Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Let the Machines do all the Work!

For the MAPC conference, Mark Knierem and myself teamed up to do a demonstration on using both the LaserCutter and CNC Router to create a variety of print matrices. One of the conference goers, Mirka Hokkanen, took a video of my router lecture!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Artemio Rodriguez Print

The MAPC conference has begun and is in full swing! Artemio Rodriguez arrived on Weds. and immediately began hand carving on the routed block, just for some added details. Later that night, he began proofing and printing the image. He also brought along with him the original cut, which was a small piece of linoleum, about 7" x 12". When I saw the original sized print(below), I was so surprised at how small it was- that is what I blew up to the full 6' x 4' sheet!

And here is an image of one of the many full scale proofs of the block I routed. It came out so great!

And the man himself, Artemio, talking about his prints to interested conference-goers in the papermaking studio (do those locker's look familiar and a little less colorful?)

Last night, my friend/roommate Sandesh and I went on the Fall Art Tour bus, and ended up at Macalester college, where Artemio had a large solo show. And guess which print was I am, posing with the print of the routed woodblock! All that time certainly paid off.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

MAPC Preparations

Next week, October 13th thru 17th, the Department of Art here at the University of Minnesota is hosting the biennial Mid-America Print Council Conference. This year's theme is New World, Old World. I feel so fortunate to be a major part of this event. I am the Theme Portfolio Coordinator- organizing, jurying (along with a few others) and curating 22 themed print exchange folios that will be on display in Regis West for the duration of the conference. I even participated in one of the exchanges, The End of Old Times, put together by my friends and colleagues Ben Brockman and Sandesh Nicol. My print, Snack Attack, is a four layer silkscreen, using only drawing fluid and screen filler, which depicts a hungry robot accidentally destroying the city.

I've also been preparing for my demonstration, Let the Machines Do All the Work!, where I will be showing how to use the Laser Cutter and CNC Router to make a variety of print matrices. Here I used the Laser Cutter to raster both linoleum and wood blocks of Michael Sommer's comic book that I edited for him this past summer, which I then inked and printed relief style.

My third major endeavor has been to route a woodcut (out of MDF) by Mexican artist Artemio Rodriguez. My first steps involved sample test cuts of cropped areas of his image.

After testing files, bits and overlap settings, I was finally ready to move on to the big one- a 4'x 6' sheet of MDF. To capture all the details of Artemio's print, I had to set the router on a 95% overlap between each pass. Therefore, this block, started Sunday at noon and still routing as this very moment, is a 60+ hour cut! Needless to say, the biggest job the UofM's router has done to date. It's been quite a few sleepless nights, watching the bit go back and forth, making sure everything is okay. But, once done and printed, I have a feeling this job will be very rewarding! I will post more pictures when it is printed at the conference next week.

If you want to know how all of this is done, check out my demo next Thursday, from 2:30-4 in the LaserCutter room at the Regis Center for Art!