Audacious Relief: Printmaking from Tradition to Experiment
Instructor: Jonathan Palmer
10 Sessions / Saturdays, June 15–August 17
Time: 10 am–1 pm
Location: Studios 1&2
Dating back nearly 2,500 years, relief printmaking has made a bold mark throughout the history of art—and its potential is still being explored today. The ancient Egyptians carved out patterns on wood and printed on cloth while such contemporary artists as Swoon install large scale cut-out relief prints on the streets of NYC and major museums worldwide. This course will explore all of the traditional methods of relief printing as students learn how to carve, register, and print in relief from a diverse range of materials including wood, linoleum, plaster, Plexiglas, cardboard, metal, and stone. We will cover single and multicolor techniques by making reduction and multi-color block prints; hand printing techniques will be emphasized, though the printing press will be utilized as well. Once the traditional techniques have been taught, students will understand the unlimited ways of achieving a relief print, and be encouraged to experiment with a wide range of carving surfaces and paper. This course will primarily cover Western printing techniques but will spend one session going over Japanese woodblock printing. The class will also examine and discuss prints by artists such as Kathe Kollwitz, Picasso, Leonard Baskin, Albrecht Durer, Hiroshige, Yoshitoshi, and others. No prerequisite.
Jonathan Palmer received his BFA degree, graduating cum laude, from Syracuse University in 1992. In May of 2013, he will graduate from the Rhode Island School of Design with an MFA degree in Printmaking. Palmer’s art—encompassing drawing, relief printing, screenprinting, lithography, intaglio, found materials, hot glass casting, bio-mimicry, video, installation, and cut paper—investigates the nature of environmental origin and its search for balance through understanding the disregarded aspects of urban habitats. His work has been exhibited throughout the United States including Providence R.I., New York City, San Francisco, Mendocino California, and Taos New Mexico and overseas at Kyoto Seika University in Japan. His work is included in the print collections of Syracuse University, the Rhode Island School of Design, Yale University, and dozens of private collections.
Letterpress: Platemaking and Printing
Instructors: Volta Press
2 Sessions / Saturdays, July 27 and August 3
Time: 10 am–5:30 pm
Location: Studios 2&3
Invented over five centuries ago, letterpress began as a method of printing text with movable type; now, with the modern-day emphasis on graphic design and digitally-created plates, letterpress has become an invaluable medium for artist prints, broadsides, business cards, invitations, and much more. Students will learn how to transform film into letterpress plates, paper preparation, basic typesetting, Vandercook lockup and setup methods, and letterpress printing, including registration techniques. By the end of the intensive, each student will have completed a two-color letterpressed broadside. No prerequisite.
Laureen Mahler and John Peck co-founded Volta Press in 2006, and their studio has been located near Oakland's Jack London Square since 2009. They have collaborated on countless projects, from literary/arts journal Beeswax Magazine to commissioned broadsides. Together they run the day-to-day operations of the press, which specializes in custom letterpress work, book arts, and design.
Laureen Mahler received her BA in English and Creative Writing from SFSU and her MFA from California College of the Arts, where she studied creative writing, letterpress, and book arts. When she's not printing, Laureen divides her time between teaching, writing, and travel.
John Peck is a writer, musician, and printer. He received his BA and MA from Stanford University, and is managing editor of the literary journal Beeswax Magazine. His writing has appeared in various print and online journals, including Jubilat, Watchword, Last Exit, Salon.com, and McSweeney's Internet Tendency.