I remember it being pretty intimidating, my first printmaking class in undergrad – the big open room with well-worn presses, toxic chemicals, ink-stained basins, warning signs of do’s and don’ts. It seemed to take forever to do one thing and I’m sure I goofed up a lot. There’s this vague recollection that as a graphic design major I didn’t quite belong there. But I must have liked it and done alright. Three of my prints are still hanging in my parents’ house.
I find myself again taking a printmaking class. This time it’s in etching and intaglio at The Art League School in Old Town Alexandria. My eagerness has replaced any intimidation despite the same set-up. It’s messy and there are still plenty of scary chemicals and so many steps to get from plate to press to paper. The results are luscious, though – the bone black marks and feathery grays on velvety paper.
Unlike in undergrad, I do feel like I belong. Probably the difference is that I know what I want to do now – translate my written and line drawings into the printmaking medium. I’ve only done one image so far, a translation of one of my written drawings. I had no expectation of how the print would turn out but it was wonderfully different.
Take a look.
Next up, aquatint. Stay tuned, this is fun!