One of my favorite things about printmaking is that printmakers like to share. Printmaking allows people to collaborate in ways that other media do not. My first experience with collaborative printmaking involved friends celebrating my 40th birthday and a new press. I printed all of the blocks in one print, and each family received one.
|Elizabeth Busey, Turning Forty: A Collaboration, Linoleum Relief Print|
|Cardboard templates kept all the block in place when the print was run through the etching press.|
Mixing the inks was a challenging process. I use very transparent inks in my own work, but this process required much more saturated colors. Inks had to look right on the Hosho paper, but be dark enough to be seen in the bright windows. The amount of light coming through the windows was astounding, even on a cloudy day. I used a great deal of ink getting the color right.
|It was hard to find the perfect hue and intensity for each color.|
|Pieces of Hosho were torn in half, and the reassembled lengthwise to create 5’+ banners.|
I pieced together the banners and added dowel rods using photo-safe double-sided tape. I learned from previous experience that glues ripple the paper. Raffia and 3M removable hooks were used to hang them in our sanctuary windows.
|The architecture of First United Church of Bloomington has Japanese and mid-century modern influences. The banners were placed so they enhanced the sanctuary’s view of the church’s courtyard garden.|
During the workshop, I asked people to write down the inspiration for their image. I created a display where each block was printed singly and identified with the artist’s name and their inspiration. Artists were very happy to see their work and words, whether they were 11 or 71.
|People spend as much time reading the artists’ comments as they do looking at the whole banners.|