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!

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