Final color!

It’s ridiculous how much the final color (usually black) pulls everything together. One second the prints look like amorphous blobs of color kind of sitting on top of one another and the next, they make sense.

The screen:

the mess:

the print:

just a bit of tweaking/cleaning up to do, but the colors are done. The anxiety is mostly over. Heavy sighs of relief.


Day 3!

Day 3: trapped in the same room, windows agape, ancient, temperamental stereo cranking, with the warm weather breathing its tantalizing and inescapable breath in my face, I’m wearing the same apron I’ve been wearing every time I’ve exposed myself to the throes of sloppy ink. I always grab this particular one: smeared with black throughout one side, graciously pristine on the other. I’m not sure why I have almost this automatic impulse to grab this particular apron. Today I actually scoured amongst all the others hanging on the back of the storage closet door to find it. We have a special bond, almost. The whole week it was me and this apron against this screen and this print. Allies. The only real object who could possibly know the trials and tribulations of this process as they unfolded first-hand.

Although the seemingly endless hours of seclusion in this room had weighed on my mental well-being by this point, I drudged forward, determined to complete this project before school was back in session and we were all walking on eggshells around each other, trying to use the power washer at the same time and politely competing for space. Here is what I had completed by Day 3:

I was luckily able to save myself a step by using one screen for two separate colors because the colors did not come close to one another. I used masking tape to create a barrier between the color sections. Tape was also used to block small areas where the emulsion didn’t seem to stick. Just in case. The magenta was printed first:

The yellow was printed after wiping the excess magenta away so the colors didn’t mix:

And of course after washing out the ink and emulsion came the last of the Rubylith cutting:

No more Rubylith cutting!

Seven Day Success

As the week of insanity draws to a close, I can finally sit back and reflect on all those 8-10 hour days in the printmaking studio. I regret not being able to update this every night of the last week due to plain exhaustion, but I did manage to snap a plethora of pictures throughout with the help of various fellow Shafer dwellers. I think the easiest and logical way of showing them all will be by each day and each step. I apologize thoroughly for the lack of pictures of me actually printing, it’s a bit of a stressful, messy and fast-paced process. Stopping for pictures would mean ink drying in the screen!

Day 1 involved a number of things happening simultaneously: Prepping the screen, completing the image to its final state and printing the outlines on the plotter in the Davis lab, using Screen Filler for the first color to block the white space where my face will go, and cutting Rubylith for the second color while everything dried. Simple duct tape was used to prevent the ink from sloshing everywhere or leaking through the edges of the screen. The screen was then washed and degreased so that the filler could consistently adhere to the parts I wanted to block. I used the printed outline as a kind of map for tracing and cutting the Rubylith later on for each of the colors.

The outlines are also seen here, underneath the taped and degreased screen. I have the screen propped on a few pieces of foamcore so that the paper outlines did not stick to the back of the screen. Clear acetate was also under the screen to further prevent any drips or mishaps to the only copy in my possession.

By this time, Akus Gallery director and curator Elizabeth Peterson had popped in to see what I was up to:

The finished product:

And while this was drying, I cut each and every one of these mustaches out with an X-acto knife.

It seems so simple; lightly trace with the X-acto over the matte side of the Rubylith, and peel back the thin, red layer of film. I started this at noon. It was complete by 6pm.

This was only Day 1. Eat your heart out Rubylith.


Thanks to Amanda Lebel and Boxcar Press, the letterpress plate has been ordered and should be ready in the next few days. Letterpress printing is a relief style of printing when the image is sunk into the paper. The negative space becomes almost embossed, while the desired image is pressed in. Boxcar provides excellent examples in their portfolio. In the meantime, I have updated the elevation for the gallery. The end installation will look something close to this:


The ink of the print will cover a 28×28″ area, the print will have a max. 2″ border. The matte will not exceed 3″ and the frame I’m hoping, will be around 2 inches. Go large format!

The Design Brief – Preliminary Artist Statement

Hello all, if the last post left you bewildered and confused, fear not. In this post I am giving you another little glimpse into the inner workings of my mind and hopefully it’s starting to make a little bit of sense. The images in the second picture go along with what I’m talking about in the Design Brief. Feedback, encouraging or critical, is tremendously appreciated, just click to see them better. Enjoy!