Somerville Studios Bring New Vibrancy Printmaking – SNN #50 – 10/6/15

printmaking is one of the world’s oldest arts and today’s printmaking techniques maybe some of the least understood our reporter Kelly Thomas visited two somerville printmaking studios that are bringing artists together and keeping the process vibrant Somerville is home to many artists and among them are printmakers while painters and sculptures can work on their own printmakers need a variety of materials and hardware that’s why Open Studios like the mix it print studio is in davie square or essential for them miksa Print Studio welcomes local artists looking for bro studio space and access to a press Jane Goldman is one of the owners of the mix of prints to do she’s a pantry a printmaker and a public artist mix of prints studio opened its doors in 1987 and we serve the greater boston printmaking community it’s really for artists who know how to work independently in our studio and we have a range of people from just having graduated art school to some of the most well-known artists in our part of the country so we have a wide range of people here Joel Janov it’s is a local artist working at the mix at Princeton do I’ve been coming here for 19 years I come once a week and I do my printmaking it’s a great resource for many artists it’s reasonable it’s clean it’s beautifully taken care of and it’s one of my pleasures of the week to come here the day I met Janowicz he was printing a monotype a monotype can only be printed one time it’s a unique piece of art jonathans represents a living tree protected from every machinery by a barricade of dead trees he said it was a metaphor for time where the environment is under a lot of stress putting the image down and taking away wiping away until I get and image the way I like it then it goes through the press and the image is reversed and there are always many surprises along the way because things happen in in this process that are unpredictable my nature printmaking is an astronaut mix it studio corner Kathryn kiernan gave us some background actually you could consider some of the cave art to be printmaking because they put their hand off and made a mark with their hand and pressed it into the walls or they sprayed pigment using their hand as a stencil and that’s a very that’s a printmaking process that we still use today and then of course there were the Assyrian and Babylonian and Egyptian seals where they would carve a roller a little cylinder and impress it into clay and that’s a form of printmaking as well and then they were many examples of early wood cuts which is probably the oldest of the printmaking processes that still in use today eventually that became movable type with Gutenberg became books and they used a lot of wood cuts for illustrating books that was the Communist way to illustrate books to make cards that people would get when they visit holy sites so it was always a formative disseminating information making multiples and disseminating information to a wide audience that was its initial use these days we have many more ways of doing that more Billy so fine art print making has really taken over from reproductive for making kiernan recently finished a series of would cook monoprints she feels the unpredictability of the process adds to the artistic outcome and a mix it prints to do their 19th century purse itself is a work of art that print was done by Warrington Cole Scott and the subject is aldo and piero chroma link who were world-famous printers who printed for Picasso I have that print because at the time i was visiting Warrington and I I had the money and I wanted to own a piece of his so I said Warrington it’s time I need a print of yours and he showed me this one it happens that I had just purchased the ludo press that came from Aldo chroma lank in Paris so I had the press from Aldo chroma link and Warrington adjusted a print about all the chroma link and the two came together and I just knew I had to have that print I leave it down here as an inspiration to people who are working on that press thick Kenan said the city of Somerville always welcome to artists which helped them to open to mix it prints to do somerville has been a terrific home for so many artists and we certainly wouldn’t have this beautiful studio unless the policies of Somerville had allowed us to move here at a time when Boston did not allow live workspaces and Cambridge did not allow live work spaces so it was very farsighted of Somerville to encourage that kind of possibility for artists to on their own studios and live and work in the same building the mouse gets to do is another Somerville printmaking studio specializing in the making of little graphs in like monotypes little graphs or series of the same print Carolyn musket the studio owner told us more about it it’s based on two things not willingly getting along in this case grease and water you create your image with usually a grease or wax based substance you then treat the surface with a mildly acidic solution that makes all of your non-image areas water-loving when you’re ready to print you sponge the surface with water just like you’re wiping down a countertop just to dampen it and then roll on it with an oil based ink the water rejects the ink the ink only goes right where you had image you do that a few times you lay a piece of paper you run it through a press like these where you have a bar that just applies flat even pressure and the ink will transfer to your paper and then you get to do it again Bose muskets and mixing prints to do will participate in two to somerville open studio next me during this annual event artists will open their workspaces to the public for Somerville neighborhood news i’m kelly thomas carolyn muscat shares her printmaking experience across international borders she’s taught printmaking in Hanoi Vietnam for the last five years and his built relationships with local artists there she says her trips to Vietnam serve as artistic inspiration every single day

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