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.
Besides my personal work there is another side that’s important to me – the commercial printing and related services I offer for other artists. Whether the work is for myself or for others I feel so fortunate that I get to do things I really love. So this newsletter highlights a couple of projects that I’ve been involved with, details of another upcoming workshop and some magazine coverage for Otherworld.
Much of the work over the past few months that I’ve been involved with has been making custom portfolio cases and so, with their permission, I thought I’d highlight a couple of those projects.
PLAINS is a project that I’m still working on and involves an edition of five portfolios. Each 12 x 15 x 4.5” clamshell case holds 58 gelatin-silver prints, beautifully hand-printed by the photographer, Peter Latner, and a title, statement and colophon pages. The prints are dry-mounted onto debossed museum board and the cases covered in Italian book cloth.
This case I made with photographer Lisa Nebenzal to hold both a suite of prints and eight of her constructed photographs. The case measures 13.5 x 19.5 x 4” with a set of removable dividers and a panel to separate the prints and is finished in Cadet Blue Japanese book cloth with matte gold foil stamping.
UPCOMING POLYMERGRAVURE WORKSHOP
I’ll be teaching another polymergravure workshop at Highpoint Center for Printmaking in Minneapolis soon, so if creating hand-printed editions is something that’s always interested you, then keep an eye on their website for registration details towards the end of January.
Here are a few photos of a 150 page book I’ve just finished printing and binding for a friend. It’s 12.5 x 9.0 x 1.5″ in size, consists of nine hand-sewn signatures and is finished in red Italian book cloth with marbled endpapers by my friend Enrico Giannini, a fifth generation Florentine bookbinder. The book layout and design was done in InDesign and the paginated pages printed on Hahnemühle Book and Album paper.
I’m currently in the middle of a great project for a local artist, Peter Latner, (a photographer who still works with medium and large format film) as part of his Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant that he received.
The project will involve an small edition of clamshell cases that each hold 58 gelatin-silver prints hand-printed by Peter, which are stunningly beautiful. I’m debossing 4-ply Museum board and dry-mounting the prints into the resulting plate mark. There will also be a title page, statement and colophon. Once I’ve mounted the prints and printed the text sheets I’ll have a better idea of the exact depth required, then I can start making the cases. That number of mounted prints will result in a nice, substantial case that’s about 4.5” deep. I’m going to try and post more images of the production as we progress over the next few weeks!