Sunday, July 20, 2008
Mark is a recently completed chine colle drypoint. This print is personally significant because it is the first print pulled on a Dick Blick press that I purchased last year. I have never printed on a portable press before. It was quite challenging getting the pressure where it needed to be and there were more than a few curse words spewed as I made several test prints. I was both relieved and surprised with the outcome, a nice dark impression that exceeded my expectations for a drypoint printed on a small press.
Drypoint prints provide a very immediate result because the image is scratched directly into a plate of copper creating a burr which holds the ink. The downside to a drypoint is that the burr is very delicate and can only yield a few good impressions.
This portrait is based on a good friend who came to my house one day bearing a striking resemblance to Van Gogh. His hair, which is red, was cut short and he was sporting a healthy beard. I was blown away at how much he looked like the master draftsman and felt that this similarity needed to be permanently documented.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
There is a certain amount of waste left over from my projects whether it is wood, paper, metal, etc. I am always bothered by this waste and where it may end up after it is thrown away. I decided to challenge myself to a project of recycling this waste into a functional form.
This chair was constructed from plywood pieces that I would normally would have cut down and thrown into garbage. Most wood scraps are too small and awkward to work into other projects. But if the goal of a project is to utilize that waste to create something unique it instantly takes on a new life and purpose. I really became excited with the idea of building a chair that could be designed from multiple scraps of wood that would be cut to size and joined to create a comfortable functional object.
Plywood has a history of being used as a cheap building material with no real aesthetic value. One of the goals of this project was to make this seemingly ugly wood appear beautiful and somewhat exotic. I decided that this could be accomplished by exploiting the interesting qualities of the plywood's veneered layers. The layers face towards the sitter providing interesting effects from the various colors that are found in the veneer of the plywood. The chair was sanded, stained and polyeurythaned. This was done to further enhance the grains and colors in each of the layers and to provide a surface that encourages the sitter to touch the wood without the worry of getting a splinter, which plywood is usually notorious for.