00 pm and Mondays from 3.00 – 8.00 pm for the duration of the class. Students will not have access to the Printshop outside of these hours.
These are six of the fifteen cases I’m making for Lisa Nebenzahl‘s McKnight project, “The Chico Poems”.
Each case holds 8 cyanotypes, printed by Lisa, with a letterpress printed poem overlaid in silver ink. The clamshell cases are covered in a Japanese blue and silver book cloth with an inlaid photo of Chico Nebenzahl.
The Chico Poems is a suite of eight poems contained in a custom designed case. This project was inspired by my late mother Chico Nebenzahl (1916-2000), who penned the poems in the early 1940’s. With the support of a McKnight Fellowship for Book Artists, the project took a year to produce as I employed the light of the sun to create the cyanotype prints in the spring, summer and fall of 2021. Letterpress and cyanotype printing come together to share these short, sometimes acerbic poems. A posthumous collaboration with my mother, who wrote poetry and fiction in her in twenties in Chicago but never shared them widely, gave me a chance to bring these poems out of their long rest and into the light.
— Lisa Nebenzahl
More information about the project and photographs can be found here.
Since moving studios in January 2021, we have been without a UV light source and unable to make any platinum-palladium prints or polymer photogravure plates. The old lamp was far too large for the new space and so we ordered a new unit. Unfortunately the 6 weeks I was told turned into more than 5 months, although at that time I had enough other things going on with the new darkroom build to keep me occupied, but ultimately I was let down.
Enter Jon Cone and his new LED exposure units. We immediately ordered a 22×30″ model with the fastest 4x speed setup and built-in vacuum frame. A few weeks later it’s now up and running in the darkroom and is a wonderful, truly well made piece of equipment and a pleasure to print with. I’ve already calibrated it for platinum-palladium negatives and printed a small portfolio of prints for a client, so the next step will be calibrating it for the polymer photogravure process.
Now that I have the new UV lamp and vacuum frame installed, and once I finish calibrating everything, I’m considering offering small (1-3 max.) workshops in both platinum-palladium printing and polymer photogravure. The pandemic has naturally curtailed many of the opportunities for people to learn these processes, and I’ve had an inordinate amount of people asking me if I’m offering classes or private tuition. They will likely take the form of one or two day weekend classes in the studio in NE Minneapolis.
Hopefully MCAD will start offering the polymer photogravure class once again and that I’ll be teaching it there too, but meanwhile, if you’re interested in either process, email me and let me know which you’d prefer – firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 2011 I was fortunate to have been chosen as one of six Jerome Foundation mentees at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. For a year we were immersed in the book arts, learning about bindings, case making, letterpress printing, paper making and much more. I came away loving the ability to make cases and books as needed. Then, I was lucky enough to go and study with a friend and mentor, Enrico Giannini in Florence, Italy, a fifth generation bookbinder. In the ten years since, I’ve continued to make books and cases but now’s the time to start offering them on my website.
I’m going to be offering a small line of notebooks, journals and cases. These will all be ready-mades, so no personalisation or customisation will be possible and the sizes are whatever’s available at the time. I’m still going to be making custom, handmade cases (and soon, books) to order, and more information on those can be found here.
There’s already a selection of both notebooks and clamshell cases in the shop and more will be added soon. Papers include Fabriano, Mohawk Superfine, and both ruled and plain options, while the covers include leather, book cloth and Italian hand-marbled paper. All the materials used are of the finest quality and made by me, one at a time, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
More details on all the notebooks and cases can be found on my website here. As always, if you have questions, please feel free to email me!