Today's postings

  1. [Baren 37265] Re: Online exhibition ... (Graham Scholes)
  2. [Baren 37266] Re: Online exhibition ... (Dave Bull)
  3. [Baren 37267] Printing for others (Barbara Mason)
  4. [Baren 37268] Re: Printing for others (Dave Bull)
  5. [Baren 37269] Re: Printing for others (Barbara Mason)
  6. [Baren 37270] Selling work and postage ("Harry French")
  7. [Baren 37271] Re: Printing for others (Diane Cutter)
  8. [Baren 37272] Re: Selling work and postage ("Mark Mason")
  9. [Baren 37273] Baren Member blogs: Update Notification (Blog Manager)
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Message 1
From: Graham Scholes
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2008 05:28:42 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37265] Re: Online exhibition ...
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Certainly good feedback about the happenings in Japan Dave.

It is great that lots of people participate as shumi doers.... This
has to be good for the medium and keeping it alive...

Both Noboru Sawai and I are always amazed .... yes and even
disappointed that more of our students have not carried on with the
sport.... I have taught hundreds... lost track.... and Noboru has
taught thousands... lost track ... He can count on two hands the
number of people that have gone on and done a reasonable body of
work... Sad.

I rather suspect that the people you say, who think arty, (gees I
hate that word) are quite possibly professional and dedicated to a
broad knowledge and range of printmaking. Since they are ferreting
out etching presses, it indicates to me they are dedicated and
striving to break new ground in image making. Good on them.

Richard Steiner in Kyoto know the stuff in that city and has, since
teacher at my studio, gone on to do assignments in Portland.... His
work is a diamond in the rough... he breaks conventions and it shows
in the end results. (I am going back three years with that statement.
Maybe he has changed ... I hope not as there was a quality to the
designs that said ... hi Im Richard.)

Cheers
Graham
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Message 2
From: Dave Bull
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2008 05:58:46 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37266] Re: Online exhibition ...
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> ... amazed .... yes and even
> disappointed that more of our students have not carried on with the
> sport.... I have taught hundreds... lost track.... and Noboru has
> taught thousands... lost track ... He can count on two hands the
> number of people that have gone on and done a reasonable body of
> work... Sad.

There is though, a kind of explanation for this, although I'm not quite
sure how many [Baren] members may react to it.

Most woodblock printmaking (other than the most simple rough-cut black
and white work), is not a 'casual' or 'impulsive' process. Planning the
image, laying it out, finding wood, getting the colour separations
figured out, registration ... and then the delicately balanced nuances
of the printing process ... It's perfectly matched to what kind of
person? A control freak.

But the beginner doesn't understand this. Lots of people look at it,
think to themselves "Wow, that's neat stuff; I'm going to give it a try
..." And some even do.

Anybody can make one print. With good guidance, they may even make a
'nice' print. If they have some kind of aptitude for this, it might
even be an 'interesting' print.

But what happens next? There is an inherent contradiction in the whole
business of woodblock printmaking; for the creation of interesting
'art', one needs a relatively 'free' type of personality. You know ...
faced with a blank sheet of paper, the kind of person who can put
something interesting onto it.

But the process of actually _making_ woodblock prints - especially in
_substantial editions_ - requires the 'other' type of personality. Not
the 'free' personality type, but the 'OK, let's see; how can we best
get this thing done ...' type of personality. And then on top of that,
this person has to have the patience and stamina to handle the
repetitive nature of the process; one colour, next colour, next colour;
start again, one colour, next colour, next colour ... and again and
again and again ...

It's actually kind of 'Mission Impossible' - to have both of these
characters living in the same body ... the same head.

In the old days, there were no such contradictions in the Japanese
printmaking world, because of course the work was divided up, and
designers were never makers. Then, when the 20th century came along,
and the early Sosaku makers began their work, they never made extended
editions; just a few copies of each sheet was all they could handle.
(They made this a 'virtue' of course; the work became 'exclusive'.)

(Sosaku makers who get _famous_ have an easy solution. Like Kiyoshi
Saito did, when/if they get to the point where there is a large demand
for their work, they farm it out to professional printers.)

But over there in the rest of the world, with no access to professional
printers to handle the grunt work of making substantial editions,
artist types have no other option - they have to do it all themselves.
And the number of people who have 'what it takes' (in terms of
personality, etc.) to handle _every_ aspect of the woodblock process,
from conception through final edition, are going to be pretty few and
far between, I think ...

Dave
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Message 3
From: Barbara Mason
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2008 07:09:33 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37267] Printing for others
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My goodness Dave,
You are so mistaken about this...there are hundreds of shops that do printmaking for other artists professionally. I have a book over 2 inches thick with studios in it that do this across the USA.

I am involved with one here in Portland... see www.ateliermeridian.com and I know of three others in this city and at least 6 in Seattle . Our master printer will collaborate or totally print for another artist.

Many artists want to make prints, especially if they become successful selling their paintings as they can only paint so many and soon their paintings are too expensive for the average person to buy....but if they do monotypes or editions of other types of printmaking collaborating with someone who can do all the technical stuff correctly, they can suddenly create a body of work that takes less of their time and is in multiples. A painters dream. It also gives them a less expensive price point for those who would like to collect their work. What would take them years to learn alone is available by the hour.

Our Atelier here is associated loosely with Print Arts NW so a lot of the classes are done as fundraisers for our non-profit and we have lots of functions for them.

Jane, our master printer, makes her living printing and she is really, really good at it. She is also an artist and does her own work, but teaching and printing for others is her bread and butter.

Tamarind at the U of NM turns out trained master printers who print for others every year...if you are trained there you can get a job many places. It is a coveted skill in the printmaking world to be trained by Tamarind. They do all mediums but Lithography is their great skill.

Of course some of us are just process junkies and want to learn it all for the sake of knowing it... and teaching it.
My best to all
Barbara


But over there in the rest of the world, with no access to professional
printers to handle the grunt work of making substantial editions,
artist types have no other option - they have to do it all themselves.

Dave
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Message 4
From: Dave Bull
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2008 07:42:55 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37268] Re: Printing for others
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Barbara wrote:

> My goodness Dave,
> You are so mistaken about this...there are hundreds of shops that
> do printmaking for other artists professionally. I have a book over
> 2 inches thick with studios in it that do this across the USA.

Sure ... litho, silkscreen, oil, giclee ... etc. etc. but
_water-based_ woodblocks? Printers for hire? I can think of two ...
Shinohara-san at Wesleyan, and Arikushi-san in Vancouver. Maybe
Sawai-san, Graham's friend?

(Not that I know anything about this ... If I'm wrong, then so be it
...)

Dave
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Message 5
From: Barbara Mason
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2008 07:56:45 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37269] Re: Printing for others
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Well, I don't know about woodblock, I think there might be a few but not many so you are right about this.
But for etching, litho, monotype, screenprinting and so on there are a lot of printers and I think there might be some for western style woodblock, printing with a press and oil based inks.

I do think this new water based Akua Intaglio ink is going to change the face of printmaking. I have used it for several years and just took a class that taught me a lot more about what it will do. Artists want faster results than moku hanga and this ink will give it, as it rolls on and can be printed with a press.

Still, there is no substitute for the traditional method of moku hanga...it is so meditative. It takes a long time and does not always turn out as you hope, but still, the entire process somehow just keeps you going back for more. I just cannot explain it.
I originally started to learn it for fun and am still doing it for fun...just like all the amateur artists in Japan. I consider myself a professional artist as I have been showing my work in galleries and selling it for 20 years...but I do the woodblock for fun and I don't show or sell it. Sometimes you need something that is just for yourself and I know my skill with this process will never come close to my skill in other methods, yet I keep doing it. Who knows why but it is obvious I am not alone.
My best to all
Barbara
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Message 6
From: "Harry French"
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2008 08:42:55 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37270] Selling work and postage
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Hi Jennifer,

I have been involved with several Baren exchanges that have been
co-ordinated in the United States. This is what I do, but it has very
obvious risks. I make up a sturdy package from standard padded envelopes
with card supports to prevent bending ; buy $15 -$20 from the post office
and place them in an envelope amongst the prints for return costs then seal
the package. I have it weighed and send it small package post to USA . It
costs about 5. I declare that the prints have no monetary value to avoid
any liability for import/export taxes. I think it is particularly important
to ask the coordinator returning the prints to make a no monetary value
statement. Non European countries pay a 15 percent import tax using the
insurance value as a guide to the duty. By the way every time I post the
packages the counter person asks me if there is a letter inside the
package. I can only think there is a further charge. I also Email the
Coordinator about what I have done when the package is sent.

It works for me, but there is no guarantee. However, to date all prints have
got there and back safely.

Good luck

Harry

Lincoln

UK
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Message 7
From: Diane Cutter
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2008 10:56:07 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37271] Re: Printing for others
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In addition to the fabulous Tamarind Institute, there is also New Grounds Printshop in Albuquerque. They also do considerable printing for other artists.


Diane

www.dianecutter.com
www.theitinerantartist.blogspot.com
www.DCutter.etsy.com




>My goodness Dave,
>You are so mistaken about this...there are hundreds of shops that do printmaking for other artists professionally. I have a book over 2 inches thick with studios in it that do this across the USA. .....
>.....

>Tamarind at the U of NM turns out trained master printers who print for others every year...if you are trained there you can get a job many places. It is a coveted skill in the printmaking world to be trained by Tamarind. They do all mediums but Lithography is their great skill.
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Message 8
From: "Mark Mason"
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2008 11:36:33 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37272] Re: Selling work and postage
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Hi Jennifer,

I'm based in the UK and was part of Exchange 33 which was the same format as
39.

I packaged up all my prints in sturdy card and bubble wrap, but left it open
and took it to the post office and got it weighed. They told me how much the
shipping would be to the US, and then I bought some US Dollars (rounding the
cost up a little so as not to leave the co-ordinator out of pocket), popped
them into an envelope which I slipped into my package with the prints,
sealed it up, went back to the counter and paid for the shipping. It worked
fine. Just make sure your packaging can be reused as the size and number of
prints you send will be the size, number and weight of the prints you
receive. I hope that helps.

Regarding selling work; I don't make my living by selling prints, but I have
sold a few and I get a real burst of pleasure from it. Not that I'm getting
money-money-money, but that someone likes what I've created so much that
they're prepared to part with their own hard earned cash to have one of my
prints. It's a real compliment. A lot of my sales have been on Etsy
(MarkMason), and yesterday, after a long day decorating and cleaning I
checked my emails to find a kind person had just bought 2 of my little
prints. So pleasing. Even having people "Favourite" your shop, or a
particular print is a buzz for me.

I love the fact that my humble little efforts are now hanging in a
children's bedroom in the US and a vet's surgery in Kansas, amongst other
places, and the comments I've received from buyers have encouraged me to do
more. Selling your work is important, but why people buy your work is more
important to me.

Cheers, Mark.
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Message 9
From: Blog Manager
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2008 12:57:12 GMT
Subject: [Baren 37273] Baren Member blogs: Update Notification
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This is an automatic update message being sent to [Baren] by the forum blog software.

The following new entries were found on the listed printmaker's websites during the past 24 hours. (54 sites checked, five minutes before 9:00 AM Eastern time)

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Site Name: pressing-issues

Author: Ellen Shipley
Item: Baa-Baa Woodblock
http://pressing-issues.blogspot.com/2008/10/baa-baa-woodblock.html

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